A wall painted with layers of bright colours highlights this 70s style sitting area.
Apply the coloured glazes with short vertical and horizontal strokes.
Transfer newsprint by spreading the paper over wet glaze and removing when glaze is tacky.
Mark some letters or symbols into the wet paint with a cork.

Dear Debbie;

My teenage kids want to decorate the basement, which is their hangout, and do not want any input from me. We gave them a small budget to cover the cost of paint and a few necessities such as oversized cushions. I remember you did a graffiti wall on one of your television shows and would love to show them that I can be fun. Can you help?
— Regina

Dear Regina;

Oh yes I remember that graffiti wall well. It was for a teenage girl’s basement bedroom; lots of fun to do. Show these pics and instructions to your kids and let them go at it. For this room I chose four paint colours, medium yellow for the base coat, then accent colours pale yellow, blood orange and mint green for the paint effect. Mix 3 coloured glazes with the accent colours, 1 part paint and 1 part glazing liquid. Work in 4’ x 4’ sections so that you can create the effect while the glazes are still wet. I applied the blood orange glaze first covering 60% of the medium yellow base coat. Use a 3” brush and short vertical and horizontal strokes. Next apply the yellow glaze to 30% of the surface and then the mint green to 10% of the surface using the same brush strokes. Gently blend the glazes together with a dry brush moving in the same directions. Take a sheet of newspaper with some interesting printing and press it into the wet glaze. While the glaze is drying move to your next section keeping a wet edge. When the glaze is tacky, remove the newspaper carefully leaving a transfer image behind. Inscribe words or symbols into the wet glaze with a cork.

These bright colours produce a funky finish. But the paint effect reads very differently with other colour combinations. Dark blue with greys and a bit of white create a sophisticated mood. Glam it up with a metallic shade. Layer sea green, blues and moss green for a tranquil setting with lots of natural texture.

Dear Debbie;

I work at home and have converted a guest bedroom into my home office. I conduct much of my work via video conferencing and would like to know how to decorate so that the background behind me is not distracting. Are there colour guidelines? Should woodwork be monochromatic? Thank you.
— Wilma

Dear Wilma;

This is an interesting challenge for all those who work in a home office. It doesn’t set a professional tone to have your clients staring at you with the features of a bedroom (or a kitchen) in the background. If you do video conferencing the background should link to your subject. The best way to manage this is with a decorative screen. The side of the screen that faces your video camera becomes your office wall. It can be a white board to back up your advice, a bulletin board to pin up helpful visuals. Link it directly with your work. If charts aren’t your thing, select a paint colour that is neutral and won’t divert attention. A movable screen gives you the flexibility you require. Tuck it away or against the wall when not needed. Decorate the reverse side with a beautiful fabric that complements your guest bedroom.