Nothing offers as much value for money as paint when it comes to transforming your home, and it is an easy job to DIY.
Painting is time-consuming, so it can be tempting to take shortcuts, but cutting corners will cost you in the long run with a poor result.
Preparation is the key to a good paint job, so make sure the walls are clean, flaky paint is removed and trim is sanded before you even get out the paintbrushes and rollers.
Here’s how to get a professional finish and make painting a room a much easier task.
1. Clean walls with sugar soap
Old paintwork can be dirty, and new paint won’t adhere well to greasy or grimy surfaces.
The best way to clean walls ready for painting is to use sugar soap.
Brush walls to remove surface dirt.
Dissolve half a cup of sugar soap in 5L of water and apply with a sponge or cloth, then rinse off using a clean damp sponge.
TIP: Work upwards, as the top of the wall is always the dirtiest.
2. Use a sanding sponge on trim
Decorative detailing, such as trim and mouldings, needs to be carefully sanded to get the best result.
The most effective way is to use a sanding sponge.
Sponges conform to the shape of the timberwork and can get into crevices that sandpaper can’t.
They also apply even pressure and make it easy to cut down rough spots.
TIP: Sand trim with a fine grit sponge between coats for a smooth finish.
3. Scrape off any loose paint
Before applying new paint, flaky paint needs to be removed or the new coat won’t adhere and will eventually flake off as well.
Check old paint by poking it, and if it moves or cracks, it needs removing.
Use a wide, firm-bladed scraper and take care to avoid damaging the surface, as gouges will have to be repaired before painting.