At the change of season thoughts turn to a spring clean for proud homeowners, but go a step further and add a fresh coat of paint and you may well add at least five percent extra value to your property at the same time, according to property experts.
“It’s my number one way to instantly add value to a house,” says seasoned renovator Cherie Barber. “As a general rule of thumb, every dollar you spend on painting should add at least an extra dollar on top of your investment to the value of your home. The key to successfully doing this is to choose colour schemes that appeal to the majority, not the minority of buyers.”
But appealing to the majority doesn’t have to mean “bland”, according to Dulux colour expert Bree Leech. “It is great to have a neutral space but it is important to have some mood,” she says.
Seasonal or trend colours are a guide for anyone looking to update whether to sell or to stay, says Inspirations Paint and Colour consultant Susan Lenehan. “If you have a modern house, fashion and trends play a big part in that style,” says Lenehan.
When advising her clients where to start with a new colour scheme or colour makeover, Lenehan says the kitchen is a good starting point.
“If it’s open plan, the kitchen is really the centre of the home, so when people choose the colour of their benches and tiles and so on, those colours affect the rest of the home.”
Lenehan cautions against choosing paint colours simply from swatches in the store and advises taking those paint swatches home, then narrowing the selection down and buying sample pots to test the colour on a larger area of your walls.
“The light in different rooms in the home and at different times of the day changes so buying sample pots is a good idea,” she says. “The secret is to use the swatch as a guide but buy a sample pot and paint a piece of card, stick it to the wall and move it around. Look at it in the afternoon and evening to see if you like it at any time of day.
“If you already have coloured walls, use a sheet of white paper as a border to separate the new colour from the background then paint a sample section in the middle of the paper.”
Dulux trend expert Bree Leech says new spring colours are on trend with the change of season and will continue to look current in homes for years to come.
“Lots of people get inspired by what’s happening around them so with paint there’s more green at the moment, sky blues and yellows, like we see in nature,” she says. While green is a colour quite commonly used, blues and yellows are a bolder choice for homeowners looking to experiment further, she adds.
“We’re seeing a lot of the blues being used as a strong block colour, also layering different blues in a space. You might have a blue rug, different blue couch, cushions or colour on the wall,” Leech says.
“There’s a great palette of blues to use in décor at the moment so I think people feel comfortable using blues, but it’s quite a strong colour and can be really effective. Blues fit a lot of different spaces so it’s a very flexible colour to work with as well. Deeper blues make a space feel very cosy but the much brighter blues are about making a great bright space.
“Yellow is also a very strong colour going forward. It’s a colour people need to have confidence to use as it has a lot of impact, but again it’s inspired by nature.”
A resurgence in using textured paints is also a reflection of the return to nature. Suede and stone finishes, such as those from Dulux’s Design range, can be applied over existing paint or brick with a roller or brush just as easily as any other paint finish. “Because of the texture, these finishes do relate back to nature and are useful to blend indoor and outdoor spaces,” says Leech. “They’re another great way to add depth to a room with a bit of texture.”
While inspiration begs for action, Bunnings paint buyer Mick Heanue advises thorough preparation when starting any paint job. “Painting takes time and rushed jobs tend to look scrappy and hurried,” he says.
“Most paints require more than one coat and, including drying time, the process can take up to three days, so be prepared for the job and remember you will need drop sheets to cover carpet and furniture to protect from paint.”
Most paint suppliers have a number of tools to help you prepare, including DIY videos and calculators to gauge how much paint you will need for a project, he says. And don’t treat it like a chore but enjoy the experience, he says. “Painting is a fun job that can be completed either individually or as a family, so get your overalls on and enjoy.”