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Answers to your questions from our colour experts, p. 103

Here's a taste of some of the Colour Expert questions and answers to help you with your own colour scheme.

If you would like more colour advice for your project, please ask our Colour Expert for help or come in and see our staff at your local Resene ColorShop or Reseller. Colours are a representation only.


Q&A   p. 103

Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.

Q. I have painted a room (East facing, small room) in my house with Resene Athens Grey and I feel it looks a bit cold/boring. The built in wardrobe door is white, so wondered if this was contributing to this. I was going to paint my narrow hallway in Resene Athens Grey but I'm reluctant to do so now, especially as it is quite a dark space. Have you got any suggestions for a warmer neutral grey I could look at?

A. As the sun moves higher in the sky the east facing room loses its natural light and it has a lot of shadow. I think any grey could look a bit boring in a room that wasn't bathed in sunshine on all the walls all day long. I don't think you can blame the white built in wardrobe. Using light/bright/warm coloured accessories may be the only way to make it seem interesting and not so cold.

The hallway probably doesn't have lots of windows letting in sunlight – hallways usually aren't blessed that way. If you are keen on using a grey you may need to take on board the fact that if a space is narrow and dark with no natural light you will always have a mood of coolness, inertia and lack of warm ambiance.

You could test Resene Half Athens Grey to see if a lighter/whiter colour may work for you. Or perhaps Resene Quarter Concrete or Resene Wan White may help with a touch of warm feel.

Keeping the doors to the other rooms (off the hallway) open you will steal a bit of additional light and using very large mirrors opposite those open doorways – to create a lot of light reflectance – may lift the look.

November 2020

Q. We are renovating part of our house and painting the inside walls white. We are unsure what colour white to go for. The interior furniture/decor of our house is neutral (white, grey and wood).

A. There are warm whites and cool whites and often it is difficult to judge what undertones of colour are in a white until you compare them with each other. If you visit your local Resene ColorShop you can view the large A4 colour swatches in their Colour Library to help make judging their differences more apparent.

The following are some that you might consider – Resene Quarter Bianca, Resene Merino, Resene Quarter White Pointer, Resene Black White or Resene Double Alabaster.

November 2020

Q. I'm about to paint inside offices white. Which white colour would you recommend?

A. If the offices are very sunny you might use a 'shaded' white – Resene Wan White.

If the offices aren't blessed with lots of natural light, they may need a slightly 'warm/bright ' white – Resene Quarter Bianca.

November 2020

Q. Can you give me a selection of the best wall colours for a boy's room to go with a white ceiling?

A. If you have a 'real' white and not a coloured white on the ceiling it will work well with any colour at all. If it is a coloured white then you may find your colour choices are more compromised.

The following are nice colours for a boy's room – but it very much depends upon the age of the boy in question and his preferences – Resene Seeker, Resene Amulet or Resene Roadster.

These can be used as a feature wall or painted furniture if they appeal but you feel they are too much to paint an entire room.

Some neutrals that are popular might be these ones – Resene Freestyling, Resene Silver Sand or Resene White Pointer.

November 2020

Q. I want advice on what colours to paint the exterior of my house. I have a brownish/terracotta colour concrete tile roof and the aluminium windows are anodised bronze. The cladding is painted an off-white colour. I am looking for something to suit the roof and bronze joinery. Also what colour for the deck? I would prefer neutral colours or should I modernise it and bring it out of the 1980s? I want to play it safe to be appealing to potential buyers.

A. Playing it safe isn't a bad thing to aim for – especially if you are thinking of selling the house.

For the deck, a warm colour perhaps – Resene Woodsman Nutmeg wood stain may appeal to you.

The roof and the window joinery do control your colour choices. The following are warm neutrals that may suit – Resene Joanna as the main colour with Resene Arrowtown for coloured trims, or Resene Half Thorndon Cream as the main colour with Resene Triple Thorndon Cream trims, or Resene Triple Merino as the main colour with Resene Taupe Grey trims.

November 2020

Q. We have a brown roof and Ironsand spouting and slightly lighter joinery. If I choose a white like Resene Quarter Truffle or Resene Eighth Truffle, will it bring out the warmer shade of the Resene Truffle or make it look even cooler as it’s next to a warmer colour?

A. I think that Resene Quarter Truffle may be better than Resene Eighth Truffle. The lighter/whiter the colour is then the cooler it may look.

I recommend you trial both options using Resene testpots painted onto A2 card and place it next to the joinery to see how it looks. Move it around each side of the house so you can see how the changing daylight alters how the colours look.

November 2020

Q. I have just started painting the interior of my house in Resene Black White and I am wondering what other cool colours complement Resene Black White? I am thinking of a blue for our bedroom, and maybe a feature wall in our lounge.

A. The following colours are blues or blue/greys that are cool tones and worth checking out to see how you feel about them – Resene Neutral Bay, Resene Frozen, Resene Half Hammerhead, Resene Longitude, Resene Tuna or Resene Double Surrender.

November 2020

Q.Our house is a 1920s bungalow, which is predominantly painted Resene Pearl Lusta. Currently the window surrounds are New Denim Blue, while the windows are white. I’d like to repaint the window surrounds and front door and am interested in what colours complement a Resene Pearl Lusta exterior.

A. Resene Pearl Lusta is a classic cream and works well with a lot of colours. You could try these options – Resene Log Cabin, Resene Burnt Sienna, Resene Gunmetal, Resene Jurassic, Resene Judge Grey, Resene Cello or Resene Double Parchment.

November 2020

Q. I'd like to paint my house exterior wall this summer. My ideal colour is white, like the old style villas, but I know it can get dirty easily and also look really bright in the sun. Could you please suggest some white colours which won't make dirt so obvious? Also some other colours which are similar to white but can hide the dirt and grime better. I have already painted the porch and car port with Resene Stack.

A. The following slightly coloured whites are ones that might not be too stark or bright and may help disguise windblown dust and dirt – Resene Wan White, Resene Black White, Resene Sea Fog or Resene Eighth Thorndon Cream.

These colours may be better at hiding than the ones I have already mentioned – Resene Athens Grey, Resene Quarter Truffle or Resene White Pointer.

November 2020

Q. For the front of our house, what colour green door would you suggest to go with Resene Alabaster painted walls. I’d like something fresh. It’s a Victorian terrace, south facing and the street is lined with plane trees – I’d like to capture some feeling of that. There is dark grey iron work and some green shrubbery out the front.

A. The following are some fresh greens to try – Resene Parsley or Resene Green House. Or alternatively – a bit deeper green tones – Resene Forest Green or Resene Olive Green.

November 2020

Q. We are going to paint our 1980s Lockwood exterior. It has the brown aluminium joinery. Could you please suggest a colour palette for the roof, walls and base boards?

A. The following colours may appeal to you – option 1 – roof in Resene Ironsand, walls in Resene Half Craigieburn and base boards in Resene Eighth Ironsand. Or option 2 – roof in Resene Squall, walls in Resene Triple Thorndon Cream and base boards in Resene Thorndon Cream.

November 2020

Q. We have a small south facing bedroom that we are making into a nursery. We have Resene Alabaster for the trim colours of the room but are stuck on the wall colours. My husband wants a light grey for this room. What are some warm greys that would look good? The nursery furniture we have brought is white and natural wood coloured and the chair is a cobalt floral type design. What would be a good ceiling colour that could be carried on throughout the house? We have an old 1890s cottage type house.

A. If you have already started using Resene Alabaster you could continue throughout the house doing all the wooden trims the same. The ceiling could be a lighter variant – Resene Quarter Alabaster – it would work splendidly with any other colours you might use.

South facing rooms are not known to have a warm quality of light. They make sweet warm pale yellows look sour and even white takes on a grey look. If you are keen to use a grey, I recommend that you carefully test several colours to make sure you know exactly what they look like.

Paint up all of a Resene testpot/two coats onto A2 white card leaving a narrow unpainted border all around the perimeter. The unpainted white card border will help your eyes focus and see the reality of the test colour. The white border also acts as a barrier to stop the existing wall colour from negatively influencing how you see the test colour. If you move the card from wall to wall you will see how changing angles and natural light alter how the colours are seen.

The following are a few pale greys. They may seem a bit too pale but when a whole room is painted the depth of the colour doubles in depth – Resene Quarter Atmosphere, Resene Grey Seal, Resene Double House White or Resene Triple Black White.

November 2020

Q. I’m struggling to choose exterior colours for my weatherboard villa. I’m currently drawn towards the warm greys and green/greys colours, such as Resene Half Tapa, Resene Quarter Tapa and Resene Atmosphere. I’m torn between going a lighter colour on the walls with a darker contrast colour on the sills or the reverse, a darker colour on the walls highlighting white windowsills and trims. I’m also open to any other suggestions you might have outside of these colour ranges.

A. Some options for you to try are – option 1 – Resene Quarter Tapa as your main colour with Resene Quarter Rice Cake for trims and Resene Triple Tapa for the base of house, doors, etc. Or option 2 – Resene Atmosphere for your main colour with Resene Black White trims and Resene Quarter Atmosphere for the base of the house, doors etc.

If you have a deck, you could stain it in Resene Woodsman Dark Oak.


November 2020

Q. We're painting our walls Resene Alabaster and want a colour to complement this on skirting boards, doors and windows, of which there are a lot. We also have Rimu floorboards.

A. You might consider one of the following options – Resene Alabaster – same as walls but in a semi-gloss (Resene Lustacryl) or full gloss (Resene Enamacryl) enamel finish. This will give you a sheen difference not a colour difference. Or you could go deeper toned but related – Resene Half Sea Fog (which is the equivalent of Resene Triple Alabaster), or you could opt for as white a contrast as possible with Resene White. Or try a definite different colour that would look good with the Rimu – Resene Quarter Ash

November 2020

Q. We are using COLORSTEEL® FlaxPod for the roof and spouting and Silver Pearl for the joinery. We want to use grey in varying tones for the exterior, which is plastered and weatherboard, could you please suggest some colours to consider?

A. The following colours may appeal to you and are worth checking out – Resene Foggy Grey with Resene Quarter Foggy Grey, Resene Friar Greystone with Resene Quarter Friar Greystone or Resene Scarpa Flow with Resene Quarter Scarpa Flow.

November 2020

Q. We've got a new build to paint inside and are wondering what colours would work best. The exterior colours are Resene Double Gravel and Resene Gun Smoke.

A. The following are some colours for you to check out – Resene Double Black White for your main colour, Resene Half Black White for trims and ceilings and Resene Half Foggy Grey as a feature wall, perhaps in a room/s like the lounge or main bedroom.

November 2020

Q. I'm looking at painting my house a soft sage green – can you please suggest some options for the exterior?

A. Try these colours to see if they suit – Resene Aspiring, Resene Haven, Resene Harp, Resene Secrets or Resene Celeste.

November 2020

Q. We're renovating our 1910 bungalow and I need to choose an exterior colour. The roof is COLORSTEEL® Slate, the trim around the doors and windows will be painted in Appliance White to match the exact colour of the aluminium. I would like a grey beige colour – not too grey, not too beige! I had wondered about Resene Foggy Grey. I want it to be a colour that will look great for years to come.

A. The following are some colours that you might check out to see if they appeal to you – Resene Cloud, Resene Eighth Friar Greystone, Resene Truffle or Resene Double White Pointer.

Resene Foggy Grey is a lovely colour so it is worth checking it out with the others I have mentioned. They all carry unique undertones of colour that often aren't apparent until you start to compare them with each other. If you can visit your local Resene ColorShop to view the large A4 colour swatches of all these colours in their Colour Library you may find it helpful.

November 2020

Q. We are painting our exterior. We have a grey silvered deck both sides of the house and a whitish roof. We are tossing up between weatherboards in perhaps Resene Triple Rice Cake with windows a lighter trim or a greyish colour, such as Resene Ash or Resene Truffle with white trim. There’s a lot of green around our house with hedges and established trees and we are near the beach hence so want to keep the colour light on the weatherboards because of the sun.

A. If you want a light look that doesn't detract from the grey silvered deck and the whitish roof you might use a slightly less sharp cream than Resene Triple Rice Cake – you could try Resene Titania as your main colour with trims in Resene Eighth Pearl Lusta and doors perhaps in Resene Hammerhead.

November 2020

Q. We’d like to paint the exterior of our bach. The roof colour is Karaka and the windows are bronze. We’d like a colour that ties in with the roof and windows.

A. The following are some options that you might check out to see if they appeal to you – Resene Ash, Resene Craigieburn, Resene Triple Thorndon Cream or Resene Half Evolution.

November 2020

Q. I have just bought a house and want to completely repaint the interior. The overall style I am going for is Hollywood Regency and I'd like a nice white/neutral that could be carried through the house including the bedrooms, open plan living and hallway. Do you have any recommendations for a suitable colour?

A. The following colours may appeal to you – Resene Half Thorndon Cream, Resene Half Spanish White, Resene Quarter Tea, Resene Sea Fog or Resene Wan White.

November 2020

Q. We are looking at doing our whole interior the same colour and we are looking at greys for it. Do you have any recommendations on the different shades? We don't want it to be to brown/pink hint of colour or blue hint of colour too.

A. The following colours may appeal to you. They are an assortment of greys and none of these have brown/pink or blue in them. Try Resene Double Black White, Resene Eighth Stonehenge, Resene Mountain Mist, Resene Eighth Tapa or Resene Half Foggy Grey.

November 2020

Q. I am looking to paint my brick exterior of my house (it’s from the 90s!). I would like a white, matt finish – modern Australian, Mediterranean look. The roof is being painted as well Sandstone Grey or Ironsand. The soft minty green frames will stay as they are. Could you advise which whites you'd suggest?

A. If you want a matt finish, I’d recommend Resene Lumbersider – it is referred to as a satin or low sheen finish.

If you are keeping the soft minty green window joinery a darker roof may work better than a light roof colour – but it is your choice.

The following whites are different from each other and it may pay to check out large sample swatches at your local Resene ColorShop so you can see the unique undertones each colour has in it – Resene Black White, Resene Quarter Rice Cake or Resene Half Wan White.

November 2020

Q. We are wanting to paint the fascia board, soffit and foundations of our red brick house as we have just put on a new roof. The roof colour is Ironsand, the spouting is Lignite and we have brown aluminium window frames.

A. The following colours may be a bit of inspiration for you for the fascias and foundation – Resene Eighth Ironsand, Resene Half Lignite, Resene Half Craigieburn or Resene Triple Truffle.

November 2020

Q. We are thinking of painting our weatherboard home in either Resene Double Rice Cake, Resene Triple Rice Cake, Resene Double Sea Fog or Resene Triple Sea Fog, keeping the wooden joinery in Resene Black White, and would much appreciate help with complementary colours for the iron roof and garage door. We want a slightly darker shade that will not only tie in but look contemporary. It is a very sunny spot.

A. One of these colours may appeal to you – try Resene Climate or Resene Bone White with Resene Triple Rice Cake or try Resene Gauntlet or Resene Atmosphere with Resene Triple Sea Fog.

November 2020

Q. I'm looking at painting my living/kitchen/dining/entrance a warm white – e.g. Resene Rice Cake. I'm thinking about a feature wall in Ivanhoe in the lounge, and ideally would like to use a consistent colour throughout the house for all ceilings and trims – what do you recommend? Is Resene Rice Cake the best option, or would something else work better with Resene Ivanhoe? For the kids, I'm planning to use Resene Pot Pourri on all four walls in one room, and a feature wall in Resene Blumine or Resene Jelly Bean in the other (with something light/whiteish on the other walls). What would work for the non-feature walls and ceilings/trim here?

Should I use a lighter version of the same warm white in the passage, which has no natural light?

Finally I have a second lounge/office. I'd like to keep it simple and fresh but cosy, using furniture and accessories to add colour – any thoughts?

A. I love the idea of using Resene Rice Cake as a warm white in your living, kitchen, dining/entrance rooms. It works really well with Resene Ivanhoe which is a warm toned slate blue with a very subtle undertone of green hiding in it.

For your ceilings and wooden trims etc you might use Resene Quarter Rice Cake and you could use it in the hallway for the walls as well. It is a simple choice but it will look slightly deeper/warmer in tone in the hallway because it has no natural light.

The main wall colour in the bedroom (that has a strong blue on one wall) could be Resene Rice Cake. It will balance the depth and brightness of the blue – whichever one you choose.

In the second lounge/office for the simple, fresh but cosy look you could check out the following colours – Resene Half Thorndon Cream or Resene Half Pearl Lusta. These colours have a bit more to them than Resene Rice Cake but either would work with Resene Quarter Rice Cake on trims and ceilings. Cosy – using furniture and accessories – could be colours like these – soft red like Resene Red Herring, deep warm charcoal like Resene Quarter Bokara Grey or deep blue/green like Resene Fast Forward.

November 2020

Q. What exterior colour grey would go with bronze joinery for a small beach bach? Also, what colour roof would you suggest?

A. The roof colour might be a deep colour – perhaps one of the following – Resene Ironsand or Resene Squall.

I recommend you look at earthy greys in order to associate well with the bronze joinery – try Resene Double Friar Greystone, Resene Double Tapa, Resene Taupe Grey, Resene Half Masala or Resene Gauntlet.

November 2020

Q. I want to paint my walls and ceilings Resene Alabaster throughout my house. Can you provide a recommendation for door and window framings (I was thinking white) and for the doors (I was thinking Resene Sea Fog)? But I am not really sure at all.

A. If you want a lighter colour than the walls for the wood trims then you might use Resene Quarter Alabaster or Resene Half Alabaster. Alternatively you might use exactly the same colour – Resene Alabaster – as the walls but in a Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss finish. This is a subtle look that relies upon a change of sheen rather than the distinct contrast of a much lighter/whiter colour. Using a deeper tone – Resene Sea Fog – for the doors is a practical colour choice. Doors get a lot of handling and there is constant finger marking to contend with.

November 2020

Q. Does Resene Cooled Green, on a feature wall, go with Resene Rice Cake? If not, what is the best white/neutral complement for Resene Cooled Green?

A. You could use Resene Rice Cake if you like this look. If the Rice Cake was a paler/whiter variant it may look better balanced – try Resene Half Rice Cake or Resene Quarter Rice Cake.

November 2020

Q. We have a brick state house currently painted in Resene Tea for the brickwork with a concrete base in Resene Grey Friars. The garage is also Grey Friars and we have a black door. We are planning an extension and our roof is getting repainted. We were planning to go with an Ebony roof and black extension to tie everything together but are unsure if the Resene Tea would work with that. We have a Resene Bright Spark front door which we love but we want to ensure the colours work together. We have other black elements in our fencing and garden and like the idea of the contrast. Our concern is do these colours work, will there be too many colours and can we get away with the Resene Tea or do we need to move to a more modern white on the brickwork?

A. If you are using Ebony COLORSTEEL® for the extension roof and Resene All Black (matched to COLORSTEEL® Ebony) for the existing roof repaint and other black elements in the fencing and garden you do have a lot of black. I think Resene Tea works really well with Ebony.

But if you would prefer a whiter more definite contrast instead of a warm neutral contrast then you might consider one of the following colours – Resene Double Sea Fog or Resene Double Black White.

Or – alternatively – just using a very pale variant of Resene Tea might be considered – you could try Resene Quarter Tea.

November 2020

Q. I have a baby blue carpet. I'm really struggling with what to paint the walls. I’m scared to use real colour but I do like baby blue with a very pale nude colour. I've seen Resene Eighth Quarter Truffle and Resene Quarter Truffle which I sort of like – what do you think of that combo?

A. The Resene colours you mention are not very pale nude colours. They are pale mushroom/taupe so are a little bit greyer toned.

If you were keen on a pale nude colour you might check out the following colours – Resene Quarter Sandspit Brown, Resene Half Albescent White, Resene Spring Wood or Resene Cest La Vie.

If you visit your local Resene ColorShop you can view the large real paint A4 colour swatches in their Colour Library it may help you a lot to see the colours in reality and compare them.

November 2020

Q. My renovations inside are underway and I have been busy testing paint samples on the wall and aren't too sure about any of them. It is a small 80m2 house, with lots of windows and all the seven internal doors are in one very small space, almost right next to each other.

The colour I am closest to getting for the walls is Resene Albescent White however I would appreciate your thoughts please on what colour I should then paint the internal doors and ceiling to go with this?

What drew me to it was that it looked fresher and brighter than the other options I had looked at. Others that are close in the option list are Resene Merino, Resene Half White Pointer and Resene Rice Cake however I thought Resene Rice Cake looked a little too yellow for my home and the other two were similar to my current wall colour.

A. Resene Albescent White can look warm toned – it depends upon natural light and other colours seen in close proximity.

One thing for you to consider is that all colours in an interior have the potential to look deeper toned – often double in depth or brightness.

If you were to consider using Resene Quarter Albescent White it could look like Resene Half Albescent White but it is less toned than the full strength version of the colour.

Resene Merino and Resene Half White Pointer carry muted grey undertones and Resene Rice Cake has a sharp clean yellow undertone – so you are right when you note that Resene Albescent White looks fresher and brighter.

In a small house with lots of doors all in close proximity it is important that they merge in rather than draw attention to themselves.

A soft toned white for all the woodwork and doors that you might check out is Resene Half Alabaster. Alternatively – and this would definitely merge – is to use Resene Quarter Albescent White same as the walls but in a Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss enamel finish. This means the seven doors that are very close to one another would be a sheen difference not a colour difference and would merge nicely.

November 2020

Q. We live in a 1920s house which has the original high ceilings. In our open planned kitchen/living room there is Resene Thorndon Cream on the walls. In the main bedroom is Resene Envy which is visible from the living room via a panelled hallway. Can I please have a suggestion to paint the hallway to help tie these colours together? Do you suggest a different colour for the top and bottom or keep it the same? I already have the ceiling paint which is Resene Eighth Thorndon Cream and wondered whether to paint the upper part of the wall in this?

A. Hallways are not blessed with lots of natural light. Using a pale colour on the upper portion of wall that relates – or is the same – as the ceiling is a good idea. The lower portion of the hallway wall might be the same colour as the kitchen – i.e. Resene Thorndon Cream or lighter might be Resene Half Thorndon Cream or Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream.

November 2020

Q. Can I use Resene Alabaster white as a ceiling colour with Resene Rice Cake walls? Our furniture is all light wood and we have plenty of plants.

A. Yes you can use Resene Alabaster as a ceiling colour with Resene Rice Cake walls. You could also use one of the following whites – Resene Quarter Rice Cake or Resene Half Alabaster.

November 2020

Q. We are about to paint the interior walls of our house Resene Half Black White but we are unsure whether to do the ceiling the same colour as the walls or whether we do it quarter of a shade lighter?

A. Ceilings have more shadow on them (due to light and angle) and using the same colour (as the walls) doesn't look the same but appears deeper toned. This is why it is recommended to go lighter/brighter for ceilings.

So – with that in mind – you might use one of these lighter but related colours – Resene Quarter Black White or Resene Eighth Black White. Or alternatively you could use real white – Resene White.

November 2020

Q. We have a blank canvas in our new farmhouse, one girl wants a yellow room, the other daughter blue. What are complementary colours for each room and an alternative option for a master bedroom (third room)? Our main neutral is Resene Half Rice Cake.

A. I like your neutral – Resene Half Rice Cake – it is light, bright and warm. Plus it works so well with many other colours.

The following are some lovely very gentle colours that may appeal to your daughters – Resene Quarter Frozen, Resene Scotch Mist, Resene Cut Glass and Resene Rum Swizzle.

All colours in an interior have the potential to appear double their depth or brightness. The yellows listed will look more 'coloured' and brighter once painted on all four walls in a room.

For your bedroom the following may be a good start point – but personally I would choose the most gorgeous new duvet or bedspread and luscious drapes first. That is so you have total freedom of choices.

Paint colours should always come last so they are used to tie every other coloured thing you have together harmoniously. If you decide to keep the master bedroom walls in a neutral colour to go with your fabulous new duvet and drapes, you could try Resene Double Rice Cake or Resene Half Linen.

November 2020

Page 103

Colours are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.


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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.