Which paint is best for which surface? We asked an expert

Natalie Cornish
·2-min read
Photo credit: Farrow and Ball
Photo credit: Farrow and Ball

From Red Online

Lots of us turned to DIY this year to make our homes feel as comfortable and cosy as possible whilst spending more time inside.

One of the biggest questions when decorating is 'which paint is best for which surface?' So we asked our interiors columnist Kate Watson-Smyth, AKA award-winning interiors stylist and blogger Mad about the House, to share her expertise.

WHICH PAINT IS BEST FOR WHICH SURFACE?

The best paint for woodwork and walls

'It's traditional to use emulsion on walls and eggshell or gloss on woodwork (emulsion won't stick to woodwork). That said, fashionable chalky matt paint marks easily and you can't wipe it down, so avoid for halls and high-traffic areas.

'Instead, opt for something with a light sheen which is wipeable. For a modern look, try high gloss in a dark shade to give a luxurious, lacquered feel in a sitting room or for a practical finish in a hall.'

We like Farrow & Ball's Estate Emulsion in Inchyra Blue, £47.95 for 2.5L, above photo.

Photo credit: Paul Taylor
Photo credit: Paul Taylor

The best paint for ceilings

'Eggshell on the ceiling will also reflect light and is more forgiving than gloss, which shows every lump and bump.'

When it comes to choosing the right paint colour for every room, self-confessed colour addicts Jane Rockett and Lucy St George, the duo behind online interiors emporium Rockett St George, say there’s no easier way to update your home than with bold and beautiful paints.

HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT PAINT COLOUR

They have three rules for finding the perfect paint colour, then it's all about getting tester pots to see what works:

FIND YOUR PERSONAL PALETTE

Ask yourself a series of questions about your personal style: what colours do you like to wear and what colours make you feel happy?

Photo credit: Unsplash
Photo credit: Unsplash

CONSIDER THE ROOM IN QUESTION

Do you want to relax and be peaceful here? Choose soft colours such as pink and peach. Is the room you’re painting a place for work? Choose cooler tones such as blues and greens.

For somewhere to entertain and have fun, think about brighter shades such as yellow or orange. The colours for a bedroom should be different to those you use in a kitchen. Think about daylight in the room, and when it gets the sun.

TAKE INSPIRATION

Don’t head straight for a paint chart, but look at your list and find out how each shade has been used in fashion, films and art: it’s easy to take inspiration from the candy hues of Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel, for example, or the saturated primary colours of a Hockney canvas.

READ MORE ABOUT CHOOSING THE RIGHT PAINT COLOUR HERE

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