Effect of Cool Colours retro advice (1938)

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I found this article from a 1938 edition of the The Courier Mail.

Primer for painters

Most homeowners like to have their house looking brand new with a bright coat of paint in the sunshine of spring and summer.

For the guidance of would-be decorators, the following hints will be useful.  A consideration of these and similar points may in many cases mean the difference between getting just the touch that is required and an unsatisfying finish in many rooms.

Cool Colours

Cool colours such as greens, blues and greys are light airy and restful and should be generally applied to rooms getting a generous supply of sunlight.

Warm Colours

Warm colours such as yellow, orange and the various tones of red are generally most successful in rooms with southern exposure.

Usually, there should be a balance between cool and warm colours with the warm shades supplying the accent.

Colour possesses utility as well as decorative value; it will hide irregularities or create illusions where you want them.

Strong Colours

Strong colours such as red, orange dark blue, make a large room look smaller.  Small rooms appear larger when light colours are used.

Avoid using strong colours on large surfaces.

Colour affects lighting; lighter colours reflect more light than darker ones.

A room with a light coloured ceiling having more than 70% per cent light reflection and walls of colour with low reflection will be most restful to the eyes.

At least three colours are considered necessary to make a room interesting.  The light colour is used on the ceiling.

Dark colour on a ceiling makes a ceiling seem lower; light colour makes the ceiling seem higher.

Usually, the floor should be the darkest area in the area in the room giving the effect of a firm foundation.

Often striking effects may be obtained by painting one wall a different colour from the other three.

When a light colour and a dark colour join the light colour appears darker along the joining edge.

Flat finishes are best suited to large wall areas.

Gloss finishes, particularly high gloss, are most often used for floors, woodwork and furniture.


1938, November 15). The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 – 1954), p. 4 (Second Section.). Retrieved March 2, 2021, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page1984367

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