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Is the Time Ripe to Engage “DIY” Enthusiasts?

The Do It Yourself (D. I. Y.) market is huge – at close to RM6 billion in consumer expenditure (2010) – and continues to grow from year to year. This together with increasing affluence and has resulted in a change in consumer behaviour among homeowners who are taking a more direct hand in recreating their personal living spaces.

No longer are plain white or off-white walls enough for the home. At a point in time, this changing behaviour saw a movement to having a feature wall with a strong colour and a painting in the living room. Now, the growing trend in creative expressions is manifesting itself in using paint as a medium to decorate the home and not just be consigned as the background. Dressing your walls with paint is possible by painting with texture, art graphic patterns or even wall murals.DIY OMG

These new methods of decoration are not just confined to new home owners but current home owners as well. As the home owner evolves as a person, he or she would like their home to reflect who they are now. Perhaps it is about acquiring a new taste or it could be that grown up children now want to redecorate their room. In fact, DIY home improvement could even be a way to bond instead of just being a chore to be completed in the shortest time.

People continue to explore texture and decorative painting techniques. For example rag roll, parchment, feather duster or even tissue paper are used to create texture; like marbling, leather wall effect and colour washing. More creative sorts use water balloons or just splash paint on the walls to obtain burst like patterns that roughly resemble flowers or multi-pointed stars.DIY OMG 3

Some prefer patterns and use stencils or projector, painting over the stencil or casting an image on the wall, then tracing the image with a pencil before filling it in with paint.

Some people opt for painting a wall mural Instead of hanging a picture on the wall.

Which method is chosen is up to the individual’s personality, likes & dislikes. Ultimately inspiration is garnered from every experience a person has and seeks.

What do these mean to the industry?

  • To encourage DIY painting and to create more DIY enthusiasts, there is a need for the provision of standby help and guidance in these methods. No matter how informative the internet or even Youtube can be, nothing can beat having an expert to talk to and to show you the ropes. Having said that, it will be very helpful to have localized content online to trigger the DIY desire.
  • Leverage on the mushrooming of high-rise residential properties in the urban area. With a small space and modern living, it is relatively easy to encourage DIY painting for condo as opposed to landed property.
  • Create trend. Feature wall, stencils are easy painting but has yet been popularly adopted due to the lack of know-how in colour matching. This could be promoted and educated through showroom examples in new housing development or furniture concept store like IKEA. The latest cutting edge augmented technology is also a good method to help consumers in choosing the right colours that match their furniture.
  • Leverage the boldness and adventurousness of youth. The younger generation would likely to have less baggage and obsession on durable paint. The tinting technology that encourages personalization and the richness of colour choices are both ways of self-expression. Paint manufacturers shall exploit the eagerness of today’s youth to express and personalise through colours.
  • Focus on the Malay market. Market size is a given, but being more colour-expressive, family-oriented and house-proud, the Malay segment is the key market to encourage more frequent painting, and more DIY painting. There are a lot of legs in the colour appreciation among the Malay community – from the benefit of self-image & home pride, to the relationship of family members.
  • It’s high time for paint manufacturers to reposition paint as something less functional (endure and protect) to something more emotional (express and enrich). It’s colour after all, just like cosmetics!