Design Guide


Yorkshire Paint Suppliers

Welcome to the RGI Paint Hub! The purpose of this page is to educate and inspire our readers on all things paint related. Answering your many questions and creating an online ‘one stop shop’ containing our designers’ knowledge and expertise on the subject.

Why does paint matter?

At Richard Grafton Interiors we always suggest you create a scheme planned for the whole room. Consider what anchors the scheme, this could be paint if you have your heart set on a specific colour. Paint can act as an anchor to your scheme in many ways, from selecting fabrics and textures to complement the paint colour or even picking a piece of artwork to hang from the walls. There are so many different options out there when it comes to paint, but with the help of a trained eye paint can create a stunning final look.

What does RGI take into account before stocking a brand?

We stock a wide variety of paint brands at RGI, however as we always want to achieve a luxury finish the paints that we stock are high quality, durable and widely used on a variety of surfaces to ensure we offer our clients the finish that they are looking for. Some of the infamous fabric houses have their own collection of paint which we stock as well as the traditional paint companies who are distinctive and technologically advanced in the way their paint is produced.

At Richard Grafton Interiors you can see the colour scales in use and how they can work alongside the fabrics and materials we have selected in our showrooms. We are here to advise on all aspects of your interior projects to make them a reality. Pop into one of our 3 showrooms to begin your interior journey!

What to consider when buying paint:

Location – which room should I paint?

When you are about to embark on a project, consider the space and the area you wish to tackle. Also think about any adjoining spaces which may link and flow through the area. Kitchens, living, dining and open plan areas can benefit from unity. Alternatively, rooms like studies or a bedroom can have more of an individual identity relevant to the end user.

We always advise on creating a road map of what you want to achieve even if you are not working on all the rooms at once. Paint can look fantastic on rooms with architectural details like panelling, coving, skirtings or on older properties where the lines are not so forgiving. Make a stunning entrance with your front door and hallway! First impressions count. It is also the most cost-effective way to transform and tackle your interior makeover.

What is the best paint to use with what surface?

If you are lucky enough to be working onto new plaster, preparation is still key, but should be easier to achieve a great finish with interior paints without too much effort. We love the option of the durable modern emulsions which still give a great matte finish but can withstand family life.

There are lots of options for interior and exterior paints. You can bring colour and interest to all your walls and ceilings, freestanding and built in furniture both inside and out.

If you have an older property, then we would always use one of the historical or architectural paints. Our favourites are:

Paint & Paper Library, The Little Green Paint Company, Zoffany and Farrow & Ball. They all provide a great sensitive colour collection to create the ambience but also respect the materials of the property.

Always use a professional decorator to advise on the state of the interior walls and to ensure you maximise your results. They can advise if any re-skimming may be required or repair works and also prepare surfaces beyond your capabilities which may be able to be saved.

Tip: If you are going to attempt a kitchen make-over I would find a professional who is confident to achieve the best results. Painting many doors, drawers’ and fiddly edges where appliances may be inserted is not for the faint hearted!

At Richard Grafton Interiors we have a number of fully skilled decorators who complete all our interior projects and build furniture to a high spec, hand painted finish. These are all hand finished in our cabinet workshop in Yorkshire and painted on site by one of our specialist decorators.

Click here for a recent kitchen project we transformed using a lick of paint.

What are the different paint finishes?

Paint companies now supply primers for all surfaces, be it wood or walls, to ensure the best colour results are achieved. The primer can be tinted or they may offer a light or dark option but this will ensure the correct colour finish is achieved.

Many of the modern emulsions and eggshells are now water based which can easily be cleaned and are still tough and durable for any family & pets. They have shorter drying times and less odour so your project can be completed all in good time. There is still the option of an oil eggshell where some traditional, heritage finishes are required. These have been greatly improved and meet Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emission standards.

Gloss can be used to create a stunning shine for a feature front entrance. Sample pots can be purchased to check colour for larger areas. We would also advise painting 2 coats on lining paper or a board to check you are happy with the look.

Tip: Do not paint direct onto the surface you are painting as it may show through when you come to paint the final colour selected.

Emulsions can be used for ceilings and walls, these can be completely matt or an acrylic matt emulsion which may have a low sheen but cleanable.

Interior Eggshell for all woodwork, freestanding or built in furniture & ensure to use the intended primers for the best results.

Exterior Eggshells for doors, outdoor furniture, sheds and summerhouses & ensure to use the intended primers for the best results.

Exterior Gloss for impressive entrance or impactful external doors.

How much paint will I need?

Be sure to calculate how much paint you need so you don’t waste it. Every tin has a coat guide per sqm. Again, a decorator can advise on the amount required. Generally, 1 coat of primer and 2 coats of top coat will be sufficient but never skimp. Dark rich colours will take more coats to achieve full strength. Do check as the small tin sizes can vary between 750ml- 1l.

Each company have great websites and support for the technical details. At Richard Grafton Interiors all our designers attend colour and finish workshops provided by the companies and we also have a network of reps to advise if any issues should arise.

When will the room be used?

Rooms used throughout the day don’t need to be too dark. They need to help lift our mood and make sure we can function on the tasks in hand.

  • Keep kitchens light and airy where possible but create enough identity so it doesn’t all get too samey. If you are a budding chef, you may want somewhere to inspire so we don’t rule anything out.
  • Plan and be creative with colour and all the other elements you want to factor in.
  • Furnishings and furniture or surfaces can be the focus if a more neutral scheme is selected. It can be handles and details which bring the ‘va va voom’ to the space.
  • Cinema rooms, studies or snugs can have more depth and bring in the cosy dramatic feeling to suit the function. See here!
  • Don’t be afraid to go rich and colourful but in the end, you will have to live in the space so if you are going to be brave we would always advise checking a colour day and night by painting a sample out on lining paper or a board.
  • Check the lighting it will be used with as this also can flatten colours at night.
  • Images can look fantastic on your screen make sure they are practical and not just for show.

What look do you want to achieve?

Entrance Hallways, Dining Rooms, Cloakrooms can all have an impact or create mood. You can have a bit of fun using darker or dramatic colour combinations here to make a statement here. These rooms are generally more architectural and can have the panelling or woodwork details. These details can help you to break up the space and combine colours in scales or monochromatic combinations.

At Richard Grafton Interiors we would always suggest you create the whole scheme planned for the room so consider the anchors:

  • The fabrics, surfaces, floors, furniture styles and finishes before selecting your final paint choice.
  • You may have a clear idea of which direction you want to go in but the limitless combinations of colour in paints ensure that you will always find the perfect one to match.
  • Our designers are here to advise and help with the selection making sure it achieves the perfect results.

What paint colour combinations work well?

We can follow trends, but we always tend to advise on making the interior timeless. Colours will still be influenced by the end user as they are naturally drawn to and comfortable in the colours they love and those which suit them.

Social media has made it far easier to see combinations. Instagram, Houzz and Pinterest are great to collect your ideas. However, keep in mind that you can’t always pick from a computer screen. The colours have to work in real life with all the backgrounds of the fabrics, materials and metallics you want to have in the room. Always get a full pack of samples to work with to avoid any costly mistakes.

Many paint companies provide scales of colours to help give a cohesive flow to the backdrop. You can then add statement colours to this for furniture like media walls or a kitchen island. They generally work if you use the combinations which are 2 apart on the scale for more definition.

In the showroom we have larger sample books of all the colours to work with. We can easily check over the fabric and materials with you to ensure the colours are best suited.

Each paint company has great social media sites and will inspire and provide new colour combinations. These may follow trends or more architectural trends which, in reverse, then influence colour. They can advise on historical uses, the theory of where the colours came from and how to use in modern life.

The Little Greene Paint Company are a really great example of how you can push colour boundaries and have introduced many combinations and continue to add each season.

Paint and Paper Library influence and inspire many conceptual architects and commercial interiors designers.

Examples are

  • Monochromatic Scales – town and city
  • Grey Scales – usable calm neutrals which cover all the tones of grey (we have in Harrogate and Ilkley)
  • Pink scales– romantic and cosy feminine tones with a few surprises
  • Green Scales – rural country rich and bold
  • Blue Scales – punchy coastal and impact hues
  • English Heritage scales and full colour library – usable directory for any period home

Zoffany Paint offers 156 shades in three finishes. Their water based paints contain virtually no VOCs (volatile organic compounds that contribute to atmospheric pollution).

Farrow & Ball distinctive paints are renowned for their depth and complexity. They have rich pigments and respond to all types of light.

Common paint questions:

Is it worth buying expensive paint?

High quality paint is worth the extra cost as the depth of pigment and ingredients they use means the colours subtly change throughout the day dependent on the light source so you get a professional finish even if you are DIY’ing. Paint that is more expensive is also easier to work with and you will find colour matching a doddle due to the extensive colour charts they have to offer.

Which Farrow & Ball colours go together?

Dove Tale No.267Preference Red No.297

Cornforth White No.228 & Railings No.31

Wimborne White No.239 & Oval Room Blue No.85

Off-White No.3 & Blue Gray No.91

Paean Black No.294 & Wimborne White No.239

Pavilion Blue No.252 & Dix Blue No.82

Pink Ground No.202 & Hague Blue No.30

Discuss your project

We are always happy to receive enquiries about your next interior design project. We have design studios in Harrogate, Ilkley & Wetherby so please get in touch, pop in or call to make an appointment.

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