Choosing the right paint for your walls

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Painting your house, inside or outside, makes one of the biggest differences to how it looks. If there are actually a couple of issues with your structure, painting it might make it look great for a while, but the issues will still be there. If they have been fixed, however, or it’s just time to redecorate a bit, choosing a colour and paint type that works with your personality and the space, is heaps of fun. To help you out, let’s look at some paint types and colour ideas.


Paint types first

The paint you use on the outside versus the inside and then in your lounge versus your bathroom is not the same. These walls are not subjected to the same elements and cannot be treated the same way.


Before you paint any wall, you’ll need to prep it by scraping down peeling paint and fixing any issues, like cracks and possible water damage. You’ll also want to paint a primer layer first. The type of primer will depend on the surface you are painting. If it is a new wall, the primer acts as a penetrating layer to resist alkali, peeling and efflorescence. If it is a repaint, then an all-purpose, white acrylic (water base) is your best choice to prep your surface. For a bathroom, painting a damp proofing layer is also a wise choice.


The topcoat of your wall, especially for exterior walls can be coloured and textured with various finishes depending on the brand you purchase. There are options from Brilliant Sheen to Satin to Matt. The important thing is that these should all be acrylic or emulsion paints as the water-base will help waterproof the wall while also allowing water in the wall to evaporate.


The topcoat for your interior depends on the room’s usage. Your bathroom and kitchen walls that need to withstand a lot of moisture and washing needs a more durable paint. This is often where a gloss enamel becomes an option. These paints take longer to dry between coats and also contain more chemicals, meaning they have a stronger odour and the room you are painting should be well ventilated, but the paint is usually abrasion, scratch, stain, and steam resistant and can be washed very easily. Paint brands usually have a paint that has specifically been formulated for kitchens and bathrooms and having a look at these is probably your best option.


For other walls, such as a lounge, dining room, or bedroom, moisture, condensation, and stains aren’t necessarily such a huge concern and don’t need to factor into your choice. You can really have fun in choosing the finish you want with options from Cashmere to Semi-Gloss Enamel to simple Matt or Satin. Note that while a matt paint is washable, satin emulsion with a slightly shinier finish is more so.


Now the colour

The best piece of advice when it comes to choosing a colour is to do paint swatches. And with swatches, we don’t mean those small cards you get at the paint shop or all the possible colours. Those can help you narrow down your choices to three of four colours, but when you really need to settle on one colour ask for a tester. Some shops will mix up a bit of colour for you that you can paint onto a large piece of paper or cardboard to see how it will look in the space and then make your choice.


Let our personality and good judgement guide you in choosing colours. If you like pops of colour, then you could decide to do a statement wall in teal, strawberry, or violet and then pair that with a soft and neutral grey, tan, or blush. Traditionally, neutral colours are more classic and stand the test of time. You can do a lot in a room with the rest of your decorations, furnishings, and wall hangings if your wall is a neutral colour. In small spaces, lighter colours are best as they help the space feel bigger. You don’t have to paint a small space white. You can use a blush or soft stone colour and add mirrors to one wall or ensure the curtains are light and airy to allow lots of natural sunlight into the room. In larger rooms, it is easier to create a design or feature wall. You could choose to divide a wall with two complementary paint colours vertically and then play around with the geometry of furnishings, paintings, and mirrors. The only limit to what you can do is your imagination.


If you are looking to buy your dream home where you can truly paint it however you wish, get in touch with Karis. We love helping our clients find a house they can fall in love with and turn into their forever home.