Colour drives a clever crafter: Q&A with craft and DIY expert Jane Wrigglesworth

Crafting comes before housework in the dictionary, says this committed crafter

Words & images: Jane Wrigglesworth

When did you discover your interest in DIYing? I’ve always been creative, no doubt stemming from my parents. Dad is an excellent handyman and gardener, and Mum and her mother are both sewers and gardeners. I love to sew, garden, bake, play with saws and electric drills, and bandy about with paint.

When did you start using Resene paints? Years ago, as editor of TVNZ’s website home and garden section, I discovered Resene’s array of glorious paint colours, textures and effects and began utilising them in DIY projects. I renovated an old claw foot bath with Resene enamel paint on the outside and Resene silver paint on the claw feet. That was more than 20 years ago, and even with daily use, I haven’t yet needed to repaint it. I’ve used Resene paints in all my DIY projects since.

Jane uses vibrant colours to spruce up an otherwise neutral interior. Her latest artwork includes 10 different paint colours from Resene.

Where do you use paints the most? I write about gardening and herbs (my new book, The Everyday Herbalist, is in bookstores from April 2023 — hint, hint), so I’m frequently in the garden painting stakes, potting benches and other garden accessories as well as hard-landscaping structures.

I also use paints in creating artwork, embellishing plant pots with special effects such as marbling, and in upcycling or recycling furniture. I’m big on upcycling. DIY projects using wood usually result in numerous timber offcuts, so if I can utilise these in other projects, I’m happy. Outdoors, I’ve made garden screens from timber scraps painted in various Resene colours to match the plant décor.

A garden screen made from timber offcuts painted with Resene paints and wood stains Jane had left over from other DIY projects. The garden stakes are made from offcuts too.

My most recent project, a multi-coloured garden screen, used Resene Nourish, Resene Just Dance, Resene Lola, Resene Powder Blue (in the Karen Walker Paints range), Resene Cosmic, Resene Oilskin, Resene Wild West and Resene Merlot and, for the frame, Resene Woodsman oil stain in Resene English Walnut.

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How do you create a piece of indoor artwork? While my furniture is neutral, I like pops of colour in my accessories. I’m a fan of pinks and purples and have several vases and cushions reflecting this. My most recent artwork uses these colours as well as the colours of my indoor plants — pinks, greens and neutrals.

Then it’s just a matter of drawing curves or lines onto canvas with a pencil, masking it with masking tape (or painting by eye if you have a steady hand) and painting it in.
I used 10 different colours in my latest painting: Resene testpots in Resene Palm Green, Resene Gondwana, Resene Calico, Resene Anglaise, Resene Lusty, Resene Mexican Red, Resene Harlequin, Resene Irresistible, Resene Cabaret and Resene Blackberry. I’m hard-pressed to pick a favourite colour because they are all divine, but I love the eye-popping Resene Irresistible.

What’s next on the agenda? I’m dying to ‘whitewash’ my brick path with Resene Concrete Stain Bleached Grey to soften the look in my cottage garden. I can’t wait to get stuck into this project, but rain is foiling my plans. I might need to shift my focus indoors to satisfy — perhaps an entire wall in Resene Irresistible?

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