Lockdown has many of us coming face-to-face with those jobs. You know, the ones you put off indefinitely, because you sensed they were going to be a mission.
The mere thought of approaching the paint aisle at Bunnings can get you fizzling with anxiety. Have you seen how many shades of white are there? Or the paralysing number of brush choices? Or rollers? It’s enough to make even the most determined DIYer give up.
Enter Tint, a Melbourne-based startup determined to make painting easier and more enjoyable. It’s the second venture from Rocky Liang and Djordje “DJ” Dikic. In 2013 the duo invented a portable device you can hold against any surface to instantly match its colour. The technology has since been licensed by Dulux. It was during this time that the pair realised colour matching wasn’t the only challenge with painting.
“It’s actually that everything is kind of outdated and difficult,” Dikic says. “Things inside the can have gotten better, but outside the can nothing has changed.”
The team started by tackling the overwhelming amount of choice facing would-be painters upfront.
“There are too many colours, too many products,” Dikic says.
He’s right: some paint brands offer more than 150 shades of white. Using the mountains of data collected through their first venture, Liang and Dikic analysed millions of colours to create a curated collection of 71 shades that are trending worldwide. (But if you’re someone who knows exactly what you want, Tint will still mix custom colours for you, too.)
They then looked at the data on finishes and established that most people settle on low-sheen for the walls and semi-gloss for trims. So Tint paints are simply labelled “ceiling”, “trim”, “wall”, “prep” and “exterior” –another decision you no longer have to make.
To keep you from having to head to your local hardware store (a welcome reprieve during these socially distanced times), the range is available online, directly from Tint. The shop also stocks accoutrements such as brushes, rollers, tape and trays, wrapped up in neat little packages. The painting tools have been tested extensively with Tint’s own paints to ensure best results, and Tint has created handy guides to help you paint like a pro.
Dikic and the team anticipated potential sources of anxiety around buying paint online and came up with two solutions. Tint has done away with sample pots in favour of reusable peel-and-stick swatches you can move around your house. There’s also a free app that lets you “try on” different paints using augmented reality. The app can also calculate how much paint you’ll need, to ensure little-to-no waste on your project.
It’s all part of the company’s mission to be more sustainable. When your paint shows up at your door, you won’t find it loaded with polystyrene peanuts. “We put a lot of time into developing the really innovative packaging, which is all paper based, from recycled stock,” Dikic says.
And they’ve not stopped there. Tint’s entire office and warehouse is run off renewable energy, and in addition to being low-VOC (the nasty chemicals some paints emit while drying) every can of paint is free of animal by-products – yep, vegan paint is a thing.
At this point, it seems we’re officially out of excuses to keep putting off that painting project.