I love a makeover project and one of the easiest ways to instantly freshen up a space is with a new lick of paint. It’s amazing how much cleaner and smarter a room can look with fresh paint. But where to start with what type of paint, or even what colour, to use? Every home is unique and we all have different conditions to work with, so I’ve teamed up with Earthborn paints to share with you five tips for choosing the right paint for your project.
Earthborn paints is a small, independent, UK-based brand that specialises in environmentally friendly alternatives to conventional paints. Their paints are free from acrylics, oils and vinyls, making them a much nicer product to work with because you don’t get the strong chemical smells.
Says Cathryn Helsby, marketing manager of Earthborn paints: ‘Here at Earthborn, we pride ourselves on doing things differently. We do not believe you should have to sacrifice quality or style to protect your health or the environment. Our hero paint is made with clay, which gives it its name Claypaint – it has a unique ultra matt finish that softens and enhances the light in your room. Additionally, it’s breathable, fast drying and has no nasty odours.’
They have 72 shades of eco paint to choose from, with five new hues for 2017 – creamy green Sapling, light pink Peach Baby, deep blue Trumpet, bold green Hobby Wood and a Moulin Rouge-inspired red called Can-Can, showed in these mood boards here.
Test, test, test!
Always buy test pots and test possible colours out on your chosen surface, so often the colour appears completely different from the paint card or samples you see online. Not to mention that you can’t really tell what a colour will appear like in a whole room from a tiny square on a sample card. Different light conditions in different rooms may also have an impact on colour; I’ve used colours before, bought another tin for another room only to put it on and find it takes on a different hue. So always test, come back to those daubs of paint on the wall at various times in the day and live with it for a day before you commit to a whole pot.
Top tip: paint tests at the corner of a room where two walls meet, or on each wall of a room, to really see what it will look like in different light conditions.
Choose a paint to suit your surface
It’s really important to pick a paint that is suitable for these surface you’re going to paint, this might mean emulsion on walls and eggshell on woodwork. But beyond those basics, think about the area of the house that’s going to be painted – if it’s a hard-working area like a kitchen which might see a lot of wear and tear, you might want to consider a more hard-wearing finish. Earthborn Lifestyle Emulsion, for instance, offers a durable, washable surface with a classic low-sheen finish.
Or if your room suffers from damp, perhaps a bathroom or a basement, a breathable paint can help, says Helsby.
She says: ‘Earthborn claypaint is
Got a period property? A breathable paint, like Earthborn’s hero product Claypaint, could be the perfect choice to get a classic, timeless finish of colour that’s durable and long-lasting. It has an ultra matt finish and lets walls breathe. Says Helsby: ‘Our special ingredients mean that they minimise condensation, deter mildew and is static resistant – so they look after your home, as well as making it look beautiful.’
Think about the overall look and feel of the space
Instead of randomly picking a colour from a paint card just because it’s a nice colour, think a little deeper about how you want the space to look, and more importantly feel. For my recent bedroom makeover, I really wanted to create a calm, relaxing space and a light, dusty pink helped capture those Zen vibes. A darker colour, like Trumpet above, could make a dining room feel rich and luxurious, while Sapling below could make a space feel like and airy, especially when used in a botanical-inspired space with lots of plants.
Top tip: Why not spend an hour or so gathering inspiration for your new and improved room to get an idea of what you like, flick through magazines and pull out things you like, or even create a quick mood board with what you’ve found to help visualise the colour scheme. It doesn’t have to be anything super professional, just have a play and get creative!
If in doubt, go neutral!
I’m a big advocate for going neutral and lighter on walls and using accessories, artwork and rugs to add colour, texture and pattern. I think it creates lighter, brighter spaces that are timeless and won’t date (unless perhaps if it’s magnolia!). In my experience it’s also time- and cost-saving because you’re less likely tire of the colour and need to keep redecorating as your tastes change; you can just swap furniture, get new cushions, for instance, or put up new artwork. Peach Baby and Sapling by Earthborn are great alternatives to grey.
Top tip: Keep paint dregs and old tins to touch up any scratches or marks, you never know if the paint company might discontinue that colour.
Time and budget
Paint can be expensive, especially when you factor in new brushes and all the paraphernalia that goes with painting. If you don’t have the budget, or perhaps not even the time for a full makeover, how about giving a piece of furniture a facelift? Earthborn Eco Chic Claypaint for Furniture and Earthborn Eggshell, for example, are easy to apply and don’t need any special primer. It might be a set of shelves, a dining chair or even a wardrobe – add a splash of colour and your room will look instantly uplifted.
Preparation is key
When it comes to painting, and DIY in general really, you get what you put in. Good, proper preparation is so important for a beautiful, seamless, hard-wearing finish. I’ve tried to cut corners before and it doesn’t work! A sand paper is your friend, go over woodwork and wooden furniture before painting. Even a quick, light sand on walls can help smooth out bumps and get rid of all manner of sins. Polyfilla and sand any cracks or dents. If the surface of your wall is powdery, stabilise it with a solution of Earthborn Wall Glaze and water to create a clean surface.
Top tip: if you’re painting onto bare plaster, dilute the first coat with around 20% water to 80% paint, followed by a full coat of paint.
So I hope those tips might provide some help when you next choose a paint colour. There’s lots of options out there, so do your research and get your preparation right and you’ll have a beautiful new look in no time. Do you have any tips of your own?
This post was written in collaboration with Earthborn paint. Room images courtesy Earthborn, mood boards by Cate St Hill