Years ago, paint was paint. One kind looked, smelled, was applied and eventually dried much like another. Things are different now. Besides oil paints, you can choose from a new set of paints. It'll pay you to know about them. • There are water paints you can use outside. (You clean your brushes under the faucet and use the garden hose to get spatters off the shrubbery.) • There are finishes so tough they withstand even attacks from the neighbors' children. • There are paints that dry so fast you start the second coat as soon as you finish putting on the first. • There are colors in glittering confusion. You can put it around a room and probably follow immediately with the finish coat. It can be applied with brush or roller. Water-thinned interior paints are calcimine, casein, resin-emulsion, and gloss water paints. Calcimine consists of powdered whiting and clay mixed with an animal-glue binder and a preservative. It cannot be recoated, but can be easily washed off before redecorating.
There is still no standard labelling scheme for paint. The blue globe label, pioneered by B&Q, led to VOC reduction on the mass market and has been adopted by other brands, while the European Ecolabel, recognised in 15 EU member states, looks like a flower and appears on brands such as Earthborn. Germany also has a Blue Angel label and there is a green Nordic Swan as well. You will find more detailed information on most of the paint company's websites, as well as a wealth of practical and design advice. Feel free to email me if you have questions at the email addresses below. But most important, you'll find that with each painting you'll get better and better. Carry forward everything you learn from each work and eventually you'll have real talent! But only if you keep at it. And don't worry about people telling you you're crazy. They told that to van Gogh too! Sweet justice Vincent, sweet justice. He's certainly getting the last laugh, isn't he? And the world will know who Vincent van Gogh was for the rest of time. Not a bad gig. Complementary colors are opposites, and if you look at a color wheel, they are directly across from each other. While complementary colors may seem kind of mysterious to a novice, you just have to bring to mind Christmas to find a great example that is familiar to everyone, red and green.By simply making these colors a little paler, you can make this color palette work really well. Color tones are important, because rust and moss, while still being red and green, do not scream 'Christmas'. If your choice of tones is bold, you will create an eye popping design. However, it is common to get off course. Malabar and Designers Guild offer some striking brights while the new Shades of Sanderson comprises 120 colours tailored to Sanderson's collections. If you are aiming for a more subtle backdrop that will flow through several rooms, it's wise to stick to neutral shades. Kevin McCloud's Elements of Colour for Fired Earth works especially well with our cool, northern light.