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Rulers for choosing the right paint colours for your home from giantA

There are a few fairly simple ways to decide what colours to go with what when painting your new building or renovation home. There are 12 rules for choosing the right paint colours. In this article, we will help you find out what your favourite colour means, and chose the proper colour.

Using your favourite colour as your base colour, you can use it to create a colour scheme around it. Your favourite colours can be the perfect inspiration for your new colour palette for the whole room.

These are rulers:

Rule no. 1: Decide on a mood or theme before begin

Correct colour selection is the first step towards achieving your mood or theme. It could Cool or warm colours? Cosy or business-like? Bright and cheery or subdued and reflective? Cute or grand?

Rule no. 2: Choose a paint colour scheme before you begin

To help choose a paint colour scheme to buy a colour wheel like the one shown in the pictures below and which can be purchased from art supply shops. Let one colour dominate the space or surface.

Rule no. 3: Choose different tints for your selected colours

Paint colour tints and where they should be located: Darkest tints at feet level; Medium tints at eye level; Lightest tints above head level. In other words select darker colours, shades and tints on the floor, medium colours, shades and tints on the walls, lighter tints for ceilings (see rule 4).

Rule no. 4: Use neutral paint colours on the ceiling

Ceilings encompass the entire area of interior space and affect the mood of the entire area, unlike a wall, which when painted has a more localised effect, and unlike a floor which can be broken up with rugs, carpeted areas, tiles, etc. If you select the wrong colour for the ceiling it will ruin the intended mood or theme. Dark colours on the ceiling generally do not work, they give a room an oppressive mood, whether used in bathrooms, living spaces or kitchens.

Rule no. 5: Use feature walls

Painting all walls the same highly saturated or intense colour does not work. Even shades or tints of the same colour might not work if the colour is too intense. If you are going to paint a room all the same colour, use a neutral colour. Thus it is common practice to paint one wall with bright colour and to paint the remaining walls a neutral colour (white being a common choice).

Rule no. 6: To make a room seem warm and cosy

To make a space seem cosy/warm use warmer colours on walls; e.g. tints of red, warmer browns, red-violets, etc. The lounge room and bedroom have shown below are perfect examples of what can be achieved.

Rule no. 7: To make a room seem cooler

Put tints of blue, green and violet on the walls to make a room fell cooler.

Rule no. 8: Consider the size of the space

If your space is large use 30% strong, darker colours, 60% medium and 10% lighter colours. This will make the space feel welcoming, but using the same colour scheme in a smaller space will make it feel cluttered and even smaller than it really is. In a smaller space, the percentages should be 10% strong darker colours, 30% medium and 60% lighter colours.

Rule no. 9: Use accents

Use items such as paintings, pieces of furniture and vases to accent a room with complementary colours. For example: place a green vase against a red feature wall, or put a brightly coloured painting with a complementary tonality on a wall painted in a neutral colour. The fisherman’s cottage show here makes use of red trim to complement its main exterior colours.

Rule no. 10: Use lighter colours on textured surfaces

Rough surfaces (like brick walls) appear darker than smooth surfaces (because the reflected light is more scattered). Thus it is prudent to select lighter shades or tints when painting these types of surfaces.

Rule no. 11: Don’t forget about lighting and reflections

Remember to be careful when choosing the right paint colours for brightly lit spaces. If you are considering white bear in mind that reflected light causes glare which in turn can cause headaches. Also, remember that when light reflects off an object and hits another object it affects the colour of that object. The brighter the light source the more noticeable the effect. Thus a shiny red object reflecting on to a yellow-orange object can make the yellow-orange appear to be red-orange.

Take advantage of natural light whenever it is practical and cost-effective to do so. If a room seems dark consider installing a skylight or window or use a bold colour on a feature wall to lift the atmosphere, alternatively, create a cosy atmosphere by using soft artificial lighting and warm colours.

Rule no. 12: Confirm and double-check your colour decisions

Try one or more of the online tools provided by various paint suppliers such as: Resene Paint’s colour swatches online; Haymes Colour Centre or Wattyl’s Virtual Painting Tool.

If you get stuck in choosing the right paint colours or material for your house, just put it aside and contact us. We’re willing to share advice about and make it easier for you.