Our Edwardian house has a large panelled hall which needs repainting. There are panels between the skirting and dado rail, and also on the upper walls, between dado rail and cornice. Is there a formula for painting panelling and which colours would be appropriate to a house of this period? A paint collection tailormade for projects like this is Architectural Colours by David Oliver at Paint and Paper Library, 020 7823 7755, paintlibrary.co.uk. The collection takes 24 colours and offers each in five accurate gradations, from pale (I) through to mid-tone (V). Use a combination of one colour in different strengths to highlight the panelling; here's a suggested formula. Paint the ceiling bed in level I - the lightest tint - with cornice, all vertical and horizontal mouldings and the skirting in level III. Colour the panel beds in level IV and the surrounding wall in V. When it comes to choice of colour, there are a variety of ways to approach authenticity. Decoratively, the Edwardian period was one of flux with strong dark colour combinations (panelling in purple brown with dark green and cream, for instance) running alongside a return of the lighter fresher colours associated with the Adam revival. This allows you to consider shades of oyster and stone which are more to contemporary taste. So, from Architectural Colours, I would suggest the colour group Stone I to V, or the slightly cooler Slate I to V. For a warmer tint approaching a light wood tone, look at Clay I to V.
How should I paint a panelled hall?
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