Oil based paint colour

Last weekend I learnt the hard way that coloured oil based paint is not the same colour as the equivalent emulsion paint. I was expecting a bit of a difference because of the way the light bounces off a matt  vs a slightly shiny finish, but wasn’t expecting it to look quite so different.  The white walls and eggshell trim in my old flat on Camberwell Grove doesn’t look different for instance…

Having decided on the current trend of painting all the woodwork the same colour as the walls to increase the sense of height, and create a non-fussy appearance, I picked up some oil based eggshell paint rather than one of the eco, low VOC wood work paints. I figured yellowing with age isn’t really an issue if you are going with such a dark blue paint!  (For the white woodwork in the hallways however you will remember I went with a Johnstone’s Acrylic satin as described here)

The result after the first coat however was less than satisfactory in that the oil based paint appears darker than the walls, leading to the striped fussy appearance I was trying to avoid. A bit of research online revealed that you can in fact paint woodwork with emulsion paint, it just isn’t as durable in high traffic areas such as to doors and around door frames.

So, I decided to give it a go as I suspect it is highly unlikely that the picture rail and crown mouldings will ever get bumped or bashed way up at ceiling level!    I sanded the trim all down again (sigh), and gave it a coat of emulsion. It looks 100% better now even after just one coat (you can glimpse the flat emulsion painted picture rail in the right hand corner of the bottom right image at the chimney breast).

The race to finish this room before our hyacinth is in full bloom continues (although I think she is winning).


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