Foolproof tips for the perfect paint job

A new coat of paint is a quick and simple DIY option to give your home a facelift.

A new coat of paint is a quick and simple DIY option to give your home a facelift. But if you’re unsure of where to start, British Paints expert, Kelly Magee, provides the key steps to create the perfect paint job, every time.

Here are her 5 top tips:

1 – Plan

Unless you’re an expert, for most, painting is a large and daunting task. To begin, it’s a good idea to have a goal image or a clear look in mind that you want to achieve. If you’re stuck for inspiration, search Instagram and Pinterest for images that depict your dream look.

2 – Choose the right product and tools

Having the right paint and tools makes all the difference to the painting experience and the end result. Look for a paint that has smooth flow and low splatter properties; this means less mess and a neater finish first time, even for the most unsure novices.

A big question many people ask is how much paint will I even need? A quick and easy way to figure this out is to use an online paint calculator, which will help to determine how many litres you will require for your painting project.

3 – Use colour tools and samples to help pick the right colour

When matching your colour to your inspiration, use a handy tool like a British Paints Colouriser or something similar to envisage the end result by allowing you to select a room and edit the colour palette.

If you’re still unsure, neutrals are a classic choice that will last the test of time and provide the perfect base to play with colour through furnishings or feature walls. Warm tones will create an inviting and cosy space, ideal for areas of relaxation like bedrooms. For something more on trend, grey is a chameleon which takes on colours around it.

Picking up a 500ml sample pot is a cost-effective way to trial colours before committing to the full tin.

Handy tip: To get the best representation of the final colour, paint onto a piece of white paper first and place the paper on the wall. This gives you the ability to test how the colour looks through the course of the day and easily compare against other samples.

4 – Preparation

With all renovations, preparation is key to successfully turn that Instagram shot into reality and ensure that your makeover lasts the test of time. I have six prep steps I follow religiously that guarantee a smooth, sleek finish:

  • Step 1- Scrape off loose and flaking paint
  • Step 2 – Sand Gloss and Semi-gloss surfaces to a matte finish
  • Step 3 – Wash surface down with Selleys Sugar Soap, and rinse clean. Ensure all surfaces are clean, dry and free from dust, oils and grease
  • Step 4 – Fill nail holes and cracks with suitable filler
  • Step 5 – Sand smooth patched areas and dust down
  • Step 6 – Mask trims, window and door frames.

5 – Paint

Now it’s time to fight the FOMU (Fear of Mucking Up), pick up the paint brush and get painting.

Begin with ‘cutting in’, a painting technique using a smaller brush to minimise masking, requiring only a steady hand to paint the edges.

Next, start rolling in a ‘W’ pattern, moving from one side of the wall to another.

Handy tip: When finishing each 1-2 metre section, ‘lay off’ your paint by rolling the roller over the wall without any pressure against the wall. This removes any excess paint, avoiding unwanted streaking to create a smoother finish to help you make that Instagram shot a reality.

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