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Eco friendly and cost effective decorating ideas

From the Resene decorating blog

With both inflation and the cost of living rising, thinking about eco-friendly ways to decorate is not only of benefit to the planet, but also to your wallet.

First, consider upgrades that can be done with paint alone, avoiding ripping out cabinetry or taking up flooring. With today’s paints it’s possible to get a professional finish by simply painting over the existing surface using your choice of Resene paints, colours or wood stains.

Rejuvenate tired furniture with Resene products

Rejuvenate tired furniture using Karen Walker Chalk Colour Paint and Wax from Resene ColorShops.

This coffee table, painted in Resene Ecru White finished with Karen Walker Chalk Colour paint in vintage and clear wax ties in beautifully with the cream sofa in a way that wouldn’t be so effective if it was left in its original timber finish. Wall painted in Resene Half Duck Egg Blue, floor painted in Resene Half Dusted Blue, large pot in Resene Quarter Sorrell Brown, small pots in Resene Sandspit Brown and Resene Albescent White. Plant from Monochrome Home, sofa and rug from Freedom Furniture, Warranbrooke Distant Waters artwork from Father Rabbit, tray, shell cluster and cushions from Indie Home Collective. Project by Leigh Stockton, image by Bryce Carleton.

An entranceway with a terracotta tile effect

The terracotta tile effect in this entranceway is achieved by using the raw dusty orange hue of Resene Tuscany with Resene Raven painted in a grid pattern serving as the ‘grout’.

Terracotta tiles suit a country style using materials like pale woods and wicker and softly painted cabinetry and shelving – think off whites like Resene Dutch White and Resene Eighth Pearl Lusta. Wall in Resene Eighth Pearl Lusta, door in Resene Felix, cabinet in Resene Blank Canvas, hook racks and shelf in Resene Double Dutch White. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

Selecting your paints

First things first, today’s paint contains a lot less volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than in previous decades. Since the 90s, Resene has reduced its VOCs by over 90 per cent. Resene has been pioneering waterborne paints for many years and there’s a waterborne paint suitable for most everyday DIY jobs.

When choosing paints, look for Resene’s Environmental Choice approved range. There’s a product for almost any painting job. For your kitchen choose Resene Lustacryl Kitchen & Bathroom or Resene SpaceCote Kitchen & Bathroom. Both are waterborne paints with both Resene’s Environmental Choice and Sensitive Choice – the latter is approved by the National Asthma Council.

Upcycling furniture

To breathe new life into existing furniture or that second-hand find, all that’s needed is a paint job. Karen Walker Chalk Colour, available from Resene ColorShops, is an extension to the Karen Walker Paints colour range. It’s ideal for upcycling as it creates a stunning, velvety matte finish. In just a few hours, you can transform pieces such as side tables, bookshelves, mirrors or bookcases. Another tool in the upcycler’s arsenal is Karen Walker Chalk Colour Wax in Vintage and Clear. Using wax and paint allows to achieve the perfect ‘shabby chic’ finish.

A dining room with a mismatched look

New life has been breathed into kitchen cabinets by repainting in Resene Spindle while the kitchen table has been refreshed using Resene Half Sea Fog and the chairs given a bach-friendly mismatched look in Resene Half Resolution Blue (bright blue), Resene Anglaise (warm cream), Resene Smashing (bright red) and Resene Twine (caramel brown).

Back wall in Resene Triple Merino, left wall (with window) in Resene Anglaise, window architrave in Resene Triple Merino, timber floor finished in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash and table in Resene Half Sea Fog. Vase from Shut the Front Door, artwork from endemicworld, dishrack (painted in Resene Spindle) from Citta, serving board (painted in Resene Twine), bowls and plates from Country Road, grey cups from Freedom. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

A relaxing green nursery

Combining an eco-friendly paint job with natural furnishings creates a relaxing environment in this gender-neutral nursery painted in two complementary greens for a fun style that will take your baby right through the toddler years.

The top half of the wall is painted in Resene Helix and the bottom half in Resene Artemis. The floor is in Resene Poured Milk. Hooks are painted in Resene Quarter Bokara Grey, small vase in Resene Peace and side table in Resene Green Meets Blue. Bedding from Foxtrot Home, cushion and elephant from Citta, basket from Tea Pea, stool from Everyday Needs, rug from Father Rabbit, wood blocks from Blackbird Goods. Project by Gem Adams, image by Melanie Jenkins.

Kitchen makeover

If your kitchen cabinetry is structurally sound it is perfectly possible to achieve a fresh new look by simply painting over your existing cupboards. First, remove handles or door knobs and mask edges to protect surrounding areas. Wash the door and drawer fronts with Resene Interior Paintwork Cleaner and allow to dry. For both melamine and wooden cupboards, sand down the surface before you begin and wipe off all sanding dusts. For melamine cabinets prepare the surface with a coat of Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer. Next apply two coats of Resene Lustacryl in your chosen Resene colour, allowing dry time between coats. Replace handles, either with the originals, polished or washed in soapy water or with new handles of your choice.

Flooring revamps

Paint isn’t the first thing you think of when thinking about flooring but it offers an easy, cost-effective way to change up your space without investing in new carpet, boards or tiles. Resene Walk-on flooring paint can be used to paint over your existing linoleum flooring, tiles or floorboards.

Amazing effects can be achieved using a range of downloadable stencils available via Resene. You can also get creative with paint and stencils on walls, furniture and outdoor pavers. Simply print out the stencil design onto a piece of paper and transpose it onto a piece of cardboard by pressing hard on the outline using a pencil and a ruler. Cut out the black parts of the design using a craft knife. Paint the entire floor with two coats of Resene Walk-on flooring paint in your base colour. Using low-tack masking tape to keep your stencil in place, use a semi-dry sponge or paintbrush to dab paint through the holes in the stencil, making sure you don’t overload the brush or sponge with paint during the process. Keep a rag or paper towel on hand to dab off excess paint. Carefully lift the stencil off and place it in the next position for painting and continue until your area is complete.

To create a terracotta ‘tiled’ floor, start with two coats of Resene Walk-on tinted to Resene Raven, which will serve as your grout. Once dry, use a ruler and pencil to measure and mark out even 250mm increments along each of the walls. Working in one direction first, carefully apply strips of 24mm wide painter’s masking tape – which will leave a clean and crisp edge when removed – measuring again periodically to keep the lines nice and straight. Repeat from the other direction to create a perpendicular grid. Be sure to press firmly on the masking tape so that it adheres fully and doesn’t allow your topcoat colour to seep underneath. Finally, roll on two coats of Resene Walk-on tinted to Resene Tuscany and allow it to touch dry before removing the masking tape.

Using an approved eco decorator

For large jobs, or if you’re just unsure of your skills and want to ensure a good job, the Resene Eco.Decorator programme is a nationwide database of approved decorators, chosen due to their dedication, not just in choice of paints but also sustainable practices and sound waste management. Find your local Resene Eco.Decorator online.

Cleaning your brushes

First things first, if you’re using your brushes again the next day, there’s no need to wash them. Simply wrap in a reusable plastic bag overnight and you’re ready to go in the morning.

If you’re storing your brushes, the good news is that washing waterborne paint off is a lot easier to clean than solvent-based paints. First wipe all the leftover paint from your brushes and rollers onto disposable materials such as pieces of old cardboard. Next, put the brushes in a bucket of water and wash. Once they are clean, rinse them in another bucket of clear water and allow to dry. Don’t throw out the water straight away, wait until the morning when the paint will have settled to the bottom and you can separate it from the water.

Recycling unused paint and empty packaging

Avoid unwanted paint and paint containers cluttering up your garage. If you no longer need it, it’s best to recycle paint while it is still liquid. Bring your unwanted paint and empty paint containers to the Resene PaintWise service at most Resene ColorShops for responsible recycling and disposal. Find out more about what you can recycle online.

Whether you’re breathing new life into an old tired vase or doing a full kitchen refresh – there’s many ways to rejuvenate and redecorate your home while minimising your decorating footprint by refreshing not replacing old surfaces and furniture and using Resene Environmental Choice approved products.

Resene Poured Milk

Resene Helix

Resene Peace

Resene Artemis

Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash

September 30, 2022

For help choosing colours and products to suit your projects, visit your local Resene ColorShop, ask a Resene Paint Expert online or book a Resene Colour Consultation.

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