Home Painting Tips From A Color Expert

  David Oliver has become known around the world as the creative director of Paint & Paper Library, finding commercial success with his practical range of Architectural Colours; a complementary colour-by-number system for ceiling, cornice, wall and woodwork, using chromatic colours of a similar tonal weight. The color maestro, David Oliver, shared his favorite tips for picking the perfect hue in your home with Veranda magazine. David has a background in Fine Art and studied at the National Art School in Sydney. He has exhibited in Dublin, Madrid, New York, Sydney, Stockholm and London. He is also well known for his fabric and wallpaper designs! Here's what David said about painting your home to WOW not bore. 

Choosing THE Color

Choosing a paint color is one of the most difficult aspects of decoration to get right, as it has as much to do with the light source as the pigments used, and neither is constant. Using sample pots can help you avoid expensive mistakes, but you need the patience of an oyster to see how the color and light change from wet to dry and during the day and at night.One method I find helpful is to paint the inside of a wooden storage or cardboard shoe box. This helps predict how a particular color will change in a room with the different kinds of light throughout the day.

Defining The Doorways
Doors can be treated in the same way as paneling. If there's molding on them, then they can be painted in three different tones. I generally like for doorways to be darker or in a different material than the walls. They could be glossy, they could be veneer, they could even be painted three different darker shades. Doorways mark the transitional zones of the house, so when you define them in this way, it helps you navigate your way through the house.
Subtle Variation Of Color

A subtle variation of color is an effective way of uniting all the architectural elements of a room. It's more visually pleasing than when everything is painted in the same color, and it gives the architectural elements on the walls more detail. So with my paints I like to use the palest shade, No. 1, on the ceiling, No. 2 on the molding, No. 3 on the trim and No. 4 or 5 on the walls. The real beauty of this system is its prescriptive simplicity and creative versatility. It can be applied to any period or type of architecture. My color scales can benefit anyone, from experienced designers to individual homeowners who are addicted to color and passionate about paint.

Using Dark Colors
I like for baseboards to be darker than the floor and walls. My personal preference is completely dark, even black. A lot of people worry about darker colors making a room feel smaller, but in fact, I find the opposite is true—that darker colors help blur the boundaries of the room and create a sense of infinity. The boundaries, particularly at night, tend to disappear into the shadows.

Paint The Hidden Places

Sometimes there are colors you adore but haven't quite found the courage or an appropriate place to use. Why not use them to paint those places or surfaces usually hidden from everyday view, such as the inside of your kitchen cupboards or cutlery drawers? It will make a refreshing change from the off-white color usually used through habit or conformity.


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