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When to get help from the experts

From the Resene decorating blog

So, you have a home makeover project in mind. It might be a quick room refresh with a new coat of paint; it might be a full renovation project from the ground up.

Experiment with colours in your home interior

Working with a professional colour consultant can help you layer and experiment with colours in a way that will elevate your space.

Wall painted in Resene Rice Cake with centre circle painted in Resene FX Magnetic Magic with a topcoat of Resene Thunderbird. Other mural colours are Resene Arriba, Resene Yogi, Resene Contented, Resene Transition and Resene Valentine. Sideboard in Resene Very Berry, coffee table in Resene Inspire, floor in Resene Colorwood Breathe Easy and décor items painted in Resene Dawn Glow, Resene Summer Rose, Resene Inspire, Resene Wayfarer, Resene Eau De Nil and Resene Forty Six. Sofa from Danske Møbler, cushions and throw from Città. Project by Annick Larkin, image by Bryce Carleton.

How do you know if your project is something you can do yourself, even if you’re a relative beginner, or if you really need to call in the professionals?

For most projects, aside from complete rebuilds, the answer isn’t black and white. There will likely be some jobs that need an expert hand, but others you can try yourself to both save money and gain satisfaction and there’s a lot of free advice out there to help you along the way.

We talked to some Resene experts on where to draw the line in getting professional help for your project.

Rebecca Long

Resene Senior Architectural Representative

“It’s always important to seek professional help before you start a home renovation or maintenance project.

“The renovation industry is full of incredibly knowledgeable people who not only have a wealth of experience but are also up to date with the latest products and technology. Once you have spoken to an industry professional I would then evaluate the advice against your time, availability and skills and decide whether to hire help or tackle it on your own.

“If you do want to try your hand, start small and give yourself time to build your confidence. If you’re looking to repaint your whole home, start with a feature wall or small project before tackling a whole room.

“Resene have launched a digital platform called Resene MasterStroke by Resene which you can find at It is there to help you master your paint and decorating DIY projects by providing videos full of advice, tips and ideas from trusted experts.

“The other thing to remember is that if you’re finding a project stressful, take a break for a day or two and re-evaluate where you’re at. You can always contact a professional for advice and generally a free quote regarding the rest of your project. From there decide whether you’re keen to tackle it on your own or accept help.”

Make sure to test colours in different light levels

Testing colours in different parts of a room in different lights is key for beginners to make sure the tones are right.

The walls in this living room are painted in Resene Half Blanc with floor in Resene Eighth Blanc and planter in Resene Blanc. Vase in Resene Triple Blanc, side table sponged in a combination of Resene Eighth Blanc, Resene Blanc and Resene Double Blanc, artwork in Resene Black White with balls in Resene Double Alabaster and Resene FX Pearl Shimmer and frame in Resene Double Blanc. The curtain is Resene Echelon in Earth. Lamp from Lighting Plus, bowl from Good Thing, chairs from Danske Møbler, table from Soren Liv, cushion from Furtex. Project by Melle Van Sambeek, image by Bryce Carleton.

Meryl Southey

Resene Colour Expert

“When you are renovating or building, no matter the size of the project, there are so many decisions to be made constantly. Enlisting the help of a professional designer or architect early ensures that every decision made is an informed one and adds value to the project so a successful design aesthetic is the outcome.

“Designers and architects have training, knowledge, and skills. As well as knowing the current trends and products – what will date, they have contacts in the industry who they know how to negotiate with and brief.

“Using a professional can save you money, time and undue stress by reducing the number of choices you have to make whether you are building a new home or renovating a bedroom.

“That said, if you are wanting to DIY there is a lot of advice and information available online at places like the Resene website and, as well as by talking to Resene colour consultants and product experts in Resene ColorShops.

Gain confidence with expert colour advice

Getting expert colour advice can give you the confidence to try something different.

Walls painted in Resene Comfortably Numb, painted figures and bedside tables in Resene Alabaster, floor in Resene Colorwood Greywash and vases in Resene Black Sands and Resene Alabaster. Bedding from Bed, Bath & Table, head from Interior Warehouse. Project by Megan Harrison-Turner, image by Bryce Carleton.

A green wallpapered bedroom

If you’re new to wallpapering, ask your Resene ColorShop staff for advice before you start hanging your wallpaper and make sure you prepare properly.

Walls in Resene Wallpaper Collection 307322 with headboard in Resene Wallpaper Collection 307338. Team with Resene Stromboli and Resene Half Sisal.

Megan Harrison-Turner

Interior designer

“I often get called in to help after people have been playing around with Resene testpots and realise they’re not sure what colours or paints to use and where to use them.

“There’s no shame in asking for help. You don’t want to get to the end of a big project and realise you've chosen colours that don’t work or you don’t like.

“Often there’ll be things you have to work in with, that you might not have considered, like a powder coated roof colour or changes in light.

“Colour can be tricky, as Claude Monet said; ‘Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment. One of the most common mistakes people make when painting exteriors is choosing a colour that’s too light that just gets blasted by the glaring sunlight and ends up looking white.

“Managing the change in scale using colour in a bigger project can be hard to manage as a beginner.

“I’m obviously biased about the benefits of using a designer, but the other thing to remember is if you think you need help from an interior designer it can be just to help you choose colours. You don’t then need to hire them for a full makeover, you can just get them in to see your home and advise on choosing the right shades.

“If you are choosing your own colours, make good use of Resene testpots and try the biggest sample you can.”

Top tip:  Consider hiring a paint professional if your project has a high level of hazards such as a steep-pitched roof, an uneven or steep section, or a risk of poisonous lead-based paints on old surfaces. Professionals know how to deal with these obstacles in a safe way.

Hiring a professional

DIY your paint project

Resene Breathe Easy

Resene Inspire

Resene Eau De Nil

Resene Contented

Resene Valentine

Resene Summer Rose

Resene Dawn Glow

Resene Yogi

Resene Comfortably Numb

Resene Wayfarer

Resene Forty Six

Resene Transition

Resene Very Berry

Resene Arriba

Resene Black Sand

March 28, 2023

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

Book a colour consult | Ask a Colour Expert | Ask a Paint Expert

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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.

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