Colour will boost your health

Wednesday April 18 2012


By Leah Cherotich

Housing generally represents a family’s greatest single expenditure, and, for home owners, their most significant source of wealth. Given its importance, it is not surprising that factors, like colour, related to housing have the potential to help or harm our health in major ways.

Findings from a BMC Medical Research Methodology study reveal that colours play a subtle role in enhancing well-being. “People with depression or anxiety were more likely to associate their mood with dull colours like the color gray, while happier people preferred yellow, a brighter colour” says study co-author Peter Whorwell of University Hospital South Manchester.
You could add splashes of colour to your home with these ideas.

Bold coloured furniture
Most times we play it safe, preferring the dull comfortable colours, black, brown, cream, and maroon when choosing furniture.
Felicia Naluyima dislikes most sofas sold on roadsides with a vehement passion. “They look so cheap and tacky” she says with a shudder, “unfortunately, it is the only furniture I can afford as it is within my budget.”

Now you may not have to pay through your nose to buy colourful furniture because you can paint it yourself.

Look through your old furniture and identify the pieces that you want to paint. Drawers, tables, chairs cupboards and TV stands. Wash the entire piece with a soft rag and some type of furniture cleaner to remove any dust and wax build up.

Once it is completely dry, fill in any unwanted, gouges and hardware holes with wood filling to have an even finish.


Using sandpaper, lightly sand the piece to remove any glossy finish. (You don not have to remove the old finish completely, just lightly rough up the surface to give the new paint something to adhere to.)

Apply a coat of either white brush-on or gray spray-on water-based primer, depending on the size and area of the piece of furniture you intend to cover. Allow the primer to become dry to the touch; this usually takes 1 to 2 hours.
Choose your preferred bold colour and begin painting (you could mix two bright colours to see if you like the result)

If you are not concerned with seeing brush strokes, and plan to use a paint brush, it’s best to use a flat-finish paint. You could alternatively use spray paint and voila! Your bright and bold furniture. Remember to let the furniture to dry over night before you use them.

Paint stripes on your wall
This is cheaper than wallpaper and completely unique, painting bands of colour is a great, easy way to give your walls a bold new look. If you decide to paint stripes, this simple step by step guide will help you to get it right.
You will need:

•Water-based acrylic emulsion paints in two contrasting colours
•White paint, if your wall already has a colour
•Standard paint roller and tray
•Small paint roller
•Metal measuring tape
•Soft pencil
•Spirit level
•Masking tape

Step One: prepare and mark out the wall
If the wall has previously been painted in a strong colour, first paint it white to prevent the old colour showing through. When dry, paint the wall in the main colour using the standard paint roller and leave to dry. Then mark out the stripes, using the measuring tape to divide the area into vertical bands of varying widths. Mark them with a pencil line, using the spirit level to check that they are straight. Apply the masking tape inside and against each set of pencil lines, depending on where you want your base colour to show through.

Step two: painting and finishing
Paint the contrast colour. Use the second colour and small roller to paint the stripes, working from top to bottom. Do not over-wet the roller or the colour may bleed under the masking tape. Apply a second coat if necessary and leave to dry thoroughly. When the second colour is completely dry (and we mean completely dry - removing the tape too soon can mess up the clean line), carefully peel off the masking tape.

Throws, Cushions
Throws are double edged.They can be great for preserving one’s sofas, they can cover a multitude of décor sins i.e stains, tears and hideous colours. Choose throws that are colourful and rhyme with the furniture, accessories and paint of your home. Also explore animal print options. Cushions or pillows are also a great idea. The trick here is to make sure nothing is overdone. A splash here and there should take care of things.