Spring is in the air, which gives you the perfect excuse to give your home a bit of a face lift! And one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of revamping rooms in your home is to paint the walls and ceilings. Injecting a new lease of life into your tired walls can bring a multitude of different looks to a room, from a vibrant touch to understated simplicity – it’s totally up to you!
Below, we’ve put together a handy and easy-to-follow guide on the best methods for decorating your home:
Get the tools ready
Before you start doing any of the work, gather together the following useful tools:
1. Colour choices
This is an important decision when decorating any room in the home as the colour you choose on your walls can influence the overall mood and feel created. For more advice on what colours are most favoured in what rooms, check out our blog – Colour Your Home Beautiful by Choosing a Paint to Influence Your Mood.
2. Paint choices
Another crucial decision is what type of paint you’re going to use because each one will provide a different finish, and some will be more suitable for certain areas in the home than others; e.g. kitchens and bathrooms.
Eggshell: This is ideal if you want to achieve a low gloss finish because it resembles the finish of an eggshell (hence the name!). Best used in bedrooms and living rooms.
Silk emulsion: A shiny finish is created with this paint, providing a washable finish which makes it great for using in stairways, hallways and kids’ bedrooms.
Matt emulsion: This is a non-reflective paint so it’s fabulous for uneven walls as it will help to hide any imperfections or small marks.
One-coat emulsion: If you’re not a huge fan of decorating, one-coat emulsion is the answer! This specially formulated paint is thicker and should cover walls in just one coat, where normal emulsion would take two or more.
3. Paint amounts
The last thing you want when you’re decorating is a short supply of paint or too much left at the end. That said, it’s always useful to have some left over, just in case you need to do any touch ups further down the line. However, you’ll generally find the average standard emulsion size (2.5 litres) will cover approximately 12sqm.
4. Ceiling and wall preparation
In order to get a good finish with your paint, it’s important to get your ceilings and walls in tip-top condition before you start painting. Here are some quick tips as to how you can do this:
- Make sure all your walls are dry, smooth, dust-free and clean before you start. To clean them simply use a detergent, warm water and a sponge. Then, use clean water to rinse.
- You’ll need to use some sandpaper to get plastered walls ready when they have gloss paint on them.
- Fill in blemishes and remove any blisters on new plaster.
5. Priming bare plaster
If you’re painting onto plaster, use one of our primers beforehand as these are specifically designed to get your walls ready for painting in the colour of your choice.
6. Number of coats
The amount of coats you need will depend on the walls you’re painting and the type of paint you’re using. Following the guide on the back of the tin should provide you with the best results. But don’t forget to let the paint dry in between each coat you apply.
7. Covering furniture
In order to make the post-painting clean up even easier, thoroughly cover all of your furniture and floors with dust sheets before you start.
Top tip: Keep a sponge and bucket of water in the room just in case you catch another surface with paint (e.g. windows or skirting boards).
8. Painting ceilings
a) Before you start, tape around any light fittings with masking tape.
b) Get the surface ready by filling in any holes or cracks with filler.
c) Allow this filler to dry before you get started.
d) Then, wipe and sand down any of the excess filler, removing any dust too.
e) Paint around your lights first and then along the ceiling line (going onto the walls by an inch if needs be).
f) Start painting in a corner, so you know where you started and can tell where you’ve been. This is particularly useful if you’re painting white on white!
9. Painting walls
a) Prepare the walls in the same way as you have the ceiling, putting masking tape around any fixtures and fittings and removing curtains.
b) Paint around the edges, starting at the top of the room. Try not to over extend and use a step ladder where necessary.
c) For the large spaces on the walls, make a ‘W’ shape with your roller as this will provide the best coverage.
d) Use an extended roller to get to those hard to reach places, e.g. down the back of a radiator.
e) Once finished, make sure the paint has thoroughly dried before removing your masking tape and putting the curtains and furniture back in place.
10. Using a brush to paint
a) Use a base coat or primer as your first coat.
b) Pour your paint into a paint kettle so it’s half full.
c) Dip one-third of your bristles into the paint.
d) Position your brush at a 90-degree angle and use it to paint a straight line between the wall and the ceiling.
e) Then, holding the brush parallel to the ceiling go back over the above stroke, making sure the bristles aren’t touching the ceiling but are close to it.
f) Repeat this at the top and bottom of your walls.
g) Use a larger brush to fill in the rest of the walls, and use the edge of the brush to get into the corners and the whole brush to paint the walls in a criss-cross pattern. Then, use long strokes to feather out the paint lightly.
11. Painting with a roller
a) Fill the roller tray one-third full before dipping your roller into this paint and firmly rolling it on the platform to remove excess paint. Ensure it moves freely so it will roll effortlessly over the ceiling / wall and doesn’t skid.
b) To prevent splash, use large vertical strokes before finishing them with parallel strokes in just one direction. This will help to evenly spread the paint out so you don’t get any ridges.
c) Consciously divide the wall up into 1m squares (approx.) as this will help you work methodically through each area, spreading the paint as you go.
d) Use a 50mm brush to get into those areas where the roller can’t.
e) An extended roller will make painting ceilings far easier.
Handy mess and time-saving tips!
- If you find one of the worst things about painting is the tidying up after, why not cover the entire paint tray with a plastic bag or tin foil so you don’t need to clean it afterwards! Genius!
- So you don’t have to do an extra coat of paint with your final colour, add some of it to your primer paint so you get a base coat you can build on.
- Instead of using the side of the tin to wipe your brush on, place an elastic band around it so rests in the centre of the tin, then you can wipe your brush on this instead!
Now you’ve read all of our fabulous tips and tricks, you’re ready to get painting! You can shop our entire paint range on wilko.com and don’t forget to share your DIY projects with us on Facebook and Twitter.