DIY Tips

You can make your own trendy colour block artwork.

Drying takes up most of the time, so be patient between coats. Experiment with colour combinations and shape configurations on a piece of card stock before tackling your canvas.


* A stretched canvas available through any art supplier or online.

* A group of acrylic paints corresponding to colours in the room or providing a ‘pop’ of contrast

* Ruler

* Pencil

* Paintbrushes in varying sizes

* White spirit to clean your brushes

* Varnish to seal

* Masking tape

* Newspaper to shield the working surface

1 Using a pencil and ruler, divide the canvas into large crisp geometrical areas. Squares and rectangles are easiest. Balance the intensity of different colours — e.g. a small square of orange with a larger area of mid blue.

2 Using masking tape, cover the dividing lines, ensuring it’s well attached to stop bleeding.

3 Paint up the canvas using your acrylic paints. Multiple coats will add depth and texture.

4 Take up the tape when dry, and paint the lines left in black, gold or a searing contrast to the surrounding colour.

5 Paint the edges of the canvas with either a continuation of the colours (let the lines run over the edge) or pure black.

6 Seal with proprietary paint varnish when dry.

* Cheat: Use a piece of leftover wallpaper, paste and plywood to fashion a quick picture.

Ann Besomes gorgeous inspirational colour blocking with spring flowers. Available as print from It is priced at £8 (€9.65) plus P&P.


Q. How do I choose the right colour for a feature wall in my living room. It’s a neutral scheme and very dull.

Have some confidence. Think of the wall as an accessory colour, lifting colour ideas from soft furnishings, cushions, and so on, that you have already chosen. It’s only paint, so if you hate it, just start again. You can go a few shades deeper than the existing wall colour without plunging into dramatic choices.

Q. I want to add some decorative interest and colour to my office space but it’s a small area, already features a wood blind, and I’m desperately in need of storage.

Combine storage with witty decoration. Invest in a plain box storage shelf unit (IKEA’s Billy units are ideal, from €25 for a bookcase), paint it up in one colour and decorate the rear face of the boxes in a material, bold paint colour or even prints made up on the computer and laminated to size.

The shelving then frames your colour notes.

Q. I want a huge piece of artwork for one wall in my flat, but money is tight. Ideas?

Well, I would encourage you to visit the graduating show of your local art schools for the real deal, otherwise try your hand in a straightforward colour block (see our project) or go for a wall sticker. From €18.

Coco Chanel wallsticker from

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