Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Guest Post - Respecting The Light: Why You Should Wait To Paint

Whilst I'm moving home, I've asked some lovely blogging ladies to fill you in on all things housey!

Today's post is from Lins of Boo & Maddie, who works in IT and owns a really cool kids clothing boutique, Daisychain Baby. Lins blog features lots of home ideas and tutorials, so I'm glad to have her expertise on painting (as I'm a bit gung ho with these things)!


When we moved into our home back in February 2014, we were both desperate to get underway with changing anything and everything. We bought a beautiful but very neglected 1930s semi-detached in SE London and both the previous owners and the ones before that had really, really “lived” in it

Unfortunately in between putting in an offer and actually picking up the keys, it was a couple of months of one of the wettest winters and we suffered some unexpected damp problems so decided to get the house damp-proofed before we moved in and wow, I had NO idea how messy that process would be.

It left us with a wall of bare plaster in the living room, one in the hallway and one in the dining room and so by the time we moved in, it pretty well resembled a building site which is never what we expected. 

Determined to get underway with our plans, we had a few decorators round to come and give quotes – it would never be the “finished” job because we hadn’t had a chance to think about colours but at least to touch up the shoddy blank white canvas we’d inherited. Neither of us were painters and we didn’t have time.

Armed with quotes, something just seemed to stop us moving forward. As the months went by and other jobs took priority, we lived with all the plaster patches and realised it just wasn’t worth it to pay someone to paint something that would only ever be temporary.

Our little kitchen was in desperate need of a makeover and I realised it would be the perfect opportunity to have a go at painting myself – it was dark red and a lack of light made the walls feel like they were closing in. I chose to paint it white and realised that painting wasn’t so impossible after all, especially if I was only planning something short-term.

With the kitchen painted, I then started realising just how much the light in the house ebbed and flowed at different times of day, and also different seasons. Our living room has a big bay window which floods with light during the morning and has warm hues of yellows and reds. By the afternoon the sun has swung round completely and although it’s still lovely and light, the tones are cooler with more blues and greys.

It’s something I’d never noticed or appreciated before – just how much light can play a part in your decorating decisions and how colours can completely change from one day to the next. We used a Dulux paint called “Misty Mirror” for a mini en-suite makeover and sometimes it looks blue, sometimes grey and sometimes lilac. It’s the perfect colour for the room but wouldn’t necessarily have been my first choice had I rushed in.

Nearly two years on, we still haven’t decided on colour schemes, there’s a lot of other work we need to do to most of the rooms first like replastering, replacing ceilings and floors but I have now got round to covering up all the plaster bare so it at least looks tidy.

Along the way I’ve honed my painting skills and now find it really therapeutic. I’m far too fussy to trust myself to be able to do a final painting job and so when we opted for a dark grey our little 4th bedroom that we turned into an office, I did bite the bullet and pay for someone to come in and do it but the end result is perfect so it was worth it (don’t be afraid to try dark colours in small rooms, the grey we chose makes it look bigger than the white wallpaper that was there before!).

My recommendation would be to anyone who’s moving home, wait to paint. I know it’s easier said than done depending on the state of the house you’re moving into but all my original colour thoughts have completely changed now we’ve spent time here, getting to know the house and all its different qualities, watched the changing light and seasons. You never know, you might just learn a new skill along the way.



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