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Urban Property
Walls are changing
FE Report

          If you want to modernise your old home, you need to go give your walls a face-lift. A bright wall immediately changes the whole look of the room.
After all, walls are the single most prominent surface in a house. Gone are the days when the only option was to cover walls in plain, white paint. Times are changing and walls are changing too with exciting new colours, textures and finishes and making a style statement.
Choosing from the plethora of colours, finishes and qualities of wall paint can be quite confusing. So the first step is to decide whether you are going to paint the interior or exterior of the house. Interior walls are painted with either emulsions, distempers or lustre paints.
Distempers are inexpensive and have to be applied with brushes; so, brush marks are left behind. Emulsions and lustre paints are more expensive but give quality finishes as they are always applied with rollers. Trendy finishes These emulsions are available in a variety of hues and trendy new finishes like matt, glossy, eggshell and rich. They are fungus and mildew-resistant and easy to maintain, as they can be wiped clean and are therefore ideal for sitting rooms, kitchens and bathrooms that tend to dirty easily.
Exterior walls require different types of emulsions. For example, acrylic emulsions form long lasting, protective and decorative finishes that are suitable for local climatic conditions. Water-based emulsions are also suitable for dry to humid climates. High quality elastomeric paints have an in-built elasticity and an adequate thickness to bridge the cracks that develop in outer wall plaster. These paints are also resistant to water penetration and have biocides that combat fungus and algae.
When it comes to colours, the latest trend is to break away from the conventional white and splash walls with myriad hues. There is a definite connection between colours and moods. So, choose colours that suit the function of the room and your personality.
Bright, bold reds on the wall are ideal for a dining area as the colour
boosts energy and appetite. Blue and green are calming, and are perfect fora bedroom. Yellow and bright purples will liven up a child's room while a warm and lively colour such as orange is perfect for a living room or study area as it keeps you alert. A basic rule of thumb is to avoid clutter and limit the choice to a maximum of three colours per room.
The latest trend is using wall colours that are either complementary or contrasting. Using complementary colours would mean that if one wall is painted in a dark colour, the other three are painted in lighter shades of the same colour. The lighter shades help direct the eye to the one dark wall that becomes an ideal display space. While using contrasting colours, one should make sure the colours are of the same intensity to keep the room from looking garish.
There are some aspects to be considered when using coloured paint, the most important being the size of the room. Unlike large rooms, a small room will appear to shrink if it is painted in dark colours. It is also important to coordinate the colour of furniture and upholstery with the wallcolour.
Giving your wall fashionable textures, such as scratches, brush marks and patterns, adds a new dimension to your room and has plenty of potential for you to exercise some creativity. Glaze paints are a new addition to paint shops and since they are slow drying, you can create effects on them. One technique of using glaze is `colour washing' in which the glaze is brushed on to a differently coloured base coat. Once the glaze has dried slightly, a cloth is moved across the surface creating a patchy pattern. For example, orange patches are created on a yellow wall. `Masking' is another new and interesting way to create patterns of your choice on a coloured wall. To achieve this effect, masking tape is pasted on the wall to create the outline of a pattern. Coloured glaze is painted within the tape lines, after which the tape is peeled off, leaving a clean edged design. For example, fish shapes can be created on a blue wall to create an under-water theme.
A sponge or crushed newspaper paper dipped in normal acrylic interior paint and dabbed over a lighter coloured background is another way to add texture and colour. Stencils can be used to create repetitive patterns along the wall or paint rollers can be used to create vertical or horizontal stripes on the wall. Stucco, a type of cement, and wall putty, can be thinned to a butter-like consistency and used for texturing. A thin layer of either of these compounds is applied on the wall, and various objects such as trowels or sponges can be used to create swirls, peaks and other textures after which the wall can be painted. Another alternative is to embed small pieces of glass or mosaic tiles into the stucco and putty to create a multi-coloured effect. Terracotta tiles can be embedded in the wall to create an earthy feel. The possibilities are endless, all you need is a little imagination!


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