Painting – Episode three

In the wise words of Kandinsky (1914), “colour is a power which directly influences the soul”.

Growing up I was addicted to art…I literally spent every spare moment creating things…I would paint canvases, sew cushions and decorate old frames…selling them around our local neighbourhood at the mere age of ten. Seriously, how did my parents put up with me!?! My passion for a splash of colour started young.

Fast forward 27 years (ouch!) and the love has not subsided, not one bit and the norsuHOME gave us the perfect blank canvas to create some colourful magic on. Once the demolition was over, the plaster boards went up and the real fun started. Having moved from a crisp white home, experimenting with different hues was a non negotiable.

I’m so lucky to be surrounded by creatives in our norsu team and we love nothing more than a group brain storm session! When it came to selecting colours for the norsuHOME, our team excitement reached new levels. As some of you would already know, Dulux Australia are long term partners of ours and we literally gush over every one of their Colour Forecasts. I don’t know whether serendipity played a part as their 2018 Essentials forecast was made for us. Not only are the colours perfectly suited to our infamous norsu pastel aesthetic, the meaning sends us all (with Kristy and I leading the charge) a much needed reminder; Essential is the slow down remedy to life’s chaotic pace.

We eagerly selected our favourite colours from this carefully curated forecast, and then added in some of our old time Dulux faves. Here are the ones we chose, we couldn’t be any happier with the end result:

Sadly it’s not as simple as just selecting colours, some would say this is the easy part. It’s all about the application and finding the best painters around town. Thanks to Top Notch Coatings, we achieved it all. To help guide you through this process, we’ve created some tips and tricks below to assist you in your own home transformations.

In this episode, not only do we share our learnings for everything paint related, we reveal my little lady’s bedroom.

Designing Annabel’s bedroom was at the top of our room list!! We started with divine wall paper from These Walls, called Scallop Dots in Musk. It’s been on Annabel’s wish list for a long time (OK I’ll admit, due to some serious coercing from her Mum!). Thankfully we knew the perfect blush pink paint to match…Dulux’s Mornington Half…and trust us everyone, this is the best soft muted pink you will ever find!

These formed the foundation of our design and we created a mood board of delicious products to match this colour palette. Annabel is nearing age seven, so she’s slowly growing up (weep) so it was important to me to create a space that was age appropriate, one that suits her unique personality, and an area that encourages creative play (she’s a budding artist…wonder where she go that from!?).

Annabel’s room is somewhat sophisticated with careful consideration given to beautiful original art, feature furniture pieces that will grow with her, a desk space where she can spend hours drawing and a dedicated space for reading and playing with her favourite dolls. Here’s how you can shop the look:

Annabel’s ever growing shopping list

Bed area

Desk area

Reading corner and play area


Fittings and fixtures

We hope you have enjoyed watching episode three as much as we loved creating our tranquil, calm and inspiring space. Remember life’s too short for beige,“Colour should be something to be celebrated and experimented with and not something to be afraid of.” – Yamic Simard.

Tips & Tricks

We took a moment to sit down with Sam Barbuscio at Top Notch Coatings to pick his brains on the best DIY painting tips to give you the professional look at home…

How do you choose the right paint brushes and rollers?
I always lean towards a high quality synthetic hair brush with filaments that bounce back into place, and are comfortable to hold. These brushes also hold the paint well and are easy to clean – perfect!!
With rollers I’d recommend a short nap lambswool roller for walls and a long nap for ceiling painting. Lambswool is great because it holds a fair amount of paint without dripping it all over the place. For doors, a microfibre roller gives a really nice finish too.

Does quality matter when it comes to tools, materials and paints?
Quality is super important as it will have a big impact on your entire painting experience. Investing in quality tools and materials will make the application process easier, and give a superior finish, plus quality paints will spread evenly and dry to a beautiful consistent finish.
Be wary of less expensive materials and paints, as they are actually harder to use.

What should be the first step in any DIY painting project?
Investing the time to choose your colours wisely should be your first step! Do your research, by finding inspiration from a variety of sources. We are so blessed these days to have access to endless inspiration via social media and resources such as the Dulux colour forecasting. Once you’ve chosen the ‘perfect’ colour,  don’t forget to apply large test patches of your colours in every corner of the room. Paint colours can vary dramatically as a result of the lighting in your space, so testing in each corner then will give you a true indication of the shades your paint will throw throughout your room at different times of the day.

Is it important to have a staging area?
Housing everything in the one place will not only save you time, it will also reduce the possibility of making a huge mess! You don’t want to be lugging a tin of paint with you from wall to wall, so setting up a staging area table in the centre of the room (or just outside it), where you can store all your equipment, open/pour your paint, and clean brushes/rollers etc will be a huge help, not to mention save on spills, and eliminate the time looking for misplaced tools.

What are the most important steps in preparing surfaces before painting?
Firstly, ensure you have all the tools and materials at the ready such as plastic covers, the right brush or roller for the job, tape, fillers and sandpaper etc.
As you begin, remember that preparation is always the most tedious part, but it is also the most crucial phase of any painting project. Start by scraping any flaky or loose paint from your surfaces, then focus on any cracks by filling, sanding and priming them. Follow this by investing time to cleaning your surfaces well, then finish with tape up your zones, covering anything you don’t want covered in paint and you’re ready to go! Your project will be so much easier if you put in the hard yards at the beginning!

What are your suggested painting techniques to ensure a good finish?
I’d suggest the number one technique to ensure a great finish is to be generous with the amount of paint that you apply. If don’t apply enough paint in the first coat, it will leave the surface looking patchy once it has dried. Rolling the paint in a floor to ceiling motion will also assist with a great finish. Once your first coat is applied, start on your second coat from the same position, and in the same manner, albeit using less pressure.

What should be in your DIY toolkit?
The list is long, but most items can be found in every home – I’d suggest starting with a scraper, paint key, cutting knife, screw driver, paint stirrer, tape, duster, cloths and a measuring tape.

Are there any other tips you would suggest for a DIY paint job success?
My biggest tip would be just don’t overthink it! Have fun, and don’t be afraid to take a risk with colour – you can always paint over it if doesn’t work out the way you had imagined 🙂
Avoid painting over the same area repeatedly, especially when the paint is drying. Ensure you invest the time in preparation, allow adequate drying times between coats, and avoid painting on excessively cold or hot days. Finally, invest in a battery operated LED light, it will be your best friend.