Knowing the principles of colour can help change the look and feel of a room for the price of a few gallons of paint and a free weekend to paint it yourself. Colour and special paint effects can create unique patterns or designs that everyone will think was achieved by hiring a pro. Take a close look at various colour schemes and try glazing with radiator paints to add a unique design and colour to your room.
Pale shades of paint brighten an area and make it look larger. The white in these shades reflects light to brighten dark hallways and rooms. This is especially useful for rooms with a northern exposure, which receive the least sunlight. White ceilings seem higher that non-white ceilings.
Dark colours make a room cozy and intimate. These colours usually are used in quiet places such as studies and dens. Dark colours also can disguise architectural faults such as uneven walls.
Blues, violets, greens and grays in a variety of tints and shades provide a cool and serene feeling to a room. Reds, oranges and yellows warm a room.
Use a Colour Wheel
A colour wheel helps identify the relationships between colours. Red, yellow and blue are primary colours, while orange, green and violet are secondary colours, which are created by combining two primary colours. Tertiary colours are a mixture of a primary and a secondary colour. Home centers and paint stores should have colour wheels available to help mix and match paints.
Several different special effects can be created with rollers, sponges and other painting tools. One is known as glazing, which involves applying a thin coat of transparent or opaque paint in a different colour over a base coat to soften its effect. A glaze can be created by rolling on paint and then partially blotting it off with paintbrushes or rags. Or the top coat can be applied with a sponge or rag to create a pattern. Use latex glazes with latex paints and alkyd glazes with alkyd paints. A sponge adds the glaze in a subtle mottled pattern. An optional second colour glaze, with a fresh and clean sponge, can be applied after the first glaze is dry.
Stippling works best with alkyd paint. When the glaze coat is still tacky, press a coarse paintbrush against it with quick and firm jabs. The base colour will be revealed and the process will deliver a textured look. This effect softens colours. A professional stippling brush is available in art supply stores. Softer brushes will create a mottled finish.
Rag rolling is best used with alkyd paint. After applying the glaze, blot it off in an irregular pattern that will provide a consistent look over an entire wall. Sharply contrasting colours, such as applying burgundy over tan, will create a bold look.