Carefully applied interior paint is a renovator's secret weapon: it can personalise previously dull spaces on a shoestring budget. Next-generation specialty formulas allow you to wield the paintbrush throughout your home, and deliver effects that imitate far more expensive surfaces.
Light-starved Scandinavians love white floorboards for the purity and brightness they provide. Feast Watson Floor Paint in Satin White will give interiors this same calm foundation. Although the treatment is mark resistant, white isn't very forgiving, so be prepared to do touch-ups or go for a darker hue. Feast Watson Floor Paint can be tinted in a number of on-trend muted colours such as dusty greys and hazy blues.
Renovating for profit's Cherie Barber says tile paint can completely rejuvenate an old bathroom. “These are not your normal household paints; they are formulated with special properties to be incredibly durable,” she says. White Knight Tile Paint has a glossy finish and can be used on ceramic wall tiles, even in the shower recess, and on melamine or laminate if shine is required.
Tile paint also keeps the Pandora's box of unforeseen expenses closed. “A lot of houses have tiles from the 60s and 70s that are weird and wacky but structurally in good nick,” says Cherie. “When you rip out these tiles you will need to replace the waterproofing and you also risk finding asbestos. The project can end up costing many thousands of dollars.
With sanding, sugar soap, priming and a few coats of laminate paint, you can give worn-out cabinets a new colour scheme in just a weekend. White Knight Laminate Paint has a satin finish and can be tinted to any Taubmans colour. Cherie recently used deep grey Taubmans Oil Shale on cabinets with white benchtops. “The dark colour can disguise any of the imperfections of old joinery,” she says.
Chalkboard paint can turn a blank kitchen nook into a practical home for shopping lists, menus, messages and entertainment for kids. In children's rooms, it will refresh furniture, toy boxes and whole walls. The Dulux Design Effects range offers classic schoolroom black or coloured chalkboard, which can be tinted to any shade. Take the concept up a notch with Dulux Duramax Magnetic Chalkboard spray. Another clever finish is Rust-Oleum Magnetic Primer, an undercoat that lets you turn walls into magnet-ready noticeboards.
Like CGI for your walls, next-generation concrete-look paints are so realistic they'll instantly immerse you in an industrial setting. Dulux Concrete Effect comes in two shades: the traditional concrete grey Pale Elements, and Onyx Edge, a darker and more moody shade. As with any textured effect paint, using the right tools for the job will make all the difference. Dulux interior product manager Bonnie Jenkinson recommends using a 14mm to 18mm nap synthetic roller and steel trowel.
Warm and lustrous gold, copper and brass surfaces are also having an interiors moment, which will continue for some time yet as Art Deco influences make a comeback, according to Bonnie. “It's the perfect time to upcycle a side table, picture or mirror frame in a metallic effect,” she says. But don't skip the basics, she warns: first fill in cracks and imperfections, and wash down surfaces. “Proper preparation of the surface is always key to achieving a flawless paint finish, especially when using metallic finish paints,” she explains.
The counter-trend to glitzy metallics, distressed metals are equally on point. Rust-Oleum Universal Metallic Paint & Primer In One spray paints in Oil Rubbed Bronze or Flat Soft Iron can turn generic doorknobs, light fittings and cabinetry hardware into classic talking points.
Chalked and ultra-matt paints can provide a pretty patina in pastel shades over just about any clean surface (laminate and shiny surfaces will need to be given a light sand to rough them up a little). These effects dry to a velvety smooth matt finish, giving ordinary timber furniture that chic Paris flea-market look. They can be brushed or rolled on, or bought in a spray can. Dial up the antique effect by distressing the finish with medium-grit sandpaper, focusing on the edges. Try Rust-Oleum Chalked Decorative Glaze to fast track your way to a lovely old-world patina.
If you find you have left over paint, there are plenty of projects you can undertake.
Photo credit: Mike Baker, Getty Images; Rust-Oleum; Amelia Stanwix, GAP Interiors/Dan Duchars