Close Give Feedback
Resene Paints - home page
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Pinterest Follow us on Instagram Follow us on YouTube
Fashion colour inspiration
Wallpaper trends
Fabric/curtain trends
Colourways forecast
Paint colour trends 2011 and earlier
The Range 2011/12 fandeck colours

Paint colour trends for 2012

As we emerge from the depths of the recession, life has taken on new meaning. We yearn for a simpler, more relaxed way of living and we find comfort in the familiar. Objects that remind us of happier times take centre stage, and splashes of bold, uplifting colours are fully embraced.

Cheerful, optimistic yellows and oranges speak to our playful side, while tranquil blues and greens muster a sense of wellbeing and warmth. Add to that a vibrant mix of purples, mustards, ochres and earthy tones – all colours that celebrate our past – and the new season’s colours combine to refresh, inspire, motivate and lift our spirits. Hues have a feminine edge with a sense of cosiness. Alongside femininity lies retro. Old is the new new, as we look to surround ourselves with nostalgic pieces. Raw, unembellished beauty sits easily beside luxurious materials or simple, upcycled objects.

Splashes of strong colour feature not just on accent walls – our appliances and homewares are getting an overhaul too. Toasters, mixers, fridges, rangehoods, ovens and other homewares are becoming brighter and cheerier, with oranges, yellows, reds and blues coming through.

Splash those feel-good colours onto walls and you have instant pick-me-up pizzazz. Try Resene Wild Thing, a star-bright yellow gold that’s bold, energetic and frivolous. For the really adventurous, pair this playful colour with blacks or blues, such as Resene Bowie, a clear litmus and cyan blue reminiscent of the 1960s.


Resene Colour Swatch
Resene Wild Thing Resene Bowie

Resene Fleetwood harks back to the good old days too, with its gentle combination of green, brown and mustard yellow. It’s a fabulous match for yellow greens, rouge violets and lemon sherbets, such as Resene Nirvana, Resene Boogie Wonderland and Resene First Light.

Resene Paint Colour Resene Boogie Wonderland Resene Colour Swatch
Resene Fleetwood Resene Nirvana Resene Boogie Wonderland Resene First Light

Oranges are coming through murkier, though they’re still full of fire and splendour. Resene Ayers Rock is a modern take on burnt orange and teams well with reptilian olives (such as Resene Evolution), warm greys (Resene Kookaburra) and spearmint greens (Resene Howzat).

Resene Paint Colour Resene Boogie Wonderland Resene Colour Swatch
Resene Ayers Rock Resene Evolution Resene Kookaburra Resene Howzat

Reds are still mostly blue-based – your cherry reds rather than in-your-face reds – evoking energy, excitement and passion. The richly sensuous Resene X Factor sets the mood with its deep, plush tones, while the brighter cherry red of Resene Bullseye will heat things up without blowing a fuse.

Rust red hues also move through into browns and earthy tones. Resene Courage is an earth red darkened with brown. Try it with a smouldering copper metallic such as Resene Triumph or an earthy olive green such as Resene Butterfly Creek.

Pink, the sweet side of red, diverges into many hues from pale pastels to the more luscious. Resene Smitten is a vivacious fuchsia pink with a pinch of violet, while Resene Devoted is a delicate cherry blossom blushed pink – sweetly feminine and soft.

Resene Colour Swatch Resene Colour Swatch Resene Colour Swatch
Resene X Factor Resene Bullseye Resene Courage Resene Triumph
Resene Paint Colour Resene Colour Swatch Resene Colour Swatch  
Resene Butterfly Creek Resene Smitten Resene Devoted  

Blues feature widely in the colour palette – after all, we’re happiest when the sky is blue. From intense blues to washed out indigo blues as well as cyan and lagoon blues, this is a hue that instils confidence and promotes an overall sense of serenity. Resene Escape is refreshing and optimistic, a pale cerulean blue, dreamy and calm. It’s the perfect complement to the stormy blue grey of Resene Jetsetter. Deeply intense blues such as Resene Magnum and Resene Nite Life provide a viable neutral alternative to grey or black. Mixed with silver you can achieve the elegance of a more traditional black and gold combination.

Resene Paint Colour Resene Colour Swatch
Resene Escape Resene Jetsetter Resene Magnum Resene Nite Life

Purples are also varied – from bold violet to the softened purples of dried flowers, such as Resene Believe and Resene Poet. They all have an underlying warmth in common, ultramodern, majestic or subtle.

Resene Believe Resene Poet

Nature takes last season’s greens to a whole new level, with a broader, fresher, more back-to-earth range. Greens are coming indoors as people treat their home as a sanctuary and recreate the illusion of being nestled in nature, rather than in the middle of suburbia.

Minty apple greens, like Resene Kandinsky, are one flavour of the season as a fresh exterior look and inside in reading rooms and bedrooms.

The palette also extends to yellow greens, such as Resene Koru and Resene Nirvana, and turquoise and emerald greens such as Resene Zeal and Resene Moxie. There’s also crossover hues moving from green to blue, such as Resene Free Spirit.

Resene Paint Colour Resene Colour Swatch Resene Colour Swatch
Resene Kandinsky Resene Koru Resene Nirvana Resene Zeal
  Resene Colour Swatch  
  Resene Moxie Resene Free Spirit  

Our thirst for sustainability trickles through into the 2012 colour range, with a palette that’s infused with earthy, neutral tones – showing our growing appreciation for the earth and its resources. Wood tones are reflected in beiges and browns and offset by soft golden metallics, such as Resene Ignition. Neutrals, browns and beiges tend towards warmer, comforting variants, such as Resene Secret Road and Resene Fantail.

Resene Paint Colour Resene Colour Swatch
Resene Ignition Resene Secret Road Resene Fantail

Greys are trending softer teamed with fresh whites, with the rapid rise in popularity of Resene Thorndon Cream reflecting this trend.

Off-whites are pure and uncomplicated, and there is a definite comeback of cool white, such as Resene Barely There, as a background neutral. Plain white, such as Resene Half Alabaster, is clean and elegant, a stark contrast to the growing range of blacks, such as Resene Black Sheep and Resene Blackout.

Resene Colour Swatch Resene Colour Swatch Resene Colour Swatch Resene Colour Swatch Resene Blackout
Resene Thorndon Cream Resene Barely There Resene Half Alabaster Resene Black Sheep Resene Blackout

Cosy, casual elegance, stability and familiarity are key trends for 2012, with comfort playing a leading role. And that translates to the old adage ‘home is where the heart is’. As many of us choose to stay put, our homes are well and truly becoming our sanctuaries.

View colours for 2012 in the Resene The Range fashion fandeck available from Resene ColorShops and resellers, or view online at

The Range fashion fandeck colours are available in your favourite colour tools including Resene testpots, A4 drawdowns and self-adhesives, plus colour pencil and RGB formulations available online or from your Resene representative.

Electronic colour swatches for ArchiCAD, AutoCAD, SketchUp, Revit and more are also available online at

Resene Colorwood wood stains now in bright clear colours Bold wood
Wave goodbye to lacklustre, drab hues and say hello to a bold world of colour as Resene Colorwood brings wood stains into the future... more
Rich autumnal hues from Resene The Range 2011/2012 Shades of the season
Embrace the change of season by welcoming rich autumnal hues into your home with Resene's The Range 2011/12... more
Design Folio features the latest from Resene. Be inspired with colour, wallpaper and fabrics Design Folio
Design Folio features the latest from Resene. Be inspired with colour, wallpaper and fabrics.... more
The latest on colour and paint technology for kitchens from Resene Paints A bright idea
There's more to renovating you kitchen than just the latest tools and gadgets. Check out the latest on colour and paint technology... more. You will need Acrobat Reader.
Whatever project you're tackling outside, there's a Resene paint to suit Getting covered
Whatever project you're tackling outside, there's a paint to suit... more. You will need Acrobat Reader.

Order online now:
Testpots | Paints | Primers and Sealers | Stains | Clears | Accessories

Get inspired Get inspired ! Subscribe      Get saving Get saving ! Apply for a DIY card

Resene Paints Ltd

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask us!

Resene Paints Ltd   –

Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Pinterest Follow us on Instagram Follow us on YouTube
Videos on how to paint and stain your house

Welcome to our World of Colour!™
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.

What's new | Specifiers | Painters | DIYers | Artists | Kids | Sitemap | Home | TOP ⇧