Creative resources for photographers by Lovegrove
+44 (0)1275 853204

1. The Dulux trade swatch has all the colours one could ever wish for. The good news is colour id free. You can have any colour you like so the fab colours cost the same as the naff colours.

1. The Dulux trade swatch has all the colours one could ever wish for. The good news is that colour is free. You can have any colour you like and the fabulous colours cost exactly the same as the naff colours.

Some time ago I shared my paint choice and reasoning for the walls of my studio. Then I was mis informed that Dulux no longer mix the Ice Storm series of paint colours. Well this is not entirely true but it definitely helps the mixing person if you give them a colour code because if they enter a space between the word Storm and 2 their computer returns a ‘no such colour’ error.

2. The paint from Dulux Trade Centres has a much more opaque base and needs less coats/ covers a larger area than the stuff you get mixed at DIY centres. There are more base styles to choose from too like Super Matt and Flat Matt.

2. The paint from Dulux Trade Centres has a much more opaque base and needs less coats/ covers a larger area than the paint you get mixed at DIY centres. It is often more expensive too but you get what you pay for.

Better still is the fact that at Dulux Trade Centres (now called Dulux Decorator Centres in some places) there is a paint base available called Flat Matt. It has no vinyl and the finish is similar to the now very popular Farrow and Ball paint texture. Slightly powdery/ chalky but ever so matt. No sheen or hot spots at all. This is not a wipe down paint like vinyl matt emulsion and as it is porous it allows the walls to breathe. This is useful if like me your studio is in a converted 17th century barn with slightly damp stone walls 1m thick. Previously I was using Super Matt emulsion (also exclusive to trade centres) with a very low vinyl content. In retail stores you get a choice of Vinyl Matt or Eggshell emulsion.

3. Here are the codes for the complete Ice Storm range of neutral paint colours. Ice Storm1 is black and Ice Storm7 is a sort of dove white.

3. Here are the codes for the complete Ice Storm range of neutral paint colours. Ice Storm1 is black and Ice Storm7 is a sort of dove white. Do ask to see the trade swatch at the time of mixing to confirm the colour in case I got a number out of place.

A word of caution – if you cover your complete studio in Ice Storm2 paint it will look like a cave. The longer the studio the lighter you can go with the walls and still get a good black on an unlit background. Grey Steel 3 is on the card for some reason hence needing the codes but Grey Steel 3 is perfect for studios with about 15m of length. With the correct shade of grey you can light it to make a white background or not light it and get black. Check out this post that I wrote when I launched my Studio Gel Collection to see why I consider this to be an important aspect of lighting control.

Way back in 2009 I wrote a useful post about grey paint for studio walls here.

04. The background in all these pictures is my Ice Storm 2 grey paint. Click here to see behind the scenes and how I shot it.

04. The background in all these pictures is my Ice Storm 2 grey paint. Click here to see behind the scenes and how I shot it using the Studio Gel Collection.

My other walls have various finishes including a paint called Peppermint Beach5 ~ code 30GG 75/111 It sounds and looks exciting. By the way, I’d love to be a paint namer so if you know of any vacancies in that specialisation please do let me know. I loved the paint name Russian Velvet so much I bought www.russianvelvet.com I might create a vodka based coctail and launch it as Russian Velvet when I retire.

Please don’t ask me about other makes of paint or paint in other countries. I don’t have a clue. Every trade supplier will have a range of neutral paints because architects and designers regularly specify neutrals for buildings and interiors.

I hope you found this useful. Have you found a paint colour for your studio that you love? Share it in the comments section below.

Fun in the sun...

Sign up to receive subscriber discount codes and advanced notice of future photography workshops, holidays and adventures with Damien Lovegrove.

Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by Seva

Ask a question or leave a comment. All comments get a reply.

8 Responses

  1. Robin Savage

    Great post Damien. I’ve got a few fake stone and brick panels in Ice Storm 2 in my studio following your recommendation a few years ago. Love them, shoot with them all the time.

    Reply
  2. Damien

    Hi Robin, What a great idea. I never thought of painting fake brick walls with the stuff. Thanks for sharing. Regards, Damien.

    Reply
  3. Sean Gannon

    We are looking to paint the studio walls permanent colours to get away from paper rolls. I remember you saying the grey was not available. I am delighted it now is

    Reply
  4. Dean Bayley

    I stand corrected Damien :)

    I did call 2 Dulux paint centres and the Dulux helpline and they all said they couldn’t find it, In the end we ended up using Johnstone Trade Flat Matt in Warwick grey, according to the website colour swatches they are quite close..

    pixelcraft.uk/i/paints.png

    I will we sure to give them the code next time we repaint the studio..

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Dean,

      Thanks for your message. You were not alone apparently. Hence me getting the paint codes and writing this mini feature. Kindest regards, Damien.

      Reply
  5. Roger Blackmore

    I noticed I was in the same Stokes Croft Dulux when getting mine mixed! Now we have an excellent simple background for film. Thanks :)

    Reply