Deciding to paint any room at home is something of a lofty ambition. For those of us who’ve been there before, you’ll know all too well how naïve those initial thoughts of “oh, it’ll only take a few hours” or “painting a room is easy” can be when painting for the first time.
Not correctly planning and getting the right bits and bobs for the job can be the difference between whizzing through a paint job and wanting to give up all hope while up a ladder late into the night. Painting at home needn’t be arduous, and I’m going to prove it. How? By letting you in on some of the secrets decorators use to paint. Their expertise shows that a seemingly simple looking job is more than it’s cracked up to be, so let’s get started (just remember to throw a sheet down first).
A painter is only as good as his brush
A bad workman always blames his tools, and you will too if you end up using low quality or inferior brushes. Now, a good paintbrush doesn’t have to be an expensive one, after all, this is something you’ll be using once in a blue moon.
Whenever you’re going to be doing any painting indoors, you’ll want to work off a simple rule of thumb:
If you’re painting the walls, go 100mm and up. If you’re painting any feature, go 50mm and below.
I’m referring to the width of the brush you should use. You don’t necessarily need a whole bit of kit with brushes, rollers and crazy looking brushes to get the job done, but having some reliable brushes works best.
As long as you have one brush and one roller, you’re ready to roll.
Painters don’t paint with the paint you paint with
Quite a tongue twister, isn’t it? In my opinion, this is the kind of hidden in plain sight secret amongst decorators that is just too good not to pass on. Decorators will use what is known as trade paint. You may have noticed “TRADE” plastered across paint cans before but now really known what it is and passed on it.
All the major paint brands will offer a trade varietal which has a slightly different formula at play. Obviously, decorators have to work at speed. They can’t take their time with a room. This means paint needs to be quicker to apply and faster to dry in. And wouldn’t you just know it, but that’s what trade paint does. It’s been rejigged to take to walls fast and take a little more damage over the years.
You may be wondering why then isn’t all paint trade paint? In most cases, trade paint gets sold in larger tubs and cans, as a decorator will be using a larger volume of paint than you or I would in a small room. If you were painting a large area in the same colour, then you should make use of trade paint. If it’s just a wall or two, stick with DIY paint.
If you want a good deal on trade paint, I recommend checking out The Paint Shed’s selection of trade paint.
Don’t get confused over bristles
In an ideal world, every brush would have a mixture of natural and synthetic bristles. Sadly this isn’t the case, and it can lead to anyone having a mini-breakdown in the middle of the brush aisle at the DIY store. When choosing a brush, you’ll want bristles that work with the type of pain you’re using.
If it’s water-based, go natural. If it’s solvent, go artificial.
In my opinion, if you’re only going to be painting a few rooms at home and the brush is going to be stored away for a few years, stick with synthetic. While natural bristles are very good, the brushes usually need a break-in period; something decorators have the time to do, but us mere mortals don’t.
Clean your walls
If you’re going to be putting coats of paint over a wall, and think it’s okay to just go ahead, you’re going to hate yourself when everything dries in, and you see little spots of dirt or marks still there on the wall. You might not think you’d need to but trust me when I say you really should clean your walls before you apply.
Get yourself a sponge and some soapy water and give the walls a light wipe all over. It will help clean away any dirty bits and get the surface ready. A prime example of where to do this would be around your sinks (where soap and bits get on the wall) and your cooker (where oil and grease spots have accumulated over the years).
When you let the wall dry in and are getting ready to go, give the walls a quick wipe with a dry cloth just to ensure any little bits are gone.
Planning on doing more work around the house?
I hope you found my tips ideal when getting ready to paint. For anyone doing work around the house, make sure you visit the home & family section of the website, where you’ll find articles on everything from decluttering rooms to how to turn your home into a smart home.