Lovely, lovely, expensive, mine fieldy paint.
It's really hard to figure out where to start when painting a wall. That sounds ridiculous, but the options are endless and the painting also feels endless. Seriously, painting a wall white makes you want to kill yourself part way into the second coat...I learnt that with the bathroom.
Anyway, we need to paint the whole downstairs of our house. It is ALL white at the moment, but it's also scuffed and grubby and depressing. We wanted to add a bit of colour but not go too bonkers as we have a lot of art work, curtain ideas, cushions and what not that are all pretty colourful.
The downstairs of our house is all one room pretty much, as you can see from the floor plan:
...everything is pretty open plan. So we needed to make a paint choice that would basically work for the whole thing...the whole massive room. And it couldn't be white, mainly because that's what we have already and it's pretty cold, but mostly because we would end up dead after the first coat.
After mooching around on the internet and mooching around B&Q we had narrowed it down to the fact that a) we wanted to use Matt Vinyl paint as it's pretty much standard for walls and also shows up less flaws and b) we needed to use a high quality paint so as to reduce the amount of work we would have to put in. As tempting as own brand cheapo paints are, you'll end up having to paint 4 coats and that's a false economy if I ever did see one.
Ben's dad used to be a painter decorator and now works for a company who decorates on a huge level. He knows his shit when it comes to what paint to use. He strongly recommend us using Dulux trade paint. It's thicker and stronger and you can get away with one coat pretty much every time.
So on Saturday we headed off to the Dulux Decorating Centre in Salford. I felt like a bit of a plumb when we first walked in, the same way I feel when I go to a garage to get my car fixed...like I have to be a bit hard core and pretend I know what I am talking about. But Ben jumped in and was all "yeah mate, can we have some tester pots mixed up, yeah cheers"...he puts on a cockney accent when trying to be uber manly.
Anyway long story short, they mixed us up 4 testers, which came to £15 which I believe is a bit more pricey than your average B&Q tester, but we thought it was worth it.
And this is how our wall now looks - we decided on 'Dove' for the wall with the fireplace and 'Swansdown' for the rest of the living room and dining room. Just so you know we picked colours that were on their basic 'Naturals' colour chart and didn't bother getting anything mixed for us specifically. Not this time anyway, the simpler the better for the moment.
I learnt a while back that you should always paint the tester paint on the exact wall you will be using the colour on. It's crazy how different colours can look on different surfaces. We were after a warm grey colour for the fireplace wall, so we painted the tester paint straight on there and then the lighter colour for the rest of the room went on the adjacent wall so we could get a good idea of exactly how it would look.
And THAT is how it's going to look until after Christmas when the painting will begin and we will finally be able to have a cosy living area that doesn't feel like a shed.
As a side note I also painted the kitchen this weekend (while Ben cleaned the house and hoovered - that's how it rolls in our house) but I didn't take any pictures and to be honest it was reasonably uneventful. It was white on white paint (kill me) and it looks pretty much the same, just a little less grubby. I also cut loads of corners and didnt paint on top of the units or behind the fridge...I figured we could get away with it as the kitchen is actually pretty new and the walls were only really marked from when the previous owners moved all their stuff out, so it was more of a touch up job.