How to match paint with space purpose

There are a variety of colours we can use individually or together but that does not mean they are aesthetically pleasing or suited to the purpose of the space. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • There are a variety of colours we can use individually or together but that does not mean they are aesthetically pleasing or suited to the purpose of the space.

Nothing breathes life into spaces more than a fresh coat of paint. To get the most out of paint requires careful consideration about the purpose of the space and the aesthetic you want. The colours used for bedrooms differs from those of the study room or the living room because these spaces serve different purposes. 

Colour themes

There are a variety of colours we can use individually or together but that does not mean they are aesthetically pleasing or suited to the purpose of the space. Many people do not have the eye for combining colours, this is why it is advisable to seek professional help. 

Before choosing paint colour, it is important that you understand the different combinations and relationships that colours have with one another.  This is what is referred to as a colour theme or scheme. Many people choose monochromatic colour schemes because using different shades of a single base hue creates a harmonious, visually cohesive look.

Imeldah Magdalene Namatovu, an architect and interior designer says the monochrome you choose will largely depend on preference for that single colour. 

“One can choose warm, cool, light or dark shades to suit a space’s orientation, daylight, size, shape and mood,” she says. 

She notes that there is a common preference for grey because it is easy to maintain and lasts longer. 

“If the house is close to the road or a place where dust is a regular guest, grey can easily blend with the dust, unlike white which shows it off. If one is intent on white paint, I recommend blending it with a grey for on the exterior and then using white on the interior where it can easily be managed,” she says.

Purpose of the space

For commercial buildings, offices and public spaces neutral colours are the best considering the number of users. This plays well in the natural blending the brand colours as well.

Ricky Sommervell, an architect says commercial spaces should consider vibrant colours such as orange because of its ability to command attention. For interior, he recommends light colours since dark ones may cause the space to appear a bit smaller and darker than it really is. 

Children’s rooms

When painting children’s rooms, the most important consideration is how the colours will affect their still growing mental abilities. Namatovu recommends choosing colours that are as close to nature as possible.  

“For boys’ rooms, baby blue or sky blue colours are always advised. One may also opt for orange lemon colour if they do not want to use blue. Girls are always associated with baby pink,” she says. 

Other colours include dark blue, maroon and greys usually work for boys’ rooms and purple and hot pink, violet and purple for the girls’ bedrooms.

Namatovu cautions against using a lot of red because it promotes energy, social interaction and can even raise our blood pressure. This makes it very difficult to get a restful night’s sleep as the body and mind will be racing, stimulated by the intensity of the colour. 

Another colour to stay away from while considering bedroom paint is gray. While its calmness might be considered as relaxing, this effect quickly becomes draining and you will wake up feeling tired.  


Light colours such as white or off-white are timeless classics that are popular with most people.  White serves as the ideal blank slate upon which you can layer eye-catching accessories. White kitchens also tend to be inviting and comfortable.  

Living spaces

The colour you choose for communally shared spaces such as the living room or dining should be able to blend in with wall paint or wallcovering, curtains, fabrics and rugs. Consider unexpected shades that will bring extra vibrancy to the room such as greens to purples, soft pinks and light blues.  

Before buying paint

While inspiration may start with an idea or a vision, translating that into a tangible product requires a blend of art and science. Because of their commitment to excellence, innovation, and understanding of the rich tapestry that is Uganda, every hue, every shade is a reflection of a story, an emotion or a memory. With Plascon, Ugandans are not just painting their walls; they are painting their stories.

Trends in paint

Textured and duco paints, according to Namatovu, are more expensive and require specilised application methods. Some of these paints, require a base paint and undercoat compared to weather guard, silky vinyl, water base paint which only need undercoat.

There are different types of paints on trend for both exterior and interior spaces.

Silk vinyl is popular for interior finishing and one of the things that makes it stand out is that it is waterproof, which makes it washable and hygienic.

Textured paint is also trending, especially for the exterior of the house or feature walls. Textured paint is a rough gritty application of paint with different tools that add texture to a plain wall, kind of such as 3D on walls with bright colour combinations.  

According to Plascon, this paint is self-priming so one does not need to incur more costs on primer to ensure better adhesion of paint to the surface. Although it is expensive the paint has the benefit of being long lasting. 

For those with a limited budget, they can substitute WeatherGuard paint with the textured paint which is also great for Uganda’s unpredictable weather.

Patience Namulindwa, the marketing assistant at Plascon, WeatherGuard paint is a uniquely formulated coating based on an acrylic copolymer emulsion. It is made as a smooth finish that offers excellent flexibility, toughness and low dust retention properties, making it perfect for walls outside.

Ducco paints are high end paints (about 150,000 per square metre) that produce different effects such as marble representation among others. It is also one of the premium finishes that dries faster and has excellent colour retention, making it ideal for any wooden and metal surface. 

Running for ten weeks from October 1 until December 12, the 11th Edition of Paint & Win ‘Colour Cup’ is rewarding six winners. This week’s winners include, The Manisulu Nsubuga of Siva General Hardware in Kayunga, Adone Tumukunde of Vildan Hardware in Kawuku, Imran Tawfiq of Mparo Hills Trading in Busabala, George William Serubiri of Agali Awamu Hardware in Kyotera, Robert Natseli of Riya Traders in Mbale and James Kabwama of Super Dream Hardware in Kasangati.