Revamp your home inside and out: Spring cleaning tips and colorful ideas

  • 18/10/2023
  • Sponsored by - Resene
Outdoor and indoor flow, entertaining area of a house.
Home painted in Resene Half Tapa, Resene Eighth Tapa and Resene Alabaster. Photo by Mark Heaslip. Photo credit: Supplied

It's spring-cleaning time, and while for some that might mean moving furniture to vacuum those hard-to-reach places, or clearing out the deep freeze, it's important to consider the bigger picture. 

While we often think of cleaning the stuff inside our houses, or cleaning our cars, we don’t tend to clean the outside of our houses, yet they stand out in the weather every day, all year round. 

Remember the exterior of your house 

This year, including your exterior in your spring clean can play a part in getting your whole house ready for summer. Start top down: roof first, then walls, then decks and paths. Cleaning your home’s exterior paintwork will make your home look instantly fresher, with the long-term benefit of helping your paint last longer. 

If that feels like a huge task, never fear, there are some handy products to make it less daunting. Clean your roof with Resene Roof and Metal Wash and use Resene Bio-Cleaner or Resene Paint Prep and Housewash on your exterior paintwork to brighten it up and take care of it. For areas like decks and paths, spray on Resene Deep Clean and then simply leave it to work with the weather to clean your surface. Easy! 

Start with small projects 

Give your DIY confidence a boost by starting with something easy to achieve. Your front door can be a good place to start. Quickly change the look of your exterior with a fresh and cheerful front door colour. 

Citrus hues like Resene Adrenalin and Resene Turbo are popular at the moment, as is the hot pink Resene Smitten. Use a gloss finish such as Resene Enamacryl to help your colour pop. 

Some other smaller projects you can achieve in a weekend include outdoor furniture, fences, or decks. 

Winning walls 

Generally, it is best to repaint a wall rather than trying to touch up lots of marks in the middle of the wall. Touching up paint finishes can be tricky. 

Getting the right finish is key to making your interior decoration sing. One of the most popular indoor finishes is Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen. The wonderful thing about this finish is that unlike normal acrylic paints, which can only be used in dry rooms like living rooms and bedrooms, Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen can also be used in wet areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and laundries, making it a versatile and consistent choice so you can just keep painting from one room to the next. 

Low sheen paint is an excellent choice for walls, as it diffuses the light, making it easier to live with than a shinier finish across a large area. Consider continuing to have a flat finish paint across your ceiling as well as your walls for a restful cocoon of colour. 

You can vary the sheen level of your paints to add a little interest between rooms and adapt to the level of durability needed. Higher sheen paints are usually easier to clean, like Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel. Using glossier paint on trims will help them withstand wear and tear and make it easier for you to wipe off the inevitable fingermarks. 

Floors deserve attention too 

Old, stained floors can easily be refreshed with new stains or stain washes from the Resene Colorwood We Speak Beach collection, which can add a soft wash of colour to soften the appearance of your floor. 

If your floor is too badly marked by a stain, you can paint over it instead. Even floor tiles! This can be a smart choice if you are planning to change your tiles in the future but need a quick refresh in the meantime. 

Wood stains are also extremely popular outside, with weatherboards, fences, decks and furniture all popular options for a stained finish. Always make sure you clean the timber well first with Resene Timber and Deck Wash as any marks on the timber will show through your new stained finish. 

Consider the light when choosing colours 

Paint colours inside will tend to look darker than you might expect, so if you’re tossing up between a couple of choices, go with the lighter colour. For ceilings, go lighter again; it’s best to choose a half or quarter version of your neutral wall colour, as ceilings get less light than walls. The same colour on a wall will look darker on the ceiling. 

Conveniently, the Resene Whites and neutrals collection has up to six strength variations of the most popular colours so you can choose lighter versions for your ceiling. 

When it comes to exteriors, the opposite applies. The bright sun will make colours look lighter than you expect, so if in doubt, go with the darker colour. 

Another crucial factor when it comes to exteriors is the sun. You want to be comfortable throughout the hot months of summer, as well as protect your paint. Dark colours outside can get hot, so if you’re planning to go dark, consider using a Resene CoolColour finish which will help to reflect more heat than the normal colour to keep your paint and surface cooler. It will also help keep bare feet cooler on decks over the sizzling summer. 

Feature wall inspiration 

If your interior paint is in good condition but you want to change things up, a feature wall can be a good place to start to give the room a point of interest. 

“When you choose a feature wall, look for the wall that is the focal point in the room, ideally one that doesn’t have too many windows,” says Karen Warman, Resene Marketing Manager. “Many decorators choose to paint feature walls now, and paint their feature colour over two adjacent walls, rather than just one.” 

You can get inspiration for your feature wall from anywhere – a favourite piece of artwork, a landscape, or a holiday away. Upload a photo of your inspiration to the Resene Colour Palette Generator online and it will suggest a colour palette for you to work from. 

Work from the top down 

However, if your paintwork looks a little worse to wear, then new paintwork is in order. “Work from the top down,” says Warman. “Ceilings first, then walls and lastly the floor.” 

You can refresh most things around your home with paint, including laminates, melamine and old furniture. If you have outdated laminated cabinetry or old furniture that you like the shape of but not the colour, you can easily update it with paint to give it a whole new vibe. Add new handles to your cabinetry along with the new paint finish and you’ll have a completely refreshed look for minimal effort and cost. 

Warman says it always pays to plan your colours first when you’re repainting your whole interior. “A good way to start is to create two collections – one with images of decorated homes you love and the other with images of decorated homes you don’t like.” You’ll soon start to see patterns in what you do and don’t like and can use this to guide your colour choices. When it’s time to paint, check out MasterStroke by Resene, it has plenty of how-to videos and tips from experts to help you master your decorating projects. 

And if you need help choosing your colours or the right products for your place, and for everything you need to get painting and decorating, visit your local Resene ColorShop, or use the free ask an expert service online. 

Article created in partnership with Resene.