I’ve been in my home for over a year now and I’ve done a lot of DIY, including my fair share of painting. When it comes to painting, I’ve learned the hard way, so I’m here to give you my top tips to make your life easier.
1. Painter’s tape isn’t a miracle worker
YouTube tutorials and Instagram vids may lure you into the masking tape dream – and it is good for some projects but I personally found that even the lightest tack can rip paint off so I’d suggest mastering cutting in instead.
2. Paint your swatches on different walls
Having one Instagrammable area of cute paint swatches just isn’t going to cut it. You need to paint a small square on all for walls so that you can see what the colour will look like at different angles and in different light/shadow.
3. Stir paint with wooden skewers
I had a large pack of wooden skewers in my kitchen cupboard and they have been so handy for stirring paint.
4. Bare Plaster paint will work wonders
We first tried a mist coat with normal emulsion on our newly plastered walls but we had trouble with it adhering. As a last resort we bought Bare Plaster paint from Screw Fix and it was a life saver!
5. Preparation often takes longer than the job itself
There are so many steps to prepping a room for painting. Take your time because all the prep work will make for an easier job. Boring, but truthful.
6. You only need one paint tray
Use foil to line your paint trays and simply ditch the foil when you’re finished. It’ll save you attempting to wash it out and it means you can use the same tray for lots of colours.
7. Choosing the right tool for the job is essential
There are fluffy rollers for emulsion on walls, foam rollers for woodwork and an array of different paint brushes for cutting in and intricate work. Choose wisely.
8. Use clingfilm to stop your tools drying out
If you’re going to be painting again with the same brush or roller in the next day or two, simply pop clingfilm around it to keep the moisture in. No more dreaded hard brushes that you just have to throw out.
9. Use the elastic band hack
Pop an elastic band over your paint can to wipe off excess paint from your brush, this will stop it pooling around the edges preventing you from getting the lid back on.
10. Be prepared to ache a lot
Physical labour is hard (especially when you’re a full time pencil pusher). What’s particularly troublesome? Painting ceilings – ouch!
11. Keep empty jars to store your left overpaint
Instead of keeping your dregs of paint in paint tubs taking up lots of room and risking them going hard, transfer the last bit of your paint into an old jar and you can keep it for touch ups.
12. Water is better at cleaning brushes than chemicals
A lot of water-based paints can be washed off of brushes and rollers pretty easily. Just use hot water and a bit of elbow grease. I used a bright blue brush cleaner once and it annoyingly left a tinge on the brush. Never again.
13. Wait to see the finished result
Admiring your handiwork before the paint is dry is a bad move as it will look sooo patchy (see my example) but rest assured those patches will dry in beautifully. Trust me.
14. Practice makes perfect
Although I’m still not a fan of painting, I’m a LOT better now than I was at the start. The more you do the better you will be.
I hope these DIY painting tips help – happy decorating!