How to increase the light in your home with a paint that reflects up to twice the lightPosted by Fiona Nevile in Cottage tales | 20 comments
One of the depressing things about being a decorator is making other peoples’ houses look beautiful and not having time to decorate our cottage.
As a decorator, my eye is instinctively drawn to the necessary repairs and the state of the paintwork as this can contribute significantly to the labour costs and could spell disaster if I don’t spot them on the assessment visit.
I can’t switch this off when I walk through the cottage door and have been longing to decorate our kitchen for over a year. It’s quite a big job because we have painted kitchen cupboards (as opposed to wood effect) and I also want to change the wall tiles over the cooker. I wouldn’t dream of using another decorator as I know exactly the quality of work and attention to detail that would make me happy.
So a couple of weeks ago we decided that I would take a week off and decorate the kitchen and bathroom. I was so excited this morning that I sprang out of bed early and started work well before breakfast.
Our seventeenth century cottage is one room deep and has windows at the front and back of each room, facing south west in the front (afternoon sun) and north east at the back (morning sun). But the windows are very small and the ceilings are low so the cottage is fairly dark even on the brightest day. As yet we have not resorted to miners’ lamps to relieve the gloom in the winter.
Years ago people used to use glossy paint to reflect more light in dark rooms. I hate this as every bump and bobble on the surface of the walls and ceilings are highlighted. On the uneven walls of a very old house it looks even worse, it’s like looking at a choppy sea.
In the past we have just resorted to pale colours but this time I decided to use a new paint that has been developed by Dulux. It’s called Light and Space and reflects up to twice as much light as normal paint. It also has a flat matt finish. This is not glow in the dark florescent paint. It just reflects more light – daylight or artificial light. Initially I was a bit dubious about it.
But then I heard about the progress of paint development on the radio a few months ago and immediately ordered 5 litres of white for our downstairs ceilings back in the autumn. The substantial pot has sat patiently on the floor for a good four months.
With just one coat on the ceiling I could see how effective it was. So I rushed down to Homebase to have the paint mixed for the walls (Ridgeons, my trade paint supplier don’t stock it yet). The range of colours is small and all are light shades but the choice is a bit bigger if you have the paint mixed for you. This paint is a great investment if you live in a dark place. It’s about 30% more expensive that ordinary Dulux matt but the saving on electric light will be significant for us and we will soon be recouping the difference and feeling the benefit.
I’m not sponsored or working for Dulux. I have just discovered that their range of paint is really good and better than everything else that clients might ask me to use. I do use a whole range of expensive ‘boutique’ brands in other people’s houses but would always use Dulux at home.
It’s so good to be working at home for a change although the Min Pins are up in arms and hating the disturbance to their well ordered daily routine. And there isn’t much time for games. It’s the same when major cottage spring cleaning is taking place. They would prefer everything to have been done before they come down for breakfast in the morning. And I can see their point on the cleaning front.
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