Paint Perfection


For a relatively small outlay, a fresh coat of paint can greatly increase the value of your home on the market. For those just wishing to revamp their home, using more modern colours and techniques such as feature walls can totally transform a space. As the saying goes – a change is as good as a holiday! Here are some top tips to help you achieve a professional paint job...

Tool tips

  • Cover the lenses of your glasses with plastic wrap to catch paint spots and flicks.
  • Remove as much hardware as you can from all surfaces and cover all switch plates before you paint.
  • Remove masking tape while paint is still wet to prevent chips and cracks.
  • Line paint trays with foil to make cleaning up easier.
  • Use a metal roller cleaner to squeeze out excess paint from the roller sleeve before washing it clean. You can wring up to 250ml of paint out of the roller.
  • Buy a roller with a cover so you can store the roller (unwashed) in it, between coats or overnight.
  • Think about paint additives: low-fume additives can reduce paint odour and antifungal additives can prevent mould in wet areas, such as bathrooms and laundries.

Paint preparation products

  • Choose 3M sanding sponges and sanding pads, labelled and colour-coded specifically for stripping paint (coarse), bare surfaces (medium) and between coats (fine).
  • Use Scotch-Blue Painters’ Tape (for masking) which comes in a refillable applicator.
  • If it’s a clean edge and protection you’re after, try a masking tape with a pull-down drop sheet.

Painting tips

  • Avoid painting in extremely hot or cold conditions as the temperature affects paint performance. Wall temperature must be above 10°C.
  • Mix the paint with a wooden stirrer – keep the stirrer for colour reference when buying accessories.
  • Pour the paint into the roller-tray reservoir, making sure you don’t overfill it. Dip the roller into the paint, then roll it gently back and forth on the ramp to evenly distribute the paint.
  • Use paint pads with wheels to make cutting in around architraves and skirting quicker.
  • For a neat finish, after cutting in with a brush, apply the paint using a roller in a zigzag pattern, forming a large M or W shape. Without reloading the roller, smooth out the paint using parallel strokes. Never stop painting mid-wall as this will show up later.
  • To prevent paint spatters on the floors and walls, paint the ceiling first, followed by the walls, doors and windows, any architectural trims and finally the skirting boards.
  • Moisten your paintbrush before you paint. Dip it in water if working with acrylic paint or in mineral turpentine if working with oil-based paint. Remove excess liquid before you paint. Load the brush by dipping it in paint up to half the length of the bristles. Gently tap against the side of the tin; don’t wipe hard against the lip.

How much paint do you need?

  • Do your calculations online. Most leading paint companies have online paint calculators.
  • Ask the experts at your local paint centre.
  • Check the back of the paint tin for square-meter coverage.
  • Or, do it yourself. Simply measure the distance around the room and the height of the room. Multiply the two figures to determine the square-meter coverage. If the room needs two coats of paint, simply double the quantity. A four-liter can of paint will cover about 64 square meters.

Before you start

  • Use drop sheets or old sheets to protect floors and furniture. Avoid plastic drop sheets as they can be very slippery.
  • Paint won’t adhere to dirty walls. Use sugar soap to remove grease and dirt, then rinse well and leave to dry overnight.
  • Before filling holes, scrape away any loose paint and plaster.
  • Fill holes and cracks with a premixed filler suitable for plaster, plasterboard or timber.

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