Colourful DIY Projects: Easy Ways to Bring Bold Hues into Your Home

Neutral tones are safe and soothing, but colour is more fun. These simple DIY projects incorporate bold colours without overwhelming a room

These simple, fun DIY projects are a great way to add a pop of colour without a huge commitment

This year’s paint colours are rich without being vivid. Imagine your favourite brights toned down with slightly muted greys.

The trend is about the combination of all the colours in a particular space, says PPG Pittsburgh Paints brand manager Dee Schlotter.

“In 2012, we also saw bold colour use, however these colours weren’t used with the ease and normality that we’ll see in 2013,” says Schlotter.

Choose Rich Jewel Tones

CIL Paints brand manager Alison Goldman says some of the rich jewel tones, like purple, are very versatile.

“The coolest thing about the hot colour purple is it’s the perfect way to incorporate both ends of the trend,” says Goldman. “A lilac hit to a soft grey means you’ll be hip without the hype.”

People look for colours that take away the hectic pace of life and offer some relief, whether it be calming or invigorating, says Martin Tustin-Fuchs, brand director for AkzoNobel, makers of Dulux paint. Colour “helps create an environment where people can feel comfortable,” says the paint expert.

Embrace the Bold

Colour consultant Kora Sevier of K Colour says that this year’s blues, oranges and purples are being welcomed after teetering on the edge of being trendy for the past few years. People are finally more comfortable embracing the stronger, bolder and even darker shades.

“People often end up using neutrals as a safety net,” says Sevier. “Don’t use just one shade throughout your place; punch it up with a darker shade like charcoal grey.”

Darker colours, she adds, will make focal points pop as the eye always falls on the lightest thing in a room. Click through above for ideas on how to apply bolder colours.

Use Junk Store Finds

Visit a secondhand store or raid your attic or garage for inspiration. Find a wooden lamp base, an old, hideously coloured chair or inexpensive desk and unleash your creativity with a small can of paint and a brush. Super smooth melamine paint will self-level and can typically be tinted in any colour. Make sure you properly prep the piece by giving it a light sanding so that the paint adheres.

Different surfaces require different paints, so match the paint with the medium you are painting, whether it is wood, ceramic or glass.

Test Your Paint

  • Check out the lighting in your space before you commit to a colour. Get a large colour chip and watch how the light plays off it for a few days. Pay attention to how the colour looks at the same time of day you typically use the room.
  • Echo paint colours in accessories and decorations for extra impact. Repeat the wall colour in varying shades in drapes, throws, pillows or in artwork.
  • Use tester pots. Try a small amount of paint on the wall before you commit to an entire gallon.

Try Colour Blocking

Colour on Canvas

Visit an art supply store and pick up some inexpensive canvases then grab a few tester pots of your favourite colours. Paint each canvas a different colour then hang them in a row as an easy way to introduce colour blocking. You can go big if you like by buying larger canvases or keep it small by stacking a row of canvases at the end of a hallway.

Subtle Bursts of Colour

A fabulous way to incorporate a splash of colour without overwhelming a room is by painting behind an item.Tape off the wall behind an open-backed bookcase and paint the space with one of the year’s hottest colours. When your bookcase is put back against the wall, shots of colour will sizzle behind each open square or shelf.

Originally published in BC Home & Garden magazine. For regular updates, subscribe to our free Home and Garden e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the magazine.