Creative Fix,  Interiors Fix

Big Changes With Little Paint

With everyone and their mother getting stuck into DIY, the chances are you’re finding it tricky to get hold of some paint. And, even if you source some, you may not want to pay the delivery charges (some of which have escalated since lockdown) or go and collect it. So, I’m going to show you a few ideas that you’ll need only a small amount of paint for, but that are guaranteed to make a big impact.

If you’re desperate to start a project to keep yourself busy and change up your interior, then you don’t necessarily need a five-litre can of Farrow & Ball’s finest. It may be that you have some leftover paint from a past project, a tin that you changed your mind about or never got around to using, or even a few tester pots that you’re itching to use.

So, where to start. Firstly, let’s start with those projects where you have some emulsion but not enough for a whole room. You could try a pattern on one or two walls – stripes, spots, graphic shapes, they’ll all take up less paint and all you need is some good masking tape and lots of creativity.

Striped walls with a chair and cushions
This may be wallpaper, but stripes can easily be painted onto a wall. Furniture and accessories, all Marks & Spencer
Colour blocking paint ideas in blue

Colour blocking can spread across a door or another wall. Wall in Powder Blue matt emulsion, from £14 for 2.5l, and Palm Springs, from £14.50 for 1.25l, all Crown

If you’ve got enough paint to do a wall, why not make that wall your ceiling? It’s a great way of highlighting any architectural features, like mouldings, and adding colour to your room. You can bring the colour to down onto your walls – maybe to your coving – or give it a sharp edge and end it at the ceiling edge. Choose darker colours to give the illusion of lower ceilings, and lighter colours to make ceilings appear higher.

Painted ceiling of period home with colour blocking
Turn to your ‘fifth wall’ and paint your ceiling in an eye-catching colour, like this one in Muga, £48.50 for 2.5 litres Pure Flat emulsion, Paint & Paper Library
Pink colour block ceiling
You don’t have to paint the whole ceiling either. Why not carry your wall paint on up for a colour block on the ceiling, like this one, painted in Dulux’s Pressed Petal?

Don’t have a headboard in the bedroom? Paint one instead using a different colour to your walls. It creates a ‘frame’ around your bed and adds visual interest. Why not add in a few new cushions in this colour and you’ve got yourself a very low-budget new look…

Painted headboard behind bed in grey colour blocking
There’s no need for a large headboard when you can paint one yourself! The main wall is painted in Slate IV, while the darker colour block is Sharkskin, both £48.50 for 2.5l Pure Flat emulsion, Paint & Paper Library

Then there’s the details, like door and window frames, doors themselves (and the insides of them), skirting, picture rails and coving, and even shelves and inside drawers. You can choose whether to paint them in the same colour as your walls, a paler or darker version of that colour, or a complete contrast to make your new painted details the star of the show.

Brodsworth wallpaper and blue paint from Little Greene
Here, the skirting has been matched to the colours in the Brodsworth wallpaper and painted in Marine Blue, both Little Greene
bright yellow painted windowsill
Paint the inside of your windowsill in a bright zesty colour for added sunshine, like this one from The Aesthetics of Joy blog
Pink painted Shelves with colour block paint effect behind
Paint shelves in an ombre effect and colour block the wall behind. Photo by Cody Guilfoyle.

Lastly, there’s the reallllyyyyy creative element, when you’ve got limited paint but just fancy doing something totally different and unique. Whether’s it’s a freehand painted mural, a different paint effect on your walls, a piece of furniture that you decide to revamp, or even painting your own artworks (or frames), the braver you are, the more impact it will have.


Happy painting!

Painted spoons for a DIY craft make
Why not add a painted ‘collection’ to your walls. These spoons are an easy DIY make from A Joyful Riot.

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