For the Love of Paint, People!
During the House of Savage renovations, I met a fabulous paint consultant (and no, I had no idea paint consultants existed before that). With 13 rooms to paint, I waltzed into his paint shop to buy tester pots. I had no idea where to start, so we got talking and he convinced me that a site visit (for £60) was the best way forward and boy, was he right. This money wouldn’t have bought many sample pots for a couple of rooms, never mind 13!
So, to all of you out there with paintbrush in hand, itching to get started: you might want to put the kettle on and read this first!
I learned so much from him, it was a total blast. We talked about contrast a lot and he sold me on the fact that if you are lucky enough to have ceiling roses or even basic architrave, your ceilings are too good to be white! Match your ceiling shade to your chosen colour. As a rule of thumb, use the lightest (or second lightest) shade in the colour scale or colour family you have chosen for the walls. You really can’t go wrong.
[Ceiling colours: F&B Ammonite #274 | F&B Skimming Stone #241 | F&B Slipper Satin #2004]
No, no, no, no, noooooooooo!
One of my absolute pet peeves is when people use tester pots directly on their walls. I scroll through insta pics, and I literally want to scream “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”. Testing on your walls is wrong on so many levels. First, if you’re testing dark colours, that patch could come through when you come to finally paint your selected shade. Second, you can’t move your wall around! You need to see how the light will hit that shade around the room. Third, it won’t give you a good idea of the finish. Fourth, it’s expensive enough as it is so what if you could reuse tester pots?
Well, yes, I have the solution: do your testers on lining paper! Write the paint name or number down BEFORE you start then paint a large patch (at least A4, ideally A3). Give it time to dry then pin your tester to your walls with masking tape. Move them from wall to wall to see how they look in direct sunlight, in a dark corner, next to a piece of furniture you might have in another room! Then KEEP THEM. One sample you decided against for the living room might turn out to look awesome for the study!
It’s all in the prep.
Yes, boring I know and not what you want to hear if you’re dying to get that roller rolling but believe you me, you will live to regret it if you don’t. Make sure all surfaces are smooth (yes, with filler dry and sanded down), dry and free of dust.
Line your walls.
Painting on plaster is an absolute no go in my opinion. Line your walls with decent quality lining paper for a perfect chalk finish. If like us, you live in a period property where cracks appear daily, lining your walls is absolutely critical.
What’s ya number?
If you need more than one tin of paint for a room, check that the batch numbers are the same (usually at the base of the tin). If not then mix them up before use.
Roll. Wait. Repeat.
Always apply two coats using a brush or roller. Check how long the first coat needs to dry before recoating. Do not rush this. For the final coat, make sure you paint in a single direction.
Do it like a boss.
If you are renovating, or planning to, time to invest. Buy colour books from your favourite paint shops (about £15 a pop). The samples are larger (200mmx70mm typically) and will give you a much better idea of the colour to help your selection. Good luck!