painting a room


Her Majesty The Queen has very kindly granted us an extra Bank Holiday to celebrate 70 years on the throne.

Why not put the extra time to good use by cracking on with some home DIY projects you’ve been putting off?

A fresh coat of paint can completely reinvent a room. Here we look at the basics of preparing a wall for painting. As tempting as it is to grab a roller and start painting, good preparation beforehand will ensure the finish is long-lasting and professional in appearance.


Equipment required:


Old or new?

If the walls have been freshly plastered, you will need to wait for it to completely dry out before preparing with primer and undercoat, applying with a roller. You can tell fresh plaster is dry when all of the dark patches disappear.

This is essential. Failing to correctly prepare plaster will result in the paint being absorbed into the plaster, meaning you will need to apply many more layers to achieve a respectable finish.


Inspect the walls

The first thing to do with pre-painted walls is to inspect the surfaces thoroughly to ensure they are free of grease, dust and dirt.

Particularly dirty or greasy areas can be cleaned with sugar soap.

Remove any screws or nails and fill in any cracks or holes with filler and a putty knife. Work the filler into the gap, scrape off any excess and allow to dry before sanding down until smooth.

Lightly sand the rest of the walls with fine sandpaper to create some texture for improved paint adhesion. It’s always best to wear protective goggles and a dust mask when sanding.

Use a soft brush to remove any remaining dust and vacuum the edge of the skirting board.


Dealing with wallpaper

You can paint over wallpaper – but a better finish is produced by completely removing it.

We’re not going to lie, this is a tough, labour-intensive task.

Start by lightly scoring the wallpaper with retractable knife, being careful not to damage the plaster underneath. Soak the area with a wet sponge and then use a scraping knife to get under the paper and remove.

Electric wallpaper strippers, which heat small areas with steam, can make this process easier. If you are using an electric steamer, always wear suitable clothing, protective gloves and approach with caution to avoid scolding yourself.

Another option is to use a chemical wallpaper remover, which can be diluted with water and applied liberally.

Once the wallpaper has been removed, clean the walls with sugar soap and inspect for any holes or cracks.


Practice safe painting – apply protection

Move as much furniture out of the room as possible. Any items which can’t be moved should be relocated to the centre of the room to avoid damage.

Cover the floors with protective sheets.


Mask up

‘Cutting in’ is the process of using a paint brush freehand to create a perfect line of paint along the angle between the wall and the ceiling and along the skirting board.

If you’re not confident doing this, it’s best to using masking tape, applying it along the edges to prevent paint from going where you don’t want it.


You’re good to go

Once all water and filler is dry and dust brushed off, you’re ready for the fun part – the painting!