Dulux Q&A: Marianne Shillingford answers your decorating questions

Watch our Dulux Q&A with Creative Director Marianne will answer all of your decorating and paint related queries. From picking the best colours to practical DIY advice, make your next project a success with these tips

Marianne Shillingford Duluz Q&A
(Image credit: Future)

With so many lockdown DIY projects going on, this Dulux Q&A sure is well timed for those struggling with picking a paint colour, or for anyone who just doesn't know where to start. Yes, it seems everyone is decorating, upcycling or just fixing up a room for when we can finally invite guests back into our homes. So, we called on the expertise of Dulux's Creative Director and colour guru Marianne Shillingford to help you get that painting job right, and – as always – she didn't let us down.

Some of you might have seen our calls on social media for any decorating and paint problems you have. Well, we put your queries to Marianne and she has very kindly answered the lot over on our Instagram feed, but you can also watch it below.

Or, if you have come from there for further resources see the list below for further tips, tricks and advice. Happy painting!

1. Is painting with dark colours as easy as light colours? 

Using dark colours is always seen as a brave and bold decorating choice, and if you get it right it can have so much impact. Get it right with these tips on using a dark colour palette from Dulux.

2. What’s the best way to brighten up a bedroom that has next to no natural light? 

Knowing how to make a dark room feel brighter will make a big difference to how you feel about the space. The direction your room faces has the greatest impact on the levels of light and how bright it is throughout the day – Dulux have loads of advice on choosing the right colours for north and south facing rooms.

3. What colour goes with Sapphire Salute? Every living room wall Sapphire Salute or just the fire place? 

Navy, teal and mineral blues are so on trend right now – but a little bit intimidating to some. Sapphire Salute is a fine example of a really easy to work with dark blue from Dulux, find out how to use it and other dark blues.

4. If doing a wallpaper feature wall, would you contrast the paint or pick up a colour from the paper?

This depends on whether you want the wallpaper to stand out, or blend into the rest of the décor. Use a contrasting colour for a bolder, look but pick a similar colour for a more seamless look. Either way, make sure you know how to wallpaper like a pro.

5. What is the best neutral pink colour for a north facing narrow hallway in a Victorian terrace, and if not pink, what?

The beauty of pink is that there are plenty of neutral shades of it and so many options. See loads of pink room ideas for inspiration.

6. How can I create an ombre effect on my daughter's bedroom wall 

An ombre effect is a very versatile choice for feature walls or even a whole room. This is how to achieve an ombre effect.

7. With a dark north facing kitchen, would you try to lighten it up or go moody? 

This all comes down to what artificial lighting is available to you. If you have plenty of under-unit lighting an task lighting to keep the space bright and practical then go dark. If not, use brighter colours to reflect what light is there. See our best kitchen lighting picks if you decide to go dark and upgrade your lighting scheme.

8. I use frog tape but on a wonky wall the paint still seeps through when painting! Any advice? 

The key is to give the frog tape a neater line by fixing it with paint in the base colour before painting over the top. See more on getting perfect lines and stripes.

9. How can you cut in and paint a high stairwell when the ladder won’t balance on the stairs? 

The quick answer? Call in the pros. They have all the tools and kit to do it safely so spend a little to save yourself from injury. Find a painter with Dulux's Select Decorators.

10. I’m trying to persuade my partner to add colour to our house. He is very reluctant. Most of the house is a sterile white. He does like blue and fancies a Mediterranean vibe. I’m not sure we have the light in the UK? What do you think? Any advice?

The bold blues of Greek fishing villages might transport us to warmer climes (and boy, do we need it now) but some shades won't work in the colder UK light. Dulux has plenty of blues that will work with our cooler light. The key is picking the right ones. And as for convincing a reluctant partner? Get a test pot up on the wall and make it a mutual decision.

Read more painting and colour advice:

Real Homes is the homes website for people with real lives, real budgets and real problems. Everyone deserves to love where they live and Real Homes is the ultimate homeware authority that makes this possible by covering realistic and achievable ways to make your home better. Expect easy DIYs, advice on costing and loads of interiors inspiration. Whether it is our first hand experiences, or finding an expert with the best know-how, everyone can find a project to suit their needs on Real Homes.