Tips & Techniques

Colour Matters

Oct 18, 2010

Parkhurst's original houses, which date back to the early 1900s, were unremarkable and the suburb was initially never regarded as an affluent one. Unlike the architecturally inspired houses in old areas of Kensington, Melville, Westcliff, Greenside and Parktown, Parkhurst homes, with their layers of klinker brick and corrugated-iron roofs, were nothing special. But, just over 100 years later, the suburb has been transformed into a trendy paradise thanks to its perfect location and the imagination of buyers who, in the last 10 years, have upgraded, rebuilt and refurbished.

'Colour is everything,' says Estate agent Diana Edmundson of Nan Roberts Estates. 'It can either ruin a house or show it off to best effect. The predominant colours in Parkhurst are various shades of sand and stone, with a little white in the detail. These colours have a classical feel; they are "older" colours that give a sense of continuity and tradition.'

Plascon's palette of warm greys, natural cement, stones, dark blues, khakis and sandstone chosen by Parkhurst residents are sophisticated and timeless. The colours of stonework and paving have been picked up in the paint colours and combined with stainless-steel house numbers and well-designed metalwork for gates and entrances. A few residents have added contrasting accents in the colours of a Johannesburg sunset.

A drive through the streets of Parkhurst today shows that special attention has been paid to the boundary walls and entrances. Real value is added by the input of professional architects, builders, paint contractors and graphic artists, but much of the transformation has come about as a result of choosing the correct paint colours.

How to add value to your own home

  • Painting is an affordable way to transform the look of your home and increase its value at the same time. Not merely an aesthetic convenience, paint forms a protective layer over the plaster, preventing water penetration and damage. Repainting also provides the opportunity damp-proof and repair cracks.
  • For exterior work, it is advisable to hire a paint contractor. Make sure that a hydroblaster is used to remove old paint flakes and dirt before the hairline cracks are opened and filled. Also ensure that the contractor matches the plaster finish, or you could end up with an uneven look.
  • A professional team will have the necessary know-how for preparing the surface. Don't worry when they start chopping the plaster off the walls, as this means that they will probably inject the bricks with silicon or a heavy-duty water-repellent to prevent the problem from recurring. The contractor may also use an angle-grinder to open up the cracks to create expansion joints - another preventative measure. A plaster primer is then applied to the raw plaster, followed by two coats of exterior paint.
  • A good contractor will offer a service guarantee underwritten by Plascon - it is unlikely, however, that this will be offered for boundary walls. The best way to keep your boundary walls in good condition is to apply a new coat of paint every two years.

TIP: Plascon will guarantee your paint for seven years if you phone 0860 77 00 77 with the purchase details, or visit to log your purchase and activate the guarantee. Conditions apply.