We’ve been basking in the beautiful sunshine over the past couple of weeks, and while it works wonders at brightening our days up, it can also pose the less-welcome problem of highlighting the everyday wear and tear that’s been hiding in the darker corners of our home.
One of the best ways to rejuvenate a room is with a fresh coat of paint – whether going for a complete colour makeover or simply refreshing the existing colour with a new coat, check out our top tips for painting with minimal fuss and mess:
1. Having the right tools will help deliver optimum results. As well as lots of paint, you’ll need a sturdy ladder, a range of tightly woven brushes to avoid bristle loss, a roller and tray, white spirit or turpentine (for gloss paint), a receptacle large enough to hold all of your used paintbrushes, and some kitchen roll or rags to wipe drips and smears.
2. When purchasing your paint, ensure you have enough and that all batch numbers are the same. In the unlikely event that you can’t get tins with matching batch numbers, you should mix them all together in a larger container and decant back into the original tins. This will ensure that the colour is the same throughout.
3. Before painting, walls and ceilings should be clean, dust-free, and smooth. Sand down any rough patches, wash with light detergent and rinse with clean water. Ensure they are completely dry before you begin to paint.
4. Paint-proof your surroundings – use old newspaper or dust sheets to cover the floor, pushing under the skirting boards if possible, and apply masking tape to necessary edges, for example sockets, light switches, skirting boards and door frames.
5. Wear old clothes and shoes that can easily be removed before leaving the room, to avoid traipsing paint through your home.
6. Choose a starting point and work in a set direction. Don’t be tempted to lightly coat everything and then touch it up later, since paint begins drying almost as soon as it’s applied.
7. Large surfaces can be tackled effectively with the roller, by pouring a small amount of paint into the deeper part of the tray and then lightly basting the roller to minimise drips. Go over each surface many times for a smooth and even coating, and don’t try to roll quickly, or the wall may look stippled.
8. For smaller areas, choose the most appropriate size of brush, and always scrape off excess paint to avoid any drips.
9. If you’re painting a ceiling, a lot of ladder-repositioning is required, so mentally sub-divide the area into small sections and do them in a fixed order, overlapping section edges to avoid missing anywhere.
10. Once you’ve finished, you should clean brushes thoroughly for use in the future. For water-based paint, simply soak your brush or roller sleeve in warm water for a couple of hours. For gloss, pour a small amount of turpentine into a small jar or container and work the brush against the sides to get the cleaner into the base of the bristles. Again, soak for around two hours, before drying with a clean cloth.