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On trend decorative paint techniques

Decorative paint techniques are set to be big in 2023. 
Whether it's the geometric patterns of Art Deco or the abstract shapes of Matisse, it seems our inspiration knows no bounds…....
Skirting : Mayan Green 615. Stencil pattern Seafoam Green 2039-60 with Light Quartz 2011-70.
There is no better way to instantly transform a space than with a fresh coat of paint. But if you're looking to achieve some serious interior design kudos, now's the time to go the extra mile and get creative with a decorative paint technique.
From painted borders and to two-tone walls, to stencilling and hand painted murals, 2023 is all about bringing personality into our homes so it's no surprise we're seeing a revival of some of these methods.
The good news is, even if you're not the next Picasso, there are plenty of easy ways to try a number of painting techniques that will make a huge difference in how your room looks and feels.
But what are the tips and tricks to enable us to recreate this look in our own homes?
To help you decide what's best for your space (and abilities), we've rounded up some of our favourites for you to try this year.

Creating a statement with a simple two-tone look

Whether you want to make your space feel larger or add an unexpected dose of colour, a two-tone look is easy to apply and perfect for those looking for a simple project to dip their toes in.

When deciding on your colour combination, a top tip to is to use a darker shade on the bottom paired with a lighter tone on the upper section. This will make the room look taller as it creates the illusion of a high ceiling. By opting to paint the doors in the same effect, you will add a soothing continuity and comtemporary twist to your overall scheme.

Lower wall and woodwork : California Hills 216. Upper wall and woodwork : Ashwood OC-47. Coving  and ceiling :  Simply White OC-117.
There are no set rules when it comes to planning the position of the dividing line between the two colours, but we suggest you consider the height of existing features such as a chair rail, door frame or window to create a clean, orderly look.

Once you've determined the placement, simply measure from the ceiling down and mark out using a low-tack masking tape and level. 

Upper wall and woodwork : Steam AF-15. Lower wall : October Mist 1495. Window frame : Natural Linen 966
Adding interest with perspective and painted borders

Using paint to highlight borders or add unexpected pops of colour is an affordable way to play with the structure and perspective of a room, whilst also drawing the eyes attention to interesting features such as alcoves, high ceilings and cornices.
Alcove : Marblehead Gold HC-11. Walls : Baby's Breath OC-62. Woodwork and doors : Balboa Mist OC-27
Even if you want to use a pale tone to maximise light and open up a small space, you can use accents of black on panelling, skirting boards or as a linear divide to the room to make a real statement.  
Walls and panelling : Frostine AF-5. Accent woodwork : Black Satin 2131-10

Opting to use a different shade to enhance door frames and windows will add character and bring a ‘period' feel to a room, without the need for you to have to redecorate entirely.

Wall panelling : Bruton White CW-710. Door : Slate CW-700. Accent woodwork : Nicolson Green CW-500.

If you're looking to step it up a notch in the design stakes, think about opportunities to play with a variety of more unexpected colour combinations to create real impact. Use the colour combinations feature on benjaminmoorepaint.co.uk for more inspiration. 

Walls : Eucalyptus Leaf 2144-20. Border : Blue Spa 2052-40, Rose Quartz 2002-30 and Rose Petal 2010-60.
Ceiling and woodwork :
Chantilly Lace OC-65

From a practical point of view, use a low tack tape around the ceiling edges or skirting to help achieve a sharp line and a clean finish. Always remove the tape when the paint is still wet to ensure there is no bleed through or peeling!

For this type of project we recommend using an interior paint with a slightly higher gloss sheen level such as our eggshell or satin finishes which, as well as being more durable, will work to create dimension and highlight architectural detail.

The revival of patterns

From scaly, mermaid-tinged sequins at Chloé to frissons of feathers at Chanel, if the amped-up embellishments of the catwalks tell us anything it's that glamour is afoot for 2023.

Similarly in the interiors world we're increasingly seeing people move away from completely neutral palettes, opting instead to inject a little more energy through the elegant use of bold patterns and colours.

Renowned for both its glamour and elegance, the Art Deco era is a good place to start for those on the hunt for inspiration.

This look is all about tapping into the beauty of clean lines, unique shapes and geometry to evoke a visually exciting, fun and modern twist on your interiors. One way to achieve this look at home is to use a sleek panelled effect.

Start by painting your wall in a matt finish, then use masking tape and a gloss paint in the same colour to add your desired pattern. Bold colour choices will help to emphasise the art and rich materials synonymous with the Art Deco era.

Wall - Admiral Blue 2065-10, Regal Select Matte and Advance High Gloss

Another technique for the more confident interiors enthusiasts is the use of stencilling. 

You can use stencils to give your walls a modernist twist. To create the glitz and glamour of Miami Beach, choose ultra-bright tones which will instill an almost futuristic feel. Paint an all-over wall pattern using a repeated stencil for a wallpaper-effect, then hand-paint abstract highlights in a darker shade.

To tie the scheme together use the same rich shade on woodwork. Adding elements of brass and marble in your accessories will bring a luxurious dimension to the space.

Picture rail and skirting : Mayan Green 615. Base wall colour : Light Quartz 2001-70. Stencil colour : Seafoam green 2039-60

Channeling your inner Matisse
Bring an artistic, informal look to a room and channel the hand-painted embellishments beloved of the Bloomsbury Set. Get creative on neutral walls with a free-form hand-painted Matisse-style motif – think cherry red, sunny yellow and soft hydrangea pink.

Woodwork and architrave : Rosemary Spring 2144-30.  Walls : Light Mocha  2096-60.
Leaf motifs :
Hydrangea Flowers 2008-40, Shy Cherry 2007-30 and Baby Chick 2023-20

If you lack confidence, use a stencil to cheat your way to the look. Alternatively, blow caution to the wind and go free hand by drawing your chosen shapes lightly in pencil first - arranging them in a fluid, informal style to achieve a relaxed and playful look.

Walls : Swiss Coffee OC-45. Motifs : Sienna Clay 104 and Delphinium CC-872

With any project you undertake, don't forget to think about the sheen level you would like to use on your woodwork. Glossier surfaces which reflect more light tend to look cleaner and more crisp, whereas lower sheen levels such as eggshell or satin tend to give a softer look. For a guide to our sheen levels, click here.

One thing is for sure, whether you're looking for an ambitious project or something simpler to get you started, the power of paint techniques in the home is not to be underestimated. 

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