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habitat plus – paint effects

Welcome – A freshly painted wall looks beautiful but what if you’re after something just a little different. Or you’d like to upcycle some furniture and a straight paint finish might look a little plain.

Habitat plus 07 - paint effects
Ebook: single pg | double pg
View: PDF | articles

Paint effects allow you the freedom to capture a mood, create an ambience and transform the mundane into something special. Some techniques also have the practical benefit of disguising less-than-perfect surfaces. In fact, imperfections in the surface can add to the overall impact of the effect.

This booklet contains a taste of the paint effects techniques commonly used, from French wash to crackle, woodgrain to marbling. There are a wide variety of other paint effects techniques that you can use to achieve highly professional results.

When creating a paint effect, the key thing to remember is that there are no hard and fast rules about what you should do. Spend time getting the effect right by trialling different colours and application techniques until you are happy with the finished look. Then use your trial area as a reference board for the whole project. Wall sockets, skirting boards and door frames should be masked off so that the effect may be continued right to the edge.

Mix and match techniques, colours, textures and surfaces. The only limit is your imagination.

Happy decorating!
The Resene and habitat teams

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The right products / tips and tricks

The right products

Get to know the Resene FX product range, plus tips to get started

There are a number of specialty Resene products to help you create useful and beautiful surfaces - metallics, washes, textures, crackle effects, shimmery sparkles, chalkboards, magnetic surfaces... more

Colour washes / paint washes

Washes and texture

Learn to use Resene FX Paint Effects medium

Colourwashing, limewash or French wash • texture on texture • watercolour wall • white and grey wash • ombre paint techniques... more

Well aged

Well aged

Antiquing and chalk paint techniques

Our quick tricks to age furniture and antiques with Resene products... more

Pattern work

Pattern work

Creative ideas with stencilling, marbling, découpage and sponge printing

Stencils are a hugely flexible and diverse way of adding patterns to virtually anything. You can do entire walls, portions of furniture, pots, the edges of floors, frames or whatever takes your fancy... more

Easy roller effects

Easy roller effects

Two tone ideas and rolling effects

This simple two-tone wall is created by using a paint roller for a casual take on the traditional dado effect. No need for masking tape, just freehand your way across the wall... more

Chalk it up

Chalk it up

Turn walls, toy boxes and other surfaces into writable surfaces and magnetic noticeboards

As many homeowners have found out over the years, chalkboards are an extremely handy way to create a noticeboard, and are also a great way to give your home a changing canvas of artworks from whoever in the family is feeling creative at the time... more

Simple masked effects

Simple masked effects

Master the art of masking, creating geometric shapes and pleasing plaids

Masking tape is not only a decorator’s friend, but also a creative person’s helpmate. All of the effects on these pages were achieved using low-tack masking tape and paint... more

Colour blocking - blocks and stripes

Blocks and stripes

Colour-blocking techniques, geometric patterns and learn the art of perfect stripes

Simple and effective, colour-blocking can transform a wall, or piece of furniture like a bookcase. You can use sections of a wall, use your blocks of colour in a random way or apply a repeating pattern based on simple shapes such as triangles, rectangles or squares. Or you can create more dramatic walls using 3D geometric effects... more

Embrace your curves

Embrace your curves

Get a wriggle on with some curvaceous room designs

Curves are friendly, cuddly shapes so it’s no wonder that when the world seems a little upside down, we gravitate towards these organic forms. Start with a simple circle, then progress to something more free-form... more

Get creative

Get creative

Embrace your artistic side with murals and glow-in-the-dark walls

With the wide range of Resene paints and colours, and your imagination, it’s possible to create a truly unique effect on your walls, floor, ceiling, furniture or virtually anything else... more

Habitat Plus 07 - paint effects mural

Contributing stylists: Gem Adams, Amber Armitage, Nikki Astwood, Greer Clayton, Megan Harrison-Turner, Sarah Herring, Laura Lynn Johnston, Sarah Lods, Claudia Kozub, Vanessa Nouwens, Janet Scard, Leigh Stockton, Melle Van Sambeek, LeeAnn Yare.

Contributing photographers: Bryce Carleton, Nicola Edmonds, Wendy Fenwick, Mark Heaslip, Melanie Jenkins, Renee Lawrence, Emma MacDonald, Larnie Nicolson, Frances Oliver, The Picture Garden, Joseph Zou

Left: Back wall in Resene Egg Sour. Mural painted in Resene Paper Doll, Resene Coral Tree, Resene Avant Garde and Resene Nero. Floor in Resene Colorwood Dark Ebony. Pendant painted in Resene Avant Garde.

Current edition: PDF | Ebook.  Archive - 2017 edition: PDF | Ebook

updated August 2021

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If you have an idea, project or story that you think would suit habitat plus, we’d love to hear from you. Please drop us an email with your details and include photos if submitting a project.

habitat plus are not mailed directly. They are available free from Resene ColorShops and resellers while stocks last and available for viewing 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.