Repaint to Refurbish


Repainting is the most obvious way to redecorate a room. But if you are going to the trouble of having the place repainted it is often a good time to consider redecorating the rest of the room. We usually move the curtains and furnishings out of the room in order to help the painters. While they are out we can look at ways to replace or rearrange them.


If you having a living room repainted you might want to look at:

– Windows. Possibly the two most noticeable things about a room, after the colour, are the lighting and window space. Generally the brighter the room the better, but you will also want privacy at night. As you have just recoloured the walls you will probably want to change the colour of the curtains, blinds or drapes to match. You can also change the height of the window coverings; there is no rule to say that the curtain must be at the top of the window. You can take curtains or blinds right up to the ceiling, and make the room look taller in the process.

– A good coffee table. These come in multiple varieties; the trick is finding the right one. Anything from IKEA to classic old wood to bargains at second-hand sales can be effective. Decorate with vases, flowers, a coffee table book, porcelain or anything else. Hide any remote controls, as these do not count as decorations.

– Bookshelves and cabinet displays. We all accumulate a few sentimental and valuable objects. Find the best way to put them on display.

– Mirrors. Great for a sense of space, mirrors make a room look bigger. A large mirror might be too much, and expensive. Try several square mirrors about one foot across. Experiment with different arrangements.

– The painting. A minimal amount of art is often the best option. Professional galleries do not completely cover the walls, lest the effect be lost in the overcrowding. One or two great images work well. Go with something you will want to look at long term.

– Printed wall images. Less appropriate for a living room, but a classic landscape or city scene can completely transform a room. If you follow this option you will want to decorate the rest of the room around this fundamental idea.

– Seating. The right couch with a few colourful cushions can look very inviting. There are many options, and some are not that expensive.

– Lighting. Changing the position of the light fixtures will make a big different, though this will entail using an electrician. Else, you can buy some natural light globes, or red/orange tint for a pleasant night time look.

Dispelling Paint Fumes


Modern paints are far less toxic than their earlier counterparts. Old painted walls contained lead, and many paints emitted harmful chemicals for several days after being applied. Modern paints are not immune to all of these problems, though the level of toxic components has been significantly reduced.


Modern paints are usually low in VOC (Volatile Organic chemicals), so any issue are minimal. VOCs are the cause of the ‘new room’ or ‘fresh paint’ smell.  The most prominent of these is usually formaldehyde, though there are other chemicals. Formaldehyde is a health risk and tends to aggravate allergies, especially with breathing or eye function. While paint does release small amounts of formaldehyde it is far from the only source. Many plastics, woods furniture items and new carpet also release formaldehyde. Modern paint is a minor contributor by comparison.


To detox the Room after it has been painted.

  • Ventilate the room by opening windows and using a fan.
  • Bowls of water with sliced lemon will soak up a lot of chemical smell. Some people also add some salt put several bowls of water and lemon around the room for several days after painting. Dispose of the lemon afterwards.
  • Bowls of sliced onion also soak up chemical smells.
  • Bicarbonate of Soda absorbs a lot of chemical smells. This is especially good on new carpet.
  • Charcoal also absorbs odours. A few trays of charcoal in the room will help, though this is a nightmare to clean up if it spills.
  • Consider using an air filter, particularity one with a HEPA filter.

Detoxing the house in general.

  • Indoor plants are great for cleaning the air. This is a long term solution, but quite effective.
  • Consider running an air purifier, at least occasionally. HEPA filter or charcoal filters are both effective.
  • Let mattresses, linen, new carpet, new furniture and recently painted rooms be aired out for several days before use.



Newborn children and pregnant women should never be exposed to paint or recently painted rooms. Some chemicals are linked to birth defects.


Use of paints such as ENviro02 almost entirely eliminates any pollution or chemical smell.