The start of a new year often sees people making changes to the way they look and act – maybe it’s a fresh haircut, a diet regime, or a new gym membership. The same goes for people’s homes, with the start of a new year finding us wanting to redecorate, renovate and refresh our space.

The good news for those with limited budgets, is that you can make sweeping changes to your home with just a bit of paint and some creativity.

Paint has come a long way. From using clay, berries, and flowers to produce the first paints and binding them with animal fat, cow’s milk and eggs, the paint industry has evolved hugely, and now there is a paint for every application and project. With so many choices to make, and so many projects to tackle, knowing where to start and the best types of paint to use is important.

Orlando Luis, CEO of independent hardware chain, Brights Hardware, offers some ideas of easy and effective paint projects you can undertake in your home, and the best products for the job. 

“Almost anything can be painted these days – from walls to floors, tiles to kitchen cabinets, plastic garden furniture to metal burglar bars, and many things in between. For an instant lift and refresh, painting the walls of your home – inside and outside – is highly recommended. One can also choose to paint an accent wall in a differing colour – a popular trend in home design these days. Or use a stencil to create a striking design on an accent wall.”

“While you are on that stepladder with roller in hand why not consider a fresh coat of paint on the ceiling,” says Luis. “Gone are the days when ceilings were expected to be white, now you can opt for a pop of colour, or paint the ceilings the same colour as the walls – a paint trick that makes rooms look bigger.”

There are many good paints to choose from when it comes to painting your interior walls and ceilings – such as Duram’s Walls & Ceiling or Classic Matt, Dulux’s Rock Grip Wall & Ceiling or Luxurious Silk, Plascon’s Double Velvet or Wall & All, Prominent Paint’s Wall & Ceiling – the list goes on.

For exteriors one needs something more durable such as Duram’s Armatex or Wall Tech, Dulux’s Rock Grip Supertex or Weatherguard, or Plascon’s Micatex or Polvin.

Luis advises that bathroom and kitchen makeovers can also be done cost-effectively with paint as there are products on the market that allow you to paint over wall and floor tiles. “It is important to prepare the surface properly with a suitable primer before applying the paint, and apply each coat lightly, rather than thick layers which can later peel off.” 

Good tile primers are Duram’s Primex, Plascon’s Tile and Melamine Primer, or Dulux’s Supergrip primer. When it comes to the paint itself, use an oil-based paint which is usually more durable. There are many brands on the market that sell oil-based paints in South Africa – Duram, Plascon, and Dulux all offer their versions in a range of colours.

“The same primer and paint used on tiles can also be used to re-paint melamine kitchen cabinets,” says Luis. “Replacing kitchens is hugely expensive, so an affordable option is a fresh coat of paint and some new handles for an instant kitchen makeover.”

According to Luis, chalk paint is also a good option when painting melamine cupboards, but be sure to seal it afterwards with a good quality varnish such as Fired Earth’s Glaze Coat or Plascon’s Paint Effect Glaze Coat.

“Moving away from the structural parts of your home, painting old items of furniture is another great way to refresh your space. Junk shops finds as well as hand-me-down items can be completely overhauled with paint in a myriad of colours to suite your décor style and mood. And it isn’t just solid wood furniture that can be painted,” says Luis. “Modern products allow one to paint laminate furniture or pieces that are veneered.”

A popular option for painting furniture is chalk paints, which are available in a range of colours from a variety of suppliers, such as Rustoleum, Harlequin, Fired Earth, and Granny B’s. Chalk paint goes on easily and dries fast and does not require primer in most instances. But it does need to be sealed afterwards with a suitable wax or glaze coat.

After tackling the inside of your home, and with summer in full swing, why not look at how you can spruce up your outdoor entertainment area?

Luis advises that a great way to instantly improve your backyard braai area is to paint the concrete floor. “Here one can opt for a flat colour, or you can choose to paint the concrete in a tile pattern perhaps, with two alternating colours.  Another idea is to stencil a pattern or design onto the concrete.”

Good paint products to use for outdoor concrete surfaces include Duram’s Showfloor or Stoep Enamel, Fired Earth’s Floor Coat, Plascon’s Floor Paint or Stoep Enamel or Dulux’s Floorcote Enamel.

And while you are at it, why not give your garden furniture a new lease on life? Luis adds that there are paint products available that can be used on plastic garden furniture, as well as metal.

To paint plastic furniture, opt for Rustoleum’s 2 x Paint and Primer which comes in a spray can. Good paint products to use on metal items include Duram’s DTM Direct To Metal paint, Dulux’s Aluminium Paint, Hammerite’s Metal Paint, or Plascon’s Metalcare.

“These are just a few ideas of projects and products that can be used to refresh your home and interiors with paint. However, there are so many more! Brights Hardware has on-site experts in all our stores to provide advice on paint products for your next project – whatever it may be. Our knowledgeable staff can assist you with all the product insights and information that you need,” concludes Luis.

Brights stores are located in Boston, Blackheath, Langebaan, Mitchells Plain, Montague Park, Plattekloof, Stonewood, Brackengate and Sunningdale. As well as an online store shopping experience available at www.brights.co.za. Brights offers same day delivery for products purchased online, as well as a tool hire service.

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