Painting like a pro

  • Posted: Aug 21, 2019
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Painting like a pro

Extend “spring-cleaning” to your walls by painting them. As the chances of rain subside and temperatures rise, spring is an ideal time to pick up your paint brushes and give your home a new, fresh look. 

Paint Picking

Latex or water-based paints paints are formulated to be more environmentally-friendly and can be used for interiors or exteriors. The major perks of latex paints is that they dry quickly, have low odour and have better long-term flexibility. The downside is that fast drying time means you need to keep the can closed as much as possible to stop the paint drying out.

Oil-based paints have a smoother, more durable finish from less coats. Oil-based paint can be used on most materials but is particularly good for cabinets, furniture, and trims. New formulations have made oil-based paint more environmentally friendly but they do still release higher VOCs, which are bad for you and the environment. The longer drying time means they provide better coverage, can be worked on longer and are best for warm, dry climates where water-based paints would dry too fast. 


Buying quality paint is a must if you want it to last. It’s better to go for well-known, quality brands that have a five year guarantee at a minimum. Some paints have up to a 15-year guarantee that will help keep your home looking new for longer.


How your walls will look once they are painted goes beyond your colour choice, you also need to consider the paint finish. A good place to start when deciding on finish is to remember that the glossier the finish, the more durable the paint. 

High gloss and satin finishes are easier to clean and better for high traffic areas such as kitchens and lounges. Eggshell and matt finishes are better for low traffic areas such as dining rooms and bedrooms. Another consideration when choosing the finish is how much coverage you get with each finish. Matte finishes cover imperfections better but are more difficult to clean, while gloss finishes are easy to clean but show imperfections so need better preparation.

Get it Together

Being organised before you start painting will make the job easier. Get everything you need together before you start painting. Your “workstation” should include your paint, brushes, rollers, hammers, screwdrivers, drop cloths, plastic bags, masking tape and rags. 

Prepare Yourself

Getting your walls ready to paint may take longer than expected. Give yourself a day to wash all the dirt, dust or grime off the walls, move and cover furniture, scrape loose paint, fill cracks and mask your skirting, windows and doors. Use plastic bags to protect light fittings and take as many things off the wall as you can. Also check for damp spots that will need a bit of extra preparation, waterproofing or some professional help.

Hardware Removal Before Painting

Get a professional looking paint job by removing hardware such as handles, hinges, light switch covers and plug covers from the walls. This will also save you the annoyance of having to paint around them and gives you time to give them a good clean so they look good when you return them to your freshly painted walls. 

Prevent losing screws and covers by placing them in individual zip lock bags. Label what they are and exactly where they came from to make replacing them much easier.

Brush up

Different paints work best with specific brushes. Choose paint brushes with natural bristles for oil-based paints and synthetic bristles for water-based or latex paints.

Densely packed bristles with a chisel edge are best for painting straight edges or cutting. A brush with split ends holds more paint and will give you a smoother finish.

Foam brushes are an inexpensive option for small, smooth walls or touch ups. For textured walls, opt for a plush roller that will give better coverage.

Drop it like it’s Cloth

When looking for floor covers, canvas is a better option than plastic or newspaper. Canvas cloth floor covers can be folded and taped to fit any size room and will stop you from slipping and sliding while you paint. Unlike plastic, cloth will allow paint to dry, helping you keep your floors clean should you accidentally step in a drop of messed paint.

Primed Painting Perfection

Having your primer or base coat tinted to match your paint colour will reduce the chance of having to do multiple coats. Using a base coat will help your paint job look better and last longer. 

Work with Gravity when Painting

Limit streaking and get a neater finish by painting from the top down. Dripping paint is inevitable but this way it is easier to cover up. 

A fresh coat of paint will have your home looking like new in no time. By following the right steps you can guarantee the longevity of your paint job, saving you time and money in the future.

Not one for DIY? Find a painting specialist in our directory.

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