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Top tips to get a quick decorating refresh done in a weekend

From the Resene decorating blog

So you have a nice, free weekend ahead of you and you want to make it count, ticking off some of those home renovation jobs or interior design ideas on your to-do list.

Use masking tape while painting

Some time spent masking can make for high impact results. Paper lantern bottoms painted in Resene Sweet Corn, upper wall in Resene Eagle lower wall in Resene Waiouru, floor in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash, skirting board in Resene Ottoman, planters in Resene Cut Glass, round rattan cushion tops in Resene Eagle and shoes in Resene Waiouru. Pouf from Nood, rug from The Ivy House, lanterns from Trade Aid, teapot from Everyday Needs, artwork by Rakai Karaitiana from endemicworld, mugs and Wabi Sabi book from An Astute Assembly. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

Here are some tips for making sure you use your weekend time efficiently to get maximum results.

Plan ahead

Before you get to your weekend working bee, make sure you have spent some time coming up with a plan, as well as a clear vision of what you're working towards.

That will include choosing your colour palette, but also checking what products and tools you might need whether it’s sandpaper, primer or other surface preparation products, a hammer, or cleaning products. The experts at your local Resene ColorShop will be able to talk you through what you need for your specific project.

Make sure everything is to hand, so you’re not back and forth to the store every half an hour. If your project is a group effort, make sure everybody involved knows what your desired outcome is, so you’re all working toward the same thing.

You’ll also want to have tested your preferred colours out using Resene testpots before you start your project, particularly if it involves painting walls or a main feature in a room. Try two coats of your preferred colours on large A2 cards leaving a white border of about 2cm.

This means you can easily check your colours in different parts of the room at different times of the day, and in different lights. The white border helps you see the true paint colour, without it merging into your existing wall colour.

Top tip: If you’re committed to one particular shade, you might want to try it in different strengths, such as eighth, quarter, half, double or triple if it’s too dark, too dominant or is not making the impact you were hoping for. The Resene Whites & Neutrals collection has up to six strength variations of the most popular colours so it is easy to pick a mix of colour strengths.

It’s also a good idea to make sure you have enough paint for your room or project before you start. As a rough guide a litre of paint should cover about 12sq m in one coat. Measure the length and height/width of your wall, ceiling, floor or other project, and multiply the two figures to work out your square metres. Divide that number by 12 to work out how many litres you’ll need, then double it to allow for two coats.

Freshen up a room by painting the floor

Painting a floor can be a quick way to add a fresh new look to any room. Floor painted in Resene Quarter Duck Egg Blue to complement the walls in Resene Duck Egg Blue. Coffee table and wall shelf in Resene Unwind, bamboo pot stand in Resene Quarter Tea and pendant lightshade, large bowl and vase in Resene Raindance. Sofa from Contempa, rug, deco object, mug, coasters and votive from Freedom, artwork from Etsy/sageseaprints, aqua cushion from Allium, throw and mist cushion from Adairs. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Bryce Carleton.


Having a clear workspace is really important to getting the maximum amount of work done when you have a fixed period of time. This is particularly true if you’re trying to redecorate a room in a weekend.

Declutter your room and, if possible, move everything out in advance. Not only will it make it much easier to paint or wallpaper, but it also means there’s much less likelihood of tripping over things and knocking over trays or cans of paint.

Removing clutter from your space also helps you get a real sense of how the finished colour scheme, your upcycled piece of furniture or beautiful home-designed mural is going to look.

A home office makeover

Trying out Resene testpots can help give you the confidence to experiment with unexpected colour combinations for a dramatic makeover in a short space of time.

Upper wall painted in Resene Cashmere with the curved lower design in Resene Nocturnal over two coats of Resene FX Magnetic Magic. Desk, shelves, coat rack and light fitting in Resene Nocturnal, pencil cup and desk file in Resene Cashmere. Rubbish bin in Resene Sepia, painted books in Resene Zeus and Resene Double Cod Grey, cork tealight holder in Resene Rebel, decorative vases and bowls in Resene Sepia, Resene Rebel, Resene Zeus, Resene Double Cod Grey, Resene Swiss Coffee and Resene Triple Rice Cake. Chair from Mood Store, rug from Freedom. Project by Laura Lynn Johnston, image Wendy Fenwick.

A bright orange front door

A burst of colour at your front door is a fast and simple look to achieve with maximum impact.

Bright orange door painted in Resene Hyperactive against weatherboards in Resene Merino, deck in Resene Woodsman Natural, plant pot in Resene Kaitoke Green, bench in Resene All Black and stripes of the zebra doormat painted in Resene Hyperactive and Resene All Black. Plant and doormat from Mitre 10, light from Lighting Plus. Project by Sarah Kolver and Emma Rawson, image by Bryce Carleton.

Check for maintenance

One job to complete before tackling a weekend of painting a room is to do a once-over for any maintenance or repair work that needs doing. It might be looking for any bumps or dents in walls that will need filling – a bright hand-held light is good for this – as well as picture hook holes and broken window latches or loose hinges.

On an upcycled furniture project it could be loose fixtures and fittings like handles, broken drawer pulls or loose timber joints and cracks. Taking care of all these things in advance, helps ensure you’re working efficiently when you’re trying to get projects completed quickly.

Efficient painting

When it comes to painting efficiently to get the maximum done in a fixed amount of time, there are a few steps you can take to set yourself up for success.

Masking might seem like a time-consuming hassle but it can prevent you from spending time on tidying up edges and removing paint overlaps, particularly if you’re a beginner.

And don’t be tempted to overload your roller or brush in the hope of covering more area quickly. You’ll just spend your time trying to even it out and get a smooth, streak-free finish. Try painting in a “W” shape with your roller rather than straight up and down as it will be easier to blend edges between strokes.

Top tip: Instead of getting up and down a ladder and having to move it every few minutes, get yourself a long handled paint roller.

Adding stained wood features to your living room

Adding stained wood features can be a fast and relatively easy way to makeover any space in a short amount of time. Back wall painted in Resene Triple White Pointer, side wall in Resene Half Friar Greystone with Resene FX Paint Effects Medium tinted with Resene Quarter Friar Greystone. Tongue-and-groove flooring is Resene Triple White Pointer, rear trellis panels painted in Resene Woodsman Whitewash, cinder blocks painted in Resene Ironsand with wood shelves in Resene Tapa and large plant pot in Resene All Black. Sofa from Early Settler, grey checked wool blanket from The Warehouse, grey checked cushions (made by stylist using wool blanket) from The Warehouse, cushion cover from H&M Home, fur cushion from Adairs. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Wendy Fenwick.

Ideas for perfect weekend-sized projects with big impact:

Other quick ideas could be:

If you plan well, you can easily get a feature wall painted in an afternoon and a full room in a day, still leaving you plenty of weekend time left.

Resene Quarter Friar Greystone

Resene Half Friar Greystone

Resene Raindance

Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash

June 30, 2022

Visit your local Resene ColorShop for expert advice and all the products and accessories you need to make the most of your home.

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