The Most Common Painting Mistakes

The colour of a room sets its mood and affects the eye-appeal of your furniture and accessories. Professional decorators advise against the following mistakes:

  1. “Matchy-Matchy”

Nothing’s duller than a room with walls that match the upholstery that match the carpet. Boring harmony is worse than no harmony at all. Instead, look for complementary colours, and don’t be afraid of contrasting elements.

  1. A White Ceiling

This one surprises most people. The problem is that white paint has a hint of grey, which can make the whole room look dreary. Instead, choose an off-white shade such as ivory or cream.

  1. Too Much Of A Good Thing

Bright or dramatic colours can make a room exciting. But don’t overdo it. You need to strike a balance between vivid colours and neutrals such as ecru, grey, or white.

  1. Forgetting About Finishes

The finish of paint—whether matte, semi-gloss, gloss, or high-lustre—can change the way the colour looks. Shiny surfaces reflect light in a single direction; flat surfaces reflect light in all directions. This means colours can appear different in matte versus high-lustre finishes.

  1. Forgetting About Lighting

Our perception of colour is affected by changes in lighting. Outdoor and indoor light can make a colour appear differently. So buy small samples of paint, test them where you intend to use them, and look at them under both daylight and artificial light.

  1. Making Each Room An Island

Think of rooms as parts of a whole. You don’t want one area to be ultra modern with metallics, the next to be formal with pastels, and the third to be nautical with bright colours. Interior design from room to room shouldn’t give the impression of multiple homes. Instead, think of the whole house as one unit.

  1. Making Each Room The Same

This is the opposite of mistake #4. You want variety from one room to the next. Otherwise the overall decor will seem monotonous and stiff. Don’t reject the notion of unity for the house as a whole, but also don’t think each room has to be a variation on the same theme.

  1. Looking For “Paint-Colour-Nirvana”

As you look at one paint colour after another, anxiety can build up. You may start to feel you have to find the perfect colour, the one you want to live with forever. Don’t be afraid to allow yourself to make mistakes. Remember, paint colour is easy to change. So don’t get caught up in the search for the perfect hue. Instead, relax and have fun!