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The Decorating Centre Blog

Help & advice for all your decorating needs

  • DIY Christmas Decorating Ideas

    DIY Christmas Decorating Ideas - The Decorating Centre Wetherby

    For many people, especially those with young families, putting up the Christmas decorations is an exciting part of the festivities.

    You could go and buy Christmas decorations from the shops (or just reuse last year’s), but it’s much more fun to go down the DIY route and create your own!

    In this post, we’ve rounded up some great ideas for DIY Christmas decorations to help inspire you. Here they are, in no particular order!

    Christmas Eve Crate Box

    Make Christmas even more special by creating a Christmas Eve crate box. You can fill it with goodies such as new pyjamas or sweet treats to celebrate Christmas Eve and get the kids even more excited about the big day.

    Take a look at this snowflake covered crate box tutorial from Rust-Oleum for inspiration. Rust-Oleum’s Painter’s Touch is used for this – and you can find this in our store.

    Easy Christmas Bunting

    A little festive bunting draped over your mantelpiece or around the walls can really bring your Christmas decorations to life. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, you could make some fabric bunting using Christmas prints.

    Or if you have PhotoShop, you could make some really unique letter bunting using your own photographs – check out this tutorial from The Gingerbread House.

    Reusable Wreath

    This is a great modern take on a Christmas Wreath from Rust-Oleum. With a few leaves, a geometric frame from Hobbycraft and Rust-Oleum’s Metallic spray paint, you can create a fabulous wreath this year and for future Christmases too.

    Alternatives to Wreaths

    If wreaths aren’t your thing, take a look at these alternative DIY Christmas door decorations over at the Country Living website.

    DIY Reindeer Sign

    If you have a cutting machine like the Silhouette Cameo or Cricut Explore, you can create all sorts of professional-looking Christmas decorations. For starters, check out this fun reindeer sign tutorial over at Bugaboo City.

    Gold Marbled Christmas Ornaments

    Make your own stylish Christmas tree decorations using empty glass baubles which you can get from the likes of Hobbycraft. You could fill them with festive treats, stick photos inside them or use spray paint to create marbled ornaments if you’re going for a super stylish look. There are some good instructions and pictures to inspire you in this article from Lovely Indeed.

    Fabric Tinsel

    If you fancy something a little different when it comes to tinsel, you could have a go at making your own in the fabric of your choice. Choose Christmas prints or even fabric scraps! This video tutorial from Sewing Bee Fabrics explains what to do.

    Finally...

    We hope this post has given you some food for thought if you’re thinking about making your own Christmas decorations this year.

    We’d like to take this opportunity to wish all our customers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    DIY Christmas Decorating Ideas - The Decorating Centre Wetherby

    *All images © Craftaholique

  • What is the Quickest Way to Strip Wallpaper?

    What is the quickest way to strip wallpaper. Find out in this article from The Decorating Centre.

    Stripping wallpaper is one of the more tedious decorating jobs to do when renovating, which is why some people simply opt to paint over old wallpaper, rather than remove it.

    If you want to get a really good result though for your walls, stripping away old wallpaper so that you can start over properly is the best thing to do.

    In this article, we’ll explain how to strip wallpaper, including some little tricks and techniques to speed things up...

    Before you start:

    • Clear the room and cover your carpet / flooring to protect it.
    • Look to see if any of the old wallpaper edges are already peeling - you may be able to peel away some full sheets without having to do any hard work!

    Method 1: Traditional wallpaper stripping method

    The time tested way to remove wallpaper is by applying soapy hot water (not boiling) and leaving to soak in order to dissolve the adhesive under the paper.

    Before you do this, it’s best to score the wallpaper first as much as you can – but be careful to only score the wallpaper and not the wall itself underneath. Doing this will help the hot water solution get behind the paper and into the adhesive.

    You could lightly score the wallpaper with a Stanley knife, but a better way of doing this is to use the Zinnser Paper Tiger. This is a handheld scoring tool that has three scoring wheels. You can simply roll the Paper Tiger all over the wallpaper to perforate it very quickly.

    When soaking the wallpaper, you can use hot water and washing up liquid for this, although you may prefer to use a stronger solution, such as Bartoline Wallpaper Stripper. It quickly penetrates wallpaper to make removing it easy and painless.

    Use a large cellulose sponge to apply the water solution. Let it soak on the wallpaper for 30 minutes and then reapply, leaving to soak for a second time, before scraping off with a wallpaper scraper. We recommend “Pro-Strip” by Axus Decor - it's comfortable to hold and has a stainless steel anti-rust blade.

    You may find that the top layer of wallpaper is easy to remove, but that you’ll need to repeat the soaking process for any lining paper underneath.

    Method 2: Use a wallpaper steamer

    Steam wallpaper strippers are great for really stubborn wallpapers. They work like a kettle - a heated element inside boils water, in turn creating steam. Using one of these can save a lot of time.

    If you decide to use a steam wallpaper stripper, you don’t need to worry about soaking your wallpaper first. But it’s still a good idea to score it, so that the steam can penetrate the wallpaper easily.

    When using one of these machines, you’ll just need to place the flat plate on the wall and hold it there for a few seconds until the wallpaper underneath starts to look damp. When you take the flat plate away, you can begin to scrape away the wallpaper.

    Tip: Start at the top of the wall, and work your way downwards to the bottom, stripping the paper as you go.

    Our verdict...

    The quickest way to strip wallpaper is to use a combination of tools and equipment such as stripping solution, a high quality scraper, the Zinnser Paper Tiger and a steamer. (At The Decorating Centre, you can hire out an Earlex wallpaper stripper for as long as you need.)

    All of the wallpaper stripping products mentioned in this article are currently available at The Decorating Centre – call us for details on 01937 580980!

    What is the quickest way to strip wallpaper. Find out in this article from The Decorating Centre.

    *Images © Hayley Hemmings

  • How to Choose a Reputable Decorator

    Have you got the perfect vision for decorating your home, but need a little professional help to make it a reality? It can be tricky to find a good and reliable decorator, so in this article we’ve put together some points to consider for when you next need one.

    Ask friends and family for recommendations

    It’s easier to trust a decorator when you’ve heard a positive experience about them first-hand through a friend, neighbour or family member, as opposed to reading a faceless review online.

    If you don’t know anyone directly who can recommend a decorator they’ve used themselves, look for local Facebook groups and ask for suggestions there.

    There are lots of community groups on Facebook for just about every town in the UK. If you’re local to The Decorating Centre here in Wetherby, check out Wetherby Grumbler or Boroughbridge Babble.

    Search trader directories

    If you’ve explored the friends, family and Facebook route already unsuccessfully, check out some of the big trader comparison websites, such as trustatrader.com and checkatrade.com.

    The idea of these sites is that traders have to join them as a member, hence they have to undertake a thorough vetting and monitoring process. Customers can leave independent reviews too.

    Do a few comparisons

    Make sure you get at least three quotes for your decorating project, so you can compare prices and also different decorators. You might find that you get a good feeling about one over another, so it’s always worth inviting a few to quote for your work.

    Don’t be fooled by a fancy website

    Most established decorators will have a decent website, however having a website doesn’t necessarily mean the decorator is any good!

    It’s possible to set up a website cheaply these days (in fact, it’s possible to set up a WordPress website for free), so always go by honest reviews and recommendations rather than how the face of the decorating business looks.

    Ask questions and give the decorator a clear brief

    Ask the decorator whether you can see photos of their previous work and speak to their previous clients for feedback.

    It’s also worth checking what equipment the decorator will bring, such as dust sheets and ladders and that they will take away any mess when the job is complete. Remember to ask how long the decorating project will take, so that you can set your expectations accordingly.

    Be clear on exactly what work needs doing when you get quotes. If your job involves sanding and filling cracks in the walls as well as painting or wallpapering, make sure you mention this in the beginning.

    Think twice before booking the decorator that can start tomorrow

    Any good decorator will have a full diary. Those that can make themselves immediately available may genuinely have had a cancellation, but do a bit of research to check the decorator's work is up to scratch if you do happen to find one who can start quickly.

    Check how you'll need to pay

    Be wary of decorators who only want to be paid in cash. Reputable decorators will usually have a business bank account and will be happy to take payments via a number of methods such as bank transfer or cheque as well as cash.

    Finally...

    If you’re paying for a decorating service, you’ll no doubt want to know that you’ll be getting a great result and that your money won’t go to waste. We hope this article has given you some insight into what to look for and what to avoid when it comes to choosing a professional decorator!

    Take a look around our website for more decorating tips and advice.

    How to choose a reputable decorator
    *Images © Hayley Hemmings.

  • 6 Great Reasons to Use eicó Paints

    eico - environmentally friendly paints at The Decorating CentreA little while ago, we launched a new product line into our store – eicó paints from Scandinavia. This is a unique “carbon-positive” paint range that doesn't cost the earth - in every sense!

    There are several compelling reasons why you should consider using eicó paints. Take a look at some of them below...

    1. They really are environmentally-friendly

    Not only does eicó have one of the lowest VOC ratings of any paint sold in the UK, their whole manufacturing and production process is good for the environment too. eicó paints are manufactured in Scandinavia, using 100% geothermal and hydropower energy.

    2. eicó uses high quality paint formulas

    eicó paints won’t blister, crack or peel – and they retain colour very well - because they are made using 100% pure acrylic. Many competitor products compromise on the amount of acrylic in their paints because of the high costs associated with producing such a high quality formula. eicó’s unique manufacturing process means they can produce their paints cost effectively.

    3. These paints are better for your health

    Because eicó paints are non-toxic with very low VOCs, they have virtually no odour, so they can be used with confidence in children’s bedrooms and play areas. They are also APEO free which means they are the perfect choice for people who suffer from asthma or allergies. eicó paints are ideal for use in schools or hospitals too.

    eicó ZERO VOC Helmatt actually contains no VOCs whatsoever, making it a remarkable environmentally friendly decorating product.

    4. They’re durable and versatile

    eicó paints are designed to last. They are extremely durable and even washable – they can be washed up to 2000 times! What’s more, some finishes can be used on both interior and exterior surfaces, making eicó one of the most versatile paints in the UK today.

    5. You’ll get good value for money with eicó paints

    eicó provide high quality, environmentally friendly paints at reasonable prices, thanks to their efficient manufacturing process in Iceland and Sweden.

    6. There are plenty of paint colours to choose from

    eicó paints come in168 co-ordinated colours, which are available in every finish. There is also a 20,000 colour archive available and if by chance you can’t find the exact colour that you need in the eicó range, we can colour match for you.

    Finally...

    If you’re looking for a top quality yet environmentally friendly paint, eicó certainly ticks all the right boxes. They are one of the most ecologically and ethically sound paint manufacturers around at the moment and their decorating products are exceptional.

    To find out more about eicó paints and to browse colour samples and finishes, pop into our Wetherby store, or contact us for more details on 01937 580980.

    eicó paints at The Decorating Centre in Wetherby

    *All images courtesy of eicó

  • Help Prevent the Spread of Fire with Wallguard Systems (SYSTEXX + Opti Coatings)

    Opti Coatings at The Decorating Centre

    Following on from the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower in London on 14th June 2017, effective fire protection and prevention systems for buildings is understandably an important topic for discussion.

    In any building, it’s crucial to have active fire protection devices in place such as fire alarms and fire extinguishers. A passive fire protection system can work alongside these measures to further reduce the impact of fire, should the worst happen.

    A passive fire protection system helps to divide a building’s overall structure into smaller fire compartments through the use of fire-retardant walls, doors and floors.

    One such system is SYSTEXX + Opti Coatings by Wallguard Systems

    SYSTEXX is a fire-retardant wallcovering product, made from woven glass yarn fabric. It can be used on both walls and ceilings and meets the British Fire Standard (BS 476 part 6 & 7) – the highest and most stringent fire rating available.

    SYSTEXX fabrics don’t give off any toxic gases and they don’t create flaming debris. In addition, they produce virtually no smoke.

    It’s very quick and easy to apply SYSTEXX. It comes with Aqua Technology, meaning that you can simply moisten the fabric sheets and apply. Up to 25sqm can be applied per hour, reducing working time by 30% to 40%.

    Opti Coatings is Wallguard System’s specialist high performance paint range. When Opti Coatings are used in combination with SYSTEXX, this is a complete system that gives the very best fire protection available.

    There are a number of finishes available with Opti Coatings including:

    OPTIBACT – a water-borne resin based emulsion, containing a special anti-bacterial agent that reduces harmful bacteria. Its protective formula lasts for up to 10 years. Available in a matt or sheen finish, OPTIBACT is ideal for healthcare settings such as hospitals and dental surgeries as well as schools and nurseries.Opti Coatings at The Decorating Centre

    OPTIMATT – a highly durable water-borne emulsion which is ideal for spaces that receive high levels of human traffic. It’s washable and scrub resistant. This specialist coating works really well in areas of high humidity and in hospitals, schools, nurseries, hotels, gymnasiums etc.

    OPTISATIN  - this water-borne coating works brilliantly on interior woodwork in high traffic areas as it can be wiped clean easily and even lightly scrubbed. In addition, OPTISATIN provides a low odour, high opacity finish.

    OPTISHEEN – like OPTIMATT, this is a water-borne coating in a sheen finish that will withstand scrubbing and washing. OPTISHEEN has achieved a high grade on a scrub resistance and cleanability test, according to the BS EN ISO 11998 standard.

    In addition, OPTISHEEN works well when used on old painted surfaces and it can be used in areas of high humidity.

    Opti Coatings are available in a wide range of colours. As a complete system, they have each been tested and certified to the European Standards DIN EN 13823 B-s1, d0 which exceeds the UK BS 476 part 6 & 7 fire testing.

    The Wallguard System is now being used by Camden Council

    Several tower blocks in London that were deemed unsafe after what happened at Grenfell Tower have now been evacuated by Camden Council.

    As part of the new and urgent fire safety measures, SYSTEXX has been recently installed in Blashford Tower and it achieved a fire resistance higher than Class 0 when tested.

    A premier passive fire protection system like SYSTEXX + Opti Coatings can significantly reduce the spread and impact of fire in buildings, when used in accordance with fire protection devices and other fire prevention techniques, such as fire safety education.

    For more information on SYSTEXX and Opti Coatings, please contact Simon Brooke (Director at Wallguard Systems) on 07920 009021.

    Opti Coatings are available at The Decorating Centre in Wetherby, please call Simon Cooper (Managing Director) for more details or to check availability on 01937 580980.

    Opti Coatings at The Decorating Centre

    *Images courtesy of the manufacturer.

  • The Best Paints to Choose for Kids' Rooms

    The-best-paints-for-kids-rooms-main

    There’s no doubt that the walls in kids' rooms are regularly put to the test. Finger marks, drawing pin holes and the remnants of blu-tack and sellotape are just some of the things that will eventually end up on those walls over time.

    It makes sense then, that when choosing a new paint for your child’s room, you should pick one that’s both cost effective and durable enough to be wiped down – or even scrubbed!

    Durability is of course an important consideration when decorating with the kids in mind – and so is safety.

    Why eco-friendly paints are a good choice for families

    Another crucial factor to consider when choosing paint for a kid’s room is whether the paint you intend to use will give off toxic fumes.

    Many conventional paints contain VOCs – hazardous gases given off as the paint dries, which often linger for some time afterwards. VOCs are harmful to the environment and can affect your health too. For more information about the dangers of VOCs, check out this article we published previously on our blog.

    Paints now have clear labelling on their packaging which states the level of VOCs contained within the product itself. As a general guide, any paint that has an odour is likely to contain VOCs and is therefore toxic to an extent.

    Needless to say, you’ll want to avoid toxic paints if you’re planning to paint a room where your child will play and sleep. The best route to go down is to look for a “child safe paint”.

    eicó paints – a leader in eco-friendly paints

    We’ve recently launched a new product line at The Decorating Centre, eicó paints, which are manufactured in Scandinavia.

    eicó offer a range of special “carbon positive” paints which aren’t widely available across the UK. All of their products have one of the lowest VOC ratings of any paint sold in the UK and are therefore ideal for kids' rooms.

    One of their products in particular (eicó ZERO VOC HELMATT) contains no VOCs whatsoever. This particular paint is water-based with virtually no odour.

    eicó’s mission is to offer paints that don’t the cost the earth – both in an environmental and a monetary sense! Their high quality paints are more affordable than you’d think.

    Little Greene’s child safe paint range

    We also stock paints from Little Greene, who offer a great range of environmentally-friendly paints too.

    Their Absolute Matt Emulsion, Intelligent Matt Emulsion and Intelligent Eggshell paints are all certified under the Toy Paint Regulations (BSEN 71-3:1995). They are completely safe for children so they can be used with confidence in kids' rooms – either on toys or to decorate walls, ceilings, skirting boards and doorframes.

    Little Greene’s Intelligent Eggshell also ticks the right boxes when it comes down to durability - it’s fully washable!

    Finally...

    When it comes to the little ones in our lives, giving them a safe place to play, sleep and live in is a priority. The paints we’ve mentioned in this article could do much to help with creating that environment.

    For more details on any of our decorating products, including Little Greene and eicó, do get in touch with us on 01937 580980!

    The-best-paints-for-kids-rooms

    *Images © Hayley Hemmings.

  • New Product Line – eicó Paints

    eico paints at The Decorating Centre Wetherby

    We’re really pleased to announce a new product line at The Decorating Centre – an exciting and eco-friendly paint range – eicó paints from Scandinavia.

    This is a rather special “carbon-positive” paint range which isn’t widely available across the UK, so we’re very proud to be a stockist!

    eicó paints – they don’t cost our earth

    Not only do eicó paints have an extremely low VOC rating (in fact one of their paint types is ZERO VOC rated!), the whole production and transportation process is also environmentally-friendly too. eicó manufacture their paints in Iceland and Sweden, allowing them to use 100% geothermal or hydro-power energy for their production processes.

    eico - environmentally friendly paints at The Decorating Centre

    You’ve probably heard of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) before - you might want to read more about them in this post from our blog.

    VOCs are usually bad news. Most of them are harmful to the environment and can also be detrimental to your health too.  In particular, asthma or allergy sufferers can find such conditions worsening when being exposed to high rated VOCs.

    eicó paints formula and finishes

    eicó paints consist of 100% pure acrylic. This means that their paints don’t crack or peel and retain their colour very well. It’s possible to use certain types of the same paint on both interior and exterior surfaces – how’s that for blessed simplicity?

    eicó paints can be used on a range of surfaces including interior walls, ceilings and primed structural steel and exterior masonry, render, cement and concrete. You can also use eicó paints on primed woodwork, lining paper and glass fibre surfaces. Ask in store for more details on how eicó paints can be used.

    These paints come in an extensive range of 168 colours and if you can’t find the exact colour you need, we can offer a colour matching service for you.

    Take a look at these six finishes to choose from as follows:

    eicó ZERO VOC Helmatt

    As the name describes, this is a ZERO VOC paint, meaning that no harmful VOCs are used whatsoever. It’s a high quality, water-based matt paint that’s both durable and washable. It has virtually no-odour and is APEO free (good for allergy and asthma suffers to know).

    It’s designed for interior use and is popular with hospitals, schools and for children’s bedrooms and playrooms. Its non-toxic formula is also ideal of course for anyone who has respiratory problems.

    eicó Environmentally Friendly Alterior Matt

    This is one of their paint types that you can use for both interior and exterior decorating. Water-based, this particular paint is ideal for masonry as it resists dirt and stands up to weathering very well. The VOC rating on this paint is <0.74% - extremely low.

    eicó Flat Eggshell

    A lovely finishing paint for woodwork, metals and walls. It dries to a modern semi-matt finish. Many Eggshell paints in general have high VOCs; eicó’s version however is rated low at <5.5%.

    eicó Alterior Eggshell, Satin and Gloss finishes

    A waterborne paint that be used internally and externally on walls, ceilings, roof tiles, woodwork, rendered plaster and more. It has hardly any odour and is APEO free.

    eico - environmentally friendly paints at The Decorating Centre

    With eicó, high quality doesn’t mean high prices

    eicó’s mission is to offer the most comprehensive range of environmentally-friendly and ethically sound paints currently available in the UK – without asking you to break the bank to buy them.

    Indeed, eicó’s unique manufacturing process means that they are able to produce exceptional quality paints at affordable prices!

    Ready to find out more about eicó? Call us on 01937 580980 with any questions about this product line or pop into our Wetherby store for details.

    eico paints at The Decorating Centre in Wetherby All images courtesy of eicó.
  • The Benefits of Using Environmentally Friendly Paints

    Benefits-of-Eco-Friendly-Paints

    As well as being safer for the world around us, there’s another very good reason why you should consider using environmentally friendly paints when decorating... they’re much better for your health too.

    To explain why this is the case, we need to look closely at Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and how they are used in paints.

    What are VOCs?

    You’ve probably heard of them before – many products contain them, such as fuel, household cleaners, air fresheners, synthetic carpets and the solvents which are added to decorative paints. Basically, anything that has an odour or scent is likely to contain VOCs.

    Most man-made VOCs are harmful to the environment. VOCs are the hazardous gases that are emitted from some solids or liquids. In paints for example, these are the fumes given off when it turns from liquid to solid (as it dries).

    How VOCs can affect your health

    Unsurprisingly, VOCs can be really bad for your health as well as the environment. People who suffer with asthma or allergies can find their conditions aggravated if they come into contact with high rated VOCs.

    Exposure to high rated VOCs can cause headaches and irritation in the eyes, nose and throat. Certain VOCs can cause liver and lung damage and some are even carcinogenic, meaning that they can cause cancer.

    VOCs in paints

    The VOCs in paint don’t just go away in a day or so. They can linger around for weeks, silently decreasing the quality of indoor air. With that said, sourcing paint that is rated as low VOC is an important consideration today for many people, especially those with children or those who suffer from health problems.

    Tackling VOCs is of course a critical goal for all paint manufacturers too. UK legislation on the use of VOCs is based on the EU directive 2004/42/EC, which imposes a limit on the amount of VOCs in decorative materials (paints, primers, adhesives etc).

    Decorating products, such as paints, are now clearly labelled to show the percentage amount of VOCs that they contain.

    Environmentally friendly paints at The Decorating Centre

    Many of the decorative paints available in our store contain low VOCs. For example, we stock Johnstone’s Trade ecological paints which are rated as low VOC Content (0.3 – 7.99%). Johnstone’s paints are renowned for being high quality, offering great coverage and ease when applying them.

    We’re also a stockist for Little Greene paints, all of which are environmentally friendly. Many of their paints are water-based to give a quick drying (child-safe) finish. And unlike some other paint manufacturers, Little Greene’s oil-based paints contain naturally occurring vegetable oils instead of hazardous solvents.

    A new range of eco friendly paints – coming soon!

    What’s more, we’re almost ready to offer a new environmentally friendly product line at The Decorating Centre! It’s a brand that’s really in a league of its own when it comes to affordable, ethically produced, low VOC rated paints.

    Watch this space for more details about this exciting launch!

    Benefits-of-Eco-Friendly-Paints

    *Images owned by Hayley Hemmings.

  • How to Decorate a Large Room

    LG Bark - Heath LG Bark - Heath. © Little Greene

    Having a large room in your home isn’t always the enviable space you’d think it would be. Although small rooms can be tricky to decorate, big rooms actually come with their own set of decorating challenges too!

    Small rooms can usually be made cosy with a little decoration and a clever selection of furnishings. But a bit more thought needs to go into a large room to get the same effect; otherwise the room can end up feeling sparse, empty and cold.

    We’ve put together a few tips you can use below:

    1. Position furniture strategically

    Furniture is best placed away from the walls in a large room. Large sofas work well in the centre of the room, with a large rug underneath to help separate floor spaces and draw the eye to the main seating area.

    Avoid making your large room look like your local DFS store, by filling it full of sofas and furniture. Choose a good large sofa or two by all means, but there’s no need for overkill.

    With that said, a couple of occasional chairs can also look great scattered about the room, next to a sideboard or table for example.

    If you have a lot of books, consider making one wall a library with bookshelves! This can make a great feature in a room and help create a cosy atmosphere too. Fill other walls with pictures or canvases to break up dead wall space.

    2. Room dividers can help break up a large space

    Set up a nice screen to help divide the space into different areas. For example, you can create a cosy reading corner behind a screen, with a chaise longue, some fluffy cushions and warm lighting.

    3. Use large plants

    Tall potted plants look great in large spaces. They allow a little natural colour into the room and take up vertical and ground space without making the room feel cluttered.

    4. Add colour

    As a general rule of thumb, light and bright paint colours tend to make a room feel more spacious, whilst darker colours absorb light giving the illusion of a smaller, cosier space. We love Royal Navy 257 (below) by Little Greene. They do a range of deep colours too - check them out here.

    Royal Navy 257

    Don’t be afraid to go dark in a large room. There are better methods than others to get the most out of dark paint colours though - check out these excellent tips for using dark paint from Mad About the House, an award-winning interior design blog.

    5. Consider two-tone walls

    Divide wall colours horizontally to break up the space further and effectively “shorten” the walls. Use darker colours at the bottom to draw the eye lower down, rather than upwards towards high ceilings.

    6. Don’t forget about lighting!

    The right lighting can really do wonders for a large room. Rather than using bright spotlights in the ceiling, use low dangling pendant lights and warm lamps in different areas. A mix of floor and table lights will help take up a bit more space too!

    We hope you found this post helpful if you're planning to decorate a large room. We're always happy to share our decorating tips and advice with you. If you're passing Wetherby anytime soon, why not pop into our store and talk to our team about your next project?

    Please take a minute to share this post online with your social media followers!

    Image courtesy of Unsplash. Text overlay added. Image courtesy of Unsplash (Sarah Dorweiler). Used under Creative Commons Zero license. Text overlay added.
  • Why Are Some Paints Pricier Than Others?

    Why-are-some-paints-pricier-than-others

    Ever wondered why there’s sometimes such a big difference in price when it comes to the same type of paint? Surely a tin of paint is just... well, a tin of paint, right?

    Wrong! The reason some paints are pricier than others is all to do with the magic formula that they’re made up of.

    What are paints made up of?

    Paints are made up of three main elements; pigments, solvents and binders (resins). Pigments are particles that give the paint its colour and the binder acts as a sort of glue, sticking the pigment particles together and allowing paint to stick to a surface. The solvent is the element that thins down the pigment and binder into a liquid form.

    That’s the science part of how paint works, but how does the varying price factor come into it? Well, as a general rule, you can expect value range paints to contain larger pigment particles and more solvents, thus diluting the overall formula, meaning more coats are needed.

    High quality paints, such as the range from Johnstone’s or Little Greene, are more expensive because they contain higher quality formulas to ensure that the paint is easier to apply and that it will go further, so you won’t need too many coats.

    Johnstone's Flat Matt - great quality paint at The Decorating Centre

    Cheap paints can mean more work for you

    Cheaper paints can end up being a false economy - you might not get a great finish. You’ve probably experienced this yourself: you decide to go for a value tin of paint to save money, but you end up buying twice as much, because it turns out that the cheap paint has about as much covering power as a threadbare net curtain.

    That’s not to say though that cheap paint isn't useful and shouldn't be purchased. After all, not every surface in the home needs to have a fantastic finish. If you’re painting the inside of the utility closet or garage, it might not need to look perfect, so you may as well try to save some money by going for budget paint.

    In addition, not all cheaper brands of paint should be tarred with the same brush. For example, Leyland Trade offer a great range of good quality, affordable paints.

    However, paying a little bit more for a tin of paint for the rooms that matter to you could actually save you time and money in the long-run. That's because you might not need to apply as many coats as you would with a value paint product and you'll get a better finish.

    As the saying goes, you get what you pay for!

    We hope you found this article helpful. For more decorating tips and advice, why not check out this section of our blog before you go?

    Why-are-some-paints-pricier-than-others

    *Manufacturer's product images used above.

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