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Colour choices

Choose colour with confidence and creativity

Choosing a precise paint colour from small printed samples has always been difficult. The colour looks okay but what will it look like once the entire room is painted? Subtle differences that may seem unimportant on colour charts are glaringly obvious once the colour is painted onto a wall. Many people who are confident and assured about most aspects of their lives lose all confidence when trying to mix and match colours.

Resene colour choices booklet
View: Articles | ebook | PDF

This book aims to help you understand paint colour and how to use it by not only showing examples but also delving into the science of colour. Paint isn't just about the effect of the colour it’s tinted to, but also about the technology of the paint itself - its gloss level, its composition, and added technologies that overcome particular problems.

The more knowledge you have about colour and its influence on your living environment, the better placed you will be to choose colours that will be right for you. Colours generally work best when related to their surroundings, with the final result of a successful colour scheme being one of harmony, visual order and a feeling of continuity.

While you might draw inspiration and ideas from others, you should always follow your own instincts. Your home, your colours!

Happy decorating!

An 8 step colour guide to pick your paint colours

Confidence with colour

Avoid paint paralysis with our handy 8-step colour guide.

Colour is a truly magical property. It can transform an environment, create a style, set a mood and alter perceptions. Colour is very personal and an expression of our creativity... more

Understanding colour and how to use it effectively

Understanding colour

Light, stimulating the retina of the eye, is what creates our perception of colour.

Without light there is no colour, and light reflects how we see colour. Because colour is so powerful we tend to look for rules for its use, but there are no hard and fast rules. How you use colour is a very individual and creative choice, but understanding how colour works will help you use it more effectively... more

A room by room guide to selecting colour

Using colour

A room by room guide to selecting colour...

Bathrooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, family rooms, kitchens, living rooms, hallways and entrances... more

Why paint colours look different in different rooms

Colour by compass

Why does the same colour look so different in different rooms of your home?

The trend to use one colour throughout a house as an ‘anchor’ neutral has been going strong for some years. But why does that one colour look so different in different rooms? It’s all to do with which direction the room faces: north, south, east or west.... more

How light affects paint colours

See the light

From natural to artificial, from bulb to fluorescent, how do different kinds of light affect the way we perceive colour?

Have you ever wondered why your stunning new chocolate brown jumper suddenly adopts an off-putting muddy hue when you try it on in front of your bedroom mirror? Or why the red wall in your lounge looks... more

Using colour contrast in decorating

Colour contrast

Use of contrast colours can help people use and navigate a space.

Red is typically associated with signals such as hot (tap), stop (traffic light or stop sign) or an emergency (fire alarm). Green typically means go (traffic light, exit signs)... more

Learn about colour personality

Colour personality

Science has long recognised that colour affects our behaviour and the way we feel. After all, it’s the first thing we register and that we use to help assess the things around us... more

Common mistakes when choosing paint colours

Common mistakes

Choosing paint colours can be tricky sometimes. Here’s a list of common colour mistakes... and our advice to help you.... more

Colour technology and the quality of paint

Colour technology

Keeping colour cooler.

Ever thought a house or building would look great painted in a sleek, dark colour – then had to shelve plans for fear of the heat damaging the substrate or the building getting unbearably hot in summer?... more

Some products or services may not be offered in your area or country. Please check with your local Resene ColorShop or reseller for availability. Most Resene products can be ordered in on request though lead times and minimum order quantities may apply. Colours are as close as the printing process allows. Always try a Resene testpot or view a physical colour sample before making your final choice. The contents of this booklet are copyright and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of Resene.

Contributing photographers: Bryce Carleton, Wendy Fenwick, Mark Heaslip, Melanie Jenkins, Paul McCredie, Juliet Nicolas, Frances Oliver, Maxine Shea, Sally Tagg, Tim Whittaker. Contributing stylists: Gem Adams, Kate Alexander, Amber Armitage, Greer Clayton, Megan Harrison-Turner, Claudia Kozub, Lisa Morton, Vanessa Nouwens, Emily Somerville-Ryan, Leigh Stockton, LeeAnn Yare. Designers: Annabel Berry, Anna Cuthbert, David Wraight Cottages, Daniel Marshall, John Mills, Jules Moore, Sara Noble, Trinity Design, Debra Yearsley.

Further information...

You can find a huge range of colour tools online on this website. With services from colour chart and testpot ordering to a Resene colour swatch library, decorating inspiration gallery, palette generator, project guides and lots of great hints and tips on selecting colour, you’ll find everything you need to design your next colour scheme.

Resene colour experts are also available to give free advice online or you can book a Resene colour consult in-store or online.

View more Resene colour articles...


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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.