Colour Terms and their Properties

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Have you ever had a home renovation that didn’t quite turn out the way you want it to be? Whether the unexpected change in space or the colours of your wall didn’t match the aesthetic of your furniture, the experience can be disappointing. But, with Perth Paint Solutions, this can all be avoided!

Perth Paint Solution is a professional and commercial paint contractor servicing homes and businesses in Perth, Western Australia. We have been working with local designers to satisfy the wants and needs of our clients especially when we talk about home renovation. Part of our commitment to our customers is to provide them with the necessary information on how to express what they want regarding painting their house. We believe that by learning how to communicate what you envision for your home, you can achieve this dream with the help of a professional, like Perth Paint Solutions.

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According to an article by HGTV, one of the common mistakes that people make when they do home renovations without professional help or guidance, is that they tend to ignore the lighting of a place. Rather than complimenting the design, the light—or often, the lack thereof—clashes with the created space making the overall look unpleasant or uncomfortable. Apart from this, the other common mistake that people make is using the wrong type of paint and choosing the wrong shade of it.

Every renovation project starts with a plan that takes into account every aspect of what you want to change. Regarding interior design, the number one thing you need to consider is how your space will change. As much as it is based on the arrangement of your furniture, the space also depends on the lighting and the colour of your walls.

Colour evokes emotions especially when it is arranged with other elements such as light and space. In painting, colour is not only used to depict images, but the colour is also used to elicit certain feelings from the viewer.  In interior design, colour is decided alongside architectural space and furniture arrangement which are juxtaposed with one another, to reflect a specific mood or a particular atmosphere.

Colours are used to evoke a certain atmosphere: dark colours for boldness and mystery, while light colours for happiness and enlightenment.  All of these moods depend on how much light is shed on a pigment covering the surface of a given space.

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Have you ever considered what kind of colour you want to have on a specific wall, or did you just rely on the contractor to decide for you? Or maybe you just settled for a safe colour and don’t bother to consider what other colours might look like for your home?  Well, the next time you undergo a renovation, or just a simple paint project, make sure to consult what colour the people in your home would like or what kind of feel they would want to have in particular spaces.

To avoid common renovations errors regarding lighting and using the correct paint and colour, it’s better to first inform yourself on the correct terms that can help you in picking what you want and what is appropriate, versus what you are just seeing. Learn the basic terms used to identify the different elements in colour so that you can properly communicate what you want to have in your home.

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COLOUR is a phenomenon of light visually received by the people by how it is projected by the exterior appearance of objects. Light particle reacts to the different electrons around us which are then received by our eyes and sent to the brain for identification. The differences (in colour, as we call it) that we see is what then the brain came up with to classify what we are seeing.

In interior design, light pigments carrying different colours are applied in walls and in furniture to define and light spaces. It is important to take into consideration the different properties of colour so that you can create a harmonious design which reflects comfort rather than chaos. And since colour has properties that make it appealing to the eye when juxtaposed with another colour, the colour wheel is there to guide us as to which colours match and which ones clash.

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HUE is a property of colour that refers to the different light reactions that the eyes perceive. Hue refers to colour—that which is separate from or different from another primary or pure colour such as red, blue and yellow. This also includes secondary and tertiary colours or any pure and secondary colours mixed.

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TONE is the term used to refer to a variation of hues created when you mix white, black or even grey to the colours. A ‘shade’ and a ‘tint’, are tones of colour, since both add hues of black and white respectively. But aside from this, a different tone is produced when you mix the colour grey to a pure hue, making the resulting hue darker and less vibrant than the original colour.


TINT is the resulting term when you mix or when you add the colour white to any pure hue. And unlike the Tone or the Shade, Tinted colours are always lighter since white mellows the pure colours. Adding a tint to a colour not only makes it look brighter, but it also makes it softer, emitting a feeling of comfort and lightness.

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SHADE is a term used to refer to the gradation of the value of a hue or how light or dark colour is depending on how much colour black is added to a pure hue.  And when a pure colour is not mixed with anything, it is then referred to as a non-shaded hue. A shaded colour is usually done when you want to have a darker or moodier aesthetic for a place. This does not only darken the colour, but it also affects the look and the feel of the space being covered by the walls in this colour.

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SATURATION is the term used to refer to how dominant or light the hue, or the colour is. This property of colour is mostly used in a digital sense since it is easier to adjust the percentage of colour using technology. When a colour is in its pure form, it is referred to as a fully saturated hue (100%). When it is then exposed to light, its saturation varies depending on how much pure hue remains. The resulting colour would then be grey with 0% pure colour.

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INTENSITY is the term used to refer to the brilliance or the dullness of a hue or colour. This can refer to how strong the saturation is as well as on how toned a colour is. Changing the intensity of colour is often necessary to get the perfect feel you want to have in your home. The brilliance or the dullness of the colour reacts with the lighting of the space and therefore creates a different mood given different colour intensities.

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Knowing all these colour terms and their properties is a positive step in avoiding home renovation disasters. Having awareness of these terms will allow you to consider the right tones that will look pleasing to the eye, given the available space and the light that comes inside the house. It also allows you to communicate with your contractor about what colours you want your walls to be painted in.

At Perth Paint Solutions, we give you the option to pick your own hue and set the tone, the saturation and intensity of your chosen colour. Our services include residential, commercial and office painting as well as repainting of old surfaces. For a quote, call Dara on 0423 661 003 or email him on And for further enquiries, you can drop us a quick message on our contact us page.

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