Pretty much nothing beats a coat of fresh white paint, but there's more to getting the perfect shade of pale than you might think - here's how to pick the right white before starting your next DIY project.
A world of whites and neutrals
Think white paint is all the same? Think again. There's a reason Resene has literally hundreds of shades of white on offer.
"There really are hundreds!" says Resene Colour expert Rebecca Long. "The Resene Whites & Neutrals collection is made up of 28 palette cards, with 12 individual colours on each card, organised into colour 'families' or varying strengths of the one colour."
And definitely don't underestimate the difference the right - or wrong - white paint will make. Long says the subtle variations seen throughout the Resene Whites & Neutrals collection have the ability to transform your home in a variety of ways.
Before you start, consider whether you want your home to feel cooler, cosier, warmer or brighter, and what - and where - you're planning to paint those whites.
"For example, ceilings get less light than walls so the same colour on a ceiling will look darker than on a wall," she explains. "If you want your ceiling to look the same strength or lighter than your wall, choose a half or quarter strength of your Resene wall colour."
If you think a colour you're looking at on a Resene colour chart may be too dark for your interior, choose a lighter colour. Colours will look more intense when they are painted onto a large indoor area.
When painting outside, however, the opposite rule applies. If in doubt, go for a darker shade, as the sun will make it appear lighter.
Shades of pale
For those understandably feeling a little overwhelmed by all those similar but different hues, Long offers some on-trend tips.
"For a crisp, minimalist look, you can't go past the classic Resene Black White and Resene Alabaster. Resene Quarter Iron and Resene Half Concrete will help your north-facing room feel cooler even on the hottest day and timeless creams such as Resene Rice Cake and Resene Half Carrara will bring warmth paired with rich timbers and cosy décor."
"Resene Biscotti's elegant, biscuit beige undertone brings warmth into family homes and Resene Half Thorndon Cream effortlessly blends cream with a touch green for a fresh approach."
What are some of Resene's current top sellers in white/neutrals, and why? "Subtle nuances are being celebrated with just a touch of colour being introduced," says Long. "Resene Merino has a subtle, warm grey undertone that offers a sophisticated, modern warmth, and Resene Rice Cake is a gentle cream that offers warmth without appearing too yellow."
See Resene's latest top 20 colour list.
When you are choosing whites, rather than using the identical colour and paint everywhere, use different sheen levels to add extra visual interest. The higher the sheen, the brighter your white will look and the easier it will be to wipe clean. The lower the sheen, the earthier your white will look and the more it will help to hide imperfections in the surface.
Low sheen paint, like Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen is popular for interior walls, and Resene Lumbersider or Resene Sonyx 101 semi-gloss for outdoor use. Contrast with a higher sheen level on trims and joinery with Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss or Resene Enamacryl gloss.
Pro tip: When using a Resene testpot, always paint all of the testpot (two coats) onto a very large piece of A2 card leaving a border around the edge. You can then move it around the room during the day and night to see how it looks. The border will help you see the true colour and not be distracted by the existing colour on your walls.
Roll the painted sample so the colour is innermost and look down into it. This will give you an idea of how the colour will multiply if it is used on all walls.
Long also recommends always choosing the surfaces that have the least choice first - such as your carpet, flooring, benchtops and ceiling colour - before choosing your paint colours.
This article was created for Resene.