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Choosing and using pink paint

Last Updated May 29, 2017 · Written by Rob Schneider


"Pink is for girls and blue is for boys." We've come to think of this as defining these two colours. It's not necessarily so, though. There are many shades of pink. Some do strike us as feminine colours, but other shades of pink can work in any room of the house. Some shades of pink are not as feminine as others.

Painters are beginning to disagree with the stereotypical view of pink. Painters are being asked to paint rooms in pinks that are not at all "feminine" More than anyone, a good painter knows that it is the shade of pink that counts and they know you have dozens of shades to choose from.

A Short History of Pink

Believe it or not, the history of pink as a "girl's colour" only dates back to the middle of the twentieth century. Before then, pink was considered a masculine colour. During the second World War, pink was used as a camouflage colour on jeeps and tanks.

What changed our perception of pink? Some attribute it to the advent of "shocking pink" in the 1950s. A fashion designer, Elsa Shiaparelli used shocking pink on a perfume brand and then used the colour on her clothing designs. Marilyn Monroe may have given pink its feminine image when she wore pink in the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She sang 'Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" in a pink outfit and the rest is history.

While we do associate some shades of pink with femininity, it's better to think outside the "shocking pink" or little girl's softer pink box. Pink can be a perfect colour for many rooms in the house. It depends on the shade of pink, but you can use pink to perfection throughout your house.

The pink we associate with femininity is a fairly neutral pink. It can be a hot pink or a softer pink with more white in the paint. Pink comes in dozens of other shades, though. Many of them we don't automatically associate with femininity.

Pink in the Living Room

Pantone's Millennial Pink has been described as a "gender neutral" or "androgynous" pink. The Guardian described the colour as a "grapefruit shade of apricotty salmon," but that may not be quite accurate. One thing you can say about the colour is that it is not a feminine pink. It has even been used on men's clothing.

Of course, Millennial Pink is not the only "gender neutral" pink you can use. This combination of pink and grey doesn't look feminine. Pink and grey can go well together in the living room. The pink adds a touch of colour to an otherwise grey room and makes the room come to life. You can use pink on a feature wall to lift the colour if you don't want a predominantly pink room.

Pink in the living room

Don't define "pink" as the stereotypical pink used in girl's bedrooms. Pink can come in a variety of shades and may have a touch of purple to give it a less feminine appearance. A touch of another colour in pink paint will also make it less feminine.

Pink in the lounge

Pink in the Bathroom

Pink can be a great primary or secondary colour in the bathroom. A deep pink may be overwhelming, but a softer pink can be the perfect colour for a bathroom. According to one study, when prisoners' cells were painted a particular shade of pink, they became less aggressive. That may be because of the soothing look of certain shades of pink. Whether you're male or female, a pink bathroom might be perfect for a relaxing bath.

Pink in the bathroom

Is an all pink bathroom too much for you? Think about combining pink with another colour. Pink and black, grey, green or blue go well together and no one will say you've created a feminine bathroom. Pink and another colour could be a perfect combination in your bathroom.

Pink bathroom

Pink in the Kitchen

Pink can be a good colour to use in the kitchen, too. You may want to use it as a highlight colour rather than painting the entire kitchen pink, but it depends on the shade of pink you choose. Some shades of pink go well with timber doors and/or a timber benchtop.

Or you may want to make a statement with a bright pink splashback. Depending on the other colours you choose, your pink splashback can be the highlight of your kitchen.

Pink in the kitchen

This is just one example of a pink splashback. It may be too bright for your kitchen, but splashback suppliers will have other colours for you to choose from.

Pink in the Bedroom

When we step into the bedroom, we automatically start thinking, "pink is for girls." A pink bedroom can be brilliant for a girl, but what about your master bedroom? Is pink going to look too feminine? Again, it depends on the shade of pink you use. No one can say this shade of pink is too feminine, for example.

Pink in the bedroom

The touches of other colours make it a "gender neutral" and beautiful bedroom. The bed linen and timber touches also help make the bedroom one that would appeal to either gender.

As in any room, the colour combinations are going to define the room. Grey is a good colour to combine with pink. The pink brightens the room and appeals to anyone.

Pink bedroom

Thinking Outside the Pink Box

When we think of pink, we think of a girl's bedroom that may look like this one.

Pink baby room

The bedroom is predominantly shades of pink as we normally define pink.

When choosing colours, you may be overlooking a shade of pink that will be perfect for your living room, bathroom, kitchen or bedroom. As the photos above tell you, pink isn't only for girls. Historically, it's a colour that has appealed to both genders. It may be time to shake off the feminine image of pink and discover the larger world of this often overlooked colour.

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