First homeowners set to work transforming a Lockwood with warm and earthy colours

In just six months, first homeowners Karl and Tim have not just painted their new home – they have prepped, sanded and primed almost every surface.  The young couple have been regulars at their local Resene ColorShop ever since they sealed the deal on the Beach Haven, Auckland property. 

“We have only owned this house for six or so months so with lockdowns we haven’t done any major tasks that are on our list but we are so happy with how well our painting has gone. It was hard work, lots of sanding and priming!”

With some ceilings at four metres high it was a real challenge. “Definitely do not be light-handed on how many sanding pads you need! Good paintbrushes are a must! Good music,  and of course, good paint,” says Karl. 

Karl is a hairdresser and Tim is a civil engineer. The pair who are just 23 and 24 had not done any painting before this project, but they were excited by the tasks at hand.

They always had a plan in mind for the colour scheme and it didn’t include white or grey, favoured by many for a Lockwood revamp.

“We’re not the norm and we didn’t want a house that was the norm either. We wanted to create something that was different but still with a heritage feel. People always ask if we painted it in white, and I love the reactions when I tell them about all the colours, but when they see the house it all comes together,” Karl says.

They chose bold colours like Resene Black for the lounge, with other rooms in Resene Half Lemon Grass, Resene Permanent Green and Resene Quarter Mondo.

“We chose our colour palette by first planning the overall theme of our house. We wanted something different, and I like the warm, homely vibe, so no cool colours, ” Karl says.

When they first saw the house they knew there was so much potential to unlock. Built in the 80s and basically untouched on the interior, the couple saw an opportunity to transform it with colour. 

All the walls, windows frames and door frames were bare wood, stained that typical orange colour,” says Tim. With raked ceilings and roofline it was never going to be easy.

“We decided to paint the interior to create a more contemporary feel but keeping the classic look that tongue and groove panelling creates, ” says Karl.

“My biggest learnings - it’s all in the prep work and quality of paints and tools you are using. Make a solid plan so you know where you’re at and most of all have fun! Creating a space should be fun!” 

The painting part was easier than the prep.  To paint a Lockwood you can apply one coat of Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer after cleaning and sanding, followed by two coats of Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen on walls.

“The overall application was incredible! Smooth and covered really well,” says Karl. 

Lockdown was an opportunity for Karl as he couldn’t go to work at the salon and instead spent up to ten hours a day, sanding and priming.  

“The biggest challenge so far was the sanding down of the wooden walls. It’s a huge, messy and time consuming task! Dust everywhere! Like, everywhere. I forgot to empty our linen cupboard while doing the hallway and you can imagine how much washing I then had to do,” recalls Karl.

The vision was using colour to create comfort zones, and using warm earthy colours.

They chose Resene Half Lemon Grass for one bedroom, which Karl describes as calming sage green, and his personal favourite. “It’s a sage green and it feels so calming.” 

Resene Quarter Mondo was used in the master and Resene Permanent Green for the powder room.  Boldest of all, and a standout, is Resene Black in the lounge.

Despite all the hard work Karl says it was a fun project to do together. There is still more to come. The kitchen remains in its 80s era, and will get the full makeover eventually.

For now, they are enjoying spending time at home – and fielding the compliments.

Top tip - priming and painting a Lockwood

When painting a Lockwood, the experts advise cleaning all surfaces using Resene Interior Paintwork Cleaner, then applying a thin coat of Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer and allow it to cure for at least 48 hours before overcoating with two coats of Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen. Be sure to allow adequate drying time between coats and remember that adhesion will take at least a week to develop and it won’t reach final adhesion until after three weeks of curing.

Tips for whitewashing a Lockwood

If you’d prefer to keep the timber grain look but with a whiter more modern appearance, you can use a whitewash instead.

Degrease the surfaces to be painted using Resene Interior Paintwork Cleaner, then sand the existing varnish surface to achieve a dull finish ready for coating. Next, apply a full even coat of Resene Colorwood Whitewash and two coats of Resene Aquaclear, allowing proper dry time between coats. If you want to increase the level of whiteness, add Resene Colorwood Enhance White to the Resene Aquaclear. A steady hand will help you get the best result, as even application of the Resene Colorwood Whitewash is needed to achieve an even finished look.

There was no holding back in the lounge where Tim and Karl chose Resene Black to make real impact with Resene Eighth Rice Cake on the ceiling. It makes a stunning backdrop to furniture and artworks. Resene Quarter Napa is used for the hallway and Resene Eighth Rice Cake for all trims. Karl’s tip – do not underestimate how many sanding pads you need!

Tim and Karl used Resene Black in the lounge with Resene Quarter Napa for the hallway and Resene Eighth Rice Cake for all trims and ceiling.

Karl and Tim chose Resene Quarter Napa for the hallway and Karl likes the mix of warm and earthy heritage colours. “We used Pinterest a lot as well as a million Resene colour swatches. We found the range incredible for the amount of tones to pick from,” Karl says. Their ceilings are up to four metres high, a real stretch.


The master bedroom is in Resene Quarter Mondo. Karl chose warm, earthy colours to create a sense of comfort and homeliness, and Resene Eighth Rice Cake is on the trims, a warm white with yellow undertones. The beams are original.

A favourite colour for Karl is Resene Lemon Grass, a smoky grey green neutral. “It’s so calming and heritage like. But still can be modern and mixed into all kinds of interiors,” Karl says of the colour choice for the guest bedroom. Tim and Karl chose Resene Half Lemon Grass to give a serene and restful air and chose complementary colours in the claret cushions for accent. The beams are original and the ceiling is painted in Resene Eighth Rice Cake.

“Another favourite room is our powder room which is painted in Resene Permanent Green,” says Karl. Small spaces are often a good place to try out stronger colour, where you spend less time but get more impact for the money spent.  The beams are original and the ceiling is painted in Resene Eighth Rice Cake.

Published: 26 Jan 2022

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