Papers and Paints: pitch-perfect and traditional
Get superb-quality paints and exquisite colours from Papers and Paints (papersandpaints.co.uk) which has been going for years in Chelsea and has a deservedly devoted fan base.
Premium firms make sublime paints using very good pigments, and sell hand-painted colour cards so you can be sure you like the shade. This saves painting your own swatches, so it’s worth it.
This season's hottest new paint colours
This season's hottest new paint colours
Packed with pigment: a strong, stunning blue deserves to be splashed across a generous-sized space. Panelling in Azurite water-based eggshell, priced £25 for 750ml, £70 for 2.5L, from Edward Bulmer Natural Paint (edwardbulmerpaint.co.uk)
2/17 What's new?
Superhero skyline: feeling artistic? Give the kids somewhere for their imaginations to soar with a combination of Striking Cyan and Rich Black endurance matt paints, priced at £26.48 for 2.5L, and 250ml tester pots of Polished Pebble and White Cotton for £1 (dulux.co.uk)
3/17 What's new?
Cool contrast: Yeabridge Green walls and doors, opening to room in Vardo, both estate emulsion, £39.50 per 2.5L; Shadow White woodwork in estate eggshell, £55 per 2.5L; floor paint in Manor House Gray, £59 per 2.5L (farrow-ball.com)
© James Merrell
4/17 What's new?
Upcycle: give old furniture a new lease of life with geometric stripes. This chest teams Beige White with Soft Shadow, both from Crown, £14.99 for 750ml of non-drip satin (crownpaint.co.uk)
5/17 What's new?
Lift your spirits: walls in Sun-drenched City, £19.49 for 2.5L, and block shapes of East Village, Ballet Shoes, Beauty Queen, Happy Daze, Mustard Jar and Copper with a Rebel border, £1.49 for 40ml tester pots (crownpaint.co.uk)
6/17 What's new?
Earn your stripes: Crown Breatheasy Standard Clay White walls with feature stripe in Shocking Pink, both in matt and silk emulsion, £17.99 for 2.5L (homebase.co.uk)
7/17 What's new?
Stunning feature wall: cover your walls in Spotlight matt emulsion, £19.49 for 2.5L. Create your feature with Rebel matt on wall, £18.49 for 1.25L, with a bold border of English Fire, £1.49 for 40ml tester pot and finish the shelves with Tibetan Gold and Jet Black non-drip gloss, £15.49 for 750ml (crownpaint.co.uk)
8/17 What's new?
Warm and inviting shades: finish a feature wall in Addiction, £18.49 for 1.25L and complement shelves in Grey Putty in matt and silk emulsion, £1.49 for tester pots or £19.49 for 2.5L (crownpaint.co.uk)
9/17 What's new?
Create a home office: Crown suggests painting an alcove or a feature wall darker than the rest of the room to highlight an area for your desk. This is new Peek-a-Boo Blue, £18.49 for 1.25L emulsion (crownpaint.co.uk)
10/17 What's new?
Blue sky thinking: for children's rooms use this super hard-wearing Endurance+ paints in matt Blue Babe and Jasmine White, from £20.99, and tester pots of Goose Down and Polished Pebble, from £1 (dulux.co.uk)
11/17 Go architectural
Stunning combination: Lamp Black intelligent matt on wall, £45 for 2.5L, teamed with Shallows floor paint, £61 for 2.5L (littlegreene.com)
12/17 Go architectural
Going to extremes: Portland Stone Dark Intelligent Eggshell on wall panelling, £54.50 for 2.5L; chair in best-selling Atomic Red Intelligent Gloss, £27 per 1L (littlegreene.com)
13/17 Go architectural
Striking effect: paint a two-inch band along the top of a skirting board for a splash of colour. Walls in matt Grey Teal, complemented with a bright matt Marigold stripe, from £26.49 for 2.5L (littlegreene.com)
14/17 Go architectural
Standout shades: score with doors in a sunny shade. Little Greene’s brightest yellow is Mister David, £28 per litre of traditional oil gloss (littlegreene.com)
Universally useful shade: this wall is finished in Edward Bulmer Natural Paint White Lead emulsion, £40 for 2.5L (edwardbulmerpaint.co.uk)
Counterpoint: white pieces make the most of elegant, on-trend greys. This is Inferior Grey, £40 for 2.5L of emulsion (edwardbulmerpaint.co.uk)
Keep it modern: Edward Bulmer's Fine Grey, £40 for 2.5L, will give you an on-trend, clean finish (edwardbulmerpaint.co.uk)
Papers and Paints, run by Patrick Baty, who advises historic houses and palaces on colour, divides its pitch-perfect paints into ranges.
The Historic range has some incredibly vibrant colours with evocative names such as Della Robbia Blue, Pale Majolica Yellow and Sèvres Green. Its Thirties and Fifties selections are so gorgeous that the hand-painted swatches look edible. These are fantastic if you love strong colour.
The Traditional range features colours used by English house painters over the centuries, including superb neutrals. Lovely to work with, the paint costs from £38.40 for 2.5L of matt emulsion. Its paints are water-based, though eggshell and gloss also come in oil.
Edward Bulmer: gorgeous greys
Edward Bulmer’s (edwardbulmerpaint.co.uk) well-chosen range of 72 oil-based paints and distempers go on like a dream. Compared with other brands, these well-made paints are, as a group, chromatically relatively sober. There are some really lovely greys — bang on trend at the moment — that work well in both historic and modern interiors. Fine Grey is worth a look.
If you want your home to recall a Dutch still life, this is the brand for you. The website is very good. Prices start from £40 for 2.5L of matt emulsion.
Little Greene: Architectural Paints
Until recently, the paintmaker Little Greene was not on most people’s radars. Now it has a smart new showroom in New Cavendish Street, W1.
Next month it will relaunch the Paint and Paper Library, with its so-called “Architectural Paints”, which were developed by David Oliver, from whom Little Greene bought the company last year.
The architectural range has five tones, marked I-V, of each of its 19 basic colours, so that you can use grades of one colour for particular effects.
Paint a wall one tone, a cornice another and the ceiling another yet. The system ensures that they harmonise.
Among Little Greene’s regular paints, its five best-selling colours include sizzling, orangey Atomic Red and the soft, deep, warm Hicks
Blue, fantastic in a bedroom with crisp white bed linen; or use as a feature wall.
Paint the guest loo Atomic Red — visitors will love it. From £38 for 2.5L (matt emulsion).
Farrow & Ball: nine fresh new colours
Farrow & Ball has launched nine new colours to celebrate its 70th year. This widely loved brand (farrow-ball.com), which sells only water-based paints, revealed the new additions to its appealing 132-shade range last month.
Available in all finishes, the new colours have an emphasis on freshly fashionable drabs and greys. The darker tones work well on their own for elegance, or counterpoint them with whites or brights — in both paint and furnishings — for a contemporary look.
The names of the new nine are historic and British, and include Drop Cloth, Worsted, Cromarty (a misty green-white), Yeabridge Green (a Georgian green, good in a bathroom or sitting room), plus a good strong teal called Vardo.
The wide range of Farrow & Ball finishes includes estate emulsion at £39.50 for 2.5L, through to gloss and floor paint. The company also makes casein distemper — a traditional milk protein-based paint with a soft, chalky finish — from £47 for 2.5L, and limewash, from £46 for 2.5L.
Dulux: tough paints for kid's rooms
Dulux Magic (dulux.co.uk) offers a really tough new water-based paint suitable for children’s rooms and play areas. Called Endurance+, it is 20 times stronger than regular emulsion, and even crayon wipes off it. It comes in 14 “playful” colours, so use it for simple murals in children’s bedrooms. From £20.99.
Dulux has some great ideas for children’s rooms that anyone just a bit artistic can try. Each uses a maximum of four colours. Try its Superhero, Jungle, or Storybook bedroom designs. The company’s clever Magic White, meanwhile, goes on pale pink and fades to white in an hour. So if you’ve ever had trouble seeing where you just painted, this is the answer. From £18.98.
Crown: using colour to contrast
Crown (crownpaint.co.uk), a tried and trusted and also an innovative brand, has some good ideas for using contrasting colours.
It suggests painting a piece of furniture in a geometric pattern of different tones for instant upcycling, using masking tape to get the lines straight. Or paint a two-inch band along the top of a skirting board for a striking effect in a hall. A niche or alcove painted a darker colour than the rest of the room creates a mini-office area for a desk.
Crown’s new Hall and Stairs matt is, like Dulux’s Endurance Plus, “20-times more scrubbable” than ordinary emulsion. From £26.49 for 2.5L.