DISCOVERING the gender of a new baby is a special moment for expectant parents but for one imaginative couple it proved an especially colourful affair.

Unlike most other parents-to-be, Gareth Harman and Gemma Porter, from Newton Aycliffe in County Durham, only found out the sex of their baby when they opened a tin of paint for the nursery they were preparing.

As it was the couple’s first child, Miss Porter, 24, had wanted it to be an unforgettable experience that could be shared with friends and family.

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And, after researching “gender reveals” on the internet, she came up with a plan, involving paint, balloons and a shocked but flattered DIY store worker.

“I had been looking at videos and pictures on YouTube and Instagram and I loved the idea of involving all our family and friends,” said Miss Porter, who is due to give birth in April.

“I work in marketing and I knew it would make a fantastic video.”

Having already decided to discover the baby’s sex at the 20-week scan, the couple asked the nurse to write it on the back of the photograph.

This was then sealed in a brown envelope and taken to B&Q in Bishop Auckland, where it was placed in the hands of paint expert Martin McGee.

The couple asked Mr McGee if he would mix either a blue or pink paint from the store’s new Valspar range.

Mr McGee said: “I was a bit shocked as this kind of thing has never happened here before.

“I found out the sex of their child before they did. It was a real honour.”

The couple then took the tin home and opened it, the pink paint they revealing they were to have a girl. Mr Harman’s parents were also present and captured their delighted reactions on film.

But the surprises did not stop there.

Mr Harman, 24, and Miss Porter also filmed friends and relatives blowing up pink and blue balloons.

The blue balloons had been punctured, meaning only the pink balloons remained inflated to reveal the child’s gender.

“It was great to see their reactions,” said Mr Harman, a welder.

“I was a bit unsure about the idea at first. It seemed a bit American and over the top but it worked out really well.”

The couple plan to call their daughter Pippa.