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how to paint a room
I work hard to make sure that this blog is filled with beautiful things, why shouldn’t I it is my job. From time to time though I need to pull back the curtain and show you the not so beautiful. I have renovated four houses now, all of those renovations took place before I was a blogger so there is very little record of them. Blogging has enriched my life in so many ways both professionally and personally, one of the personal improvements is life documentation. Before I was a blogger I took photographs, in fact I did so quite often. I had my own dark room and even sold my work but the photographs were always black and white and the subject matter was more likely to be rust though a macro lens than what I had eaten for supper that day.
Blogging awakened the snap happy girl inside me. One of the things I am going to enjoy is creating a scrapbook for this house renovation. I have never been able to look back and see the before whilst living in and enjoying the after. This step by step documentation also enables me to show you all of the foundation protects so to speak in creating a beautiful home. Yes there is more to home renovation that the right placement of a cactus.
It will sound terribly dull when I say this but the key to a well painted room is in preparation. Here are the steps you need to take to make your room look like you have just had the professionals in.
During this post I will be advising you to sand wood and plaster surfaces please make sure that you wear a mask. You will be in a room with very fine particles and whilst wearing a mask may not seem sexy trust me respiratory diseases are not sexy either. Your health and safety comes above a pretty room. Got that, good, now I can begin.
1. Fill The Gaps – By the time you come to actually painting a room you have more than likely spent endless hours pouring over paint chips, even buying sample pots so the last thing you want to do is think about filler, you want colour and lots of it. DO NOT SKIP THE FILLING STAGE. We have all done it because we were impatient but in the long run you will live to regret it. fill all of the holes, even the very small ones with pollyfiller. For deep holes you can get a special deep hole filler but do not think you can fill all in one go, layers, always layers and let it dry in between. Now here is my top tip unless the hole is microscopic you are not aiming for a flush finish. in fact the best way to get a good finish is to over fill your hole. Make a circular motion so that the surface is ridged, let it cure fully then sand it back. You can do this by hand with sandpaper and a bock or use an electric hand sander for larger holes.

how to fill a wall
<a filled and sanded wall>
how to use decorators caulk
Decorators Caulk is a gift from heaven and I could not live without it. Old houses often have historical movement, without going into lots of boring details houses take a little time to settle on their foundations. This means you may have gaps where the wall moved away from the skirting or window frame. When you are left with a long gap this is what you use. It is also perfect for coving where you cannot use the regular fill and sand method without damaging the original plaster work. You will need an application gun and a damp cloth. Simply fill, keep your movement steady and smooth with a wet finger. You can practice on card if you are nervous about diving straight in.
how to fix gaps in woodwork
how to repair plaster coving
2. Sand Your Woodwork: Now that you have filled everything you need to make sure you have a good surface to paint on and that begins with sanding the woodwork. Unless you have replaced the woodwork chances are it has been painted before and the last person to paint is not guaranteed to have done a good job. It is vital that you remove all of the old dried up drips that may be on your woodwork for a smooth finish. Even if you have been lucky and there are not endless layers of  drips to contend with you will still need to ‘key in’ the wood. All that this means is that you have a slightly rough surface for your new paint to adhere to. If you have old drips to remove I recommend starting with a rough paper grit size 60 or 80. Sandpaper is counter intuitive the rougher the paper the lower the number the higher the finer it is. I recommend that you always finish sanding with 120grade at least.
3. Clean Up: All that boring work and still no colour on your walls, hang in there it will be worth it I promise. You have been busy filling and sanding your walls and woodwork the room is covered in dust. First of all allow it all to settle, overnight if necessary. Then vacuum. Them wait for the dust to settle again, and it will settle. Then mop. Then wait for the dust to settle again, and it will. Then mop again. After the second mop you also need to wipe all of the wood work and the walls. Cleaning the walls is important. If you are painting in a kitchen your walls will be covered in a greasy build up so you will need to wear rubber gloves and scrub the walls with sugar soap which you can find in any hardware store. Often this is a good opportunity to remove any sticky pads or stick tack that has been left on the walls.
how to paint woodwork
4. Paint Your Woodwork; Finally we are getting some painting done. There is an order in which you should paint your room and woodwork comes first. I ALWAYS use a water based eggshell for the woodwork. It is better for the environment, dries faster, has a matte finish and you can wash the brushes out with water. You can get a great range in colours in water based eggshell. When you paint your woodwork paint slightly onto the wall to make sure there is no gap between the wall paint and the trim.
decorating advice

5. Cutting In: This is something that you need to do before you put paint on the main section of the wall nit the other way around. The finish is just nicer this way. You need to paint all the way around each wall giving it a border at least 3 inches wide. If you take your roller into the corners or edges you run the risk of scratching the woodwork or  getting paint onto the other walls. First of all if you are having two colours you should finish the lighter colour first. The reason for this is that when you paint into the corner you will paint round onto the wall that i going to be darker also. When the light paint is dry you can paint a line down. You can see the effect in the image above. A tiny brush is not the best for getting a straight line, I use a 2″ brush on the side. Even if you are simply painting a room all white these rules still apply.

white room decor

6. Choose The Right Tools For The Job: You are finally ready to paint the main body of the walls. To do this use a roller. I have experimented with paint pads before but I just do not like the finish as much and they do not cope well with walls that are not flat, so that is most period properties. Go slowly it avoids splatters and gives a nicer finish. Don’t be tempted to overload your roller or brush ever, multiple coats is better that thick gloupy paint. There are now no loss plastic bristle brushes on the market, I swear by them they give a great finish and wash out well so they last longer saving you cash and keeping the landfill free.

how to use a paint roller

When you have to leave your wall to dry before a second or even a third coat you should wrap the roller head in a plastic bag to stop it from drying out and move it away from any radiators obviously.

I hope that you have found this post helpful. The more you decorate the better you will become and when you sit down in that finished room you will feel really happy that you did not cut any corners because it will look amazing. I am looking forward to sharing more decorating advice and DIY tips with you.

April 7, 2015


1 Comment

  1. Reply

    Dave Thompson

    March 31, 2015

    These are all great tips on how to paint a room. Best tip you give is to prep the surface you are painting. If it is wood the best is to sand the wood so the paint sticks better. Every surface is different, so make sure you prep that surface so the paint stays on the first time you put it on. Thanks again for all the great painting advice. http://www.jpspainting.org/About-Us.html