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Painting and Decorating: The Dos and Don’ts

A lick of paint is a great way to give a room a new lease of life. Most of us feel able to tackle a basic paint job, but failure to get it right can leave you staring at patchy walls and blotchy ceilings for years to come – or at least until you can get a professional decorator in to fix the job. Here are some dos and don’ts as recommended by Trust A Trader’s interior designers and decorators to help you to choose the right paint – and get the job done properly.

DO

Make sure you choose the right paint finish. Choosing the colour isn’t the biggest decision; you need to make sure you get the right finish. When it comes to silk, matt or eggshell, the difference is pretty cosmetic, however, bathroom and kitchen paints offer additional protection against moisture and are essential if you are decorating an area that is likely to be affected by steam or condensation.

Prepare your surfaces. No matter how keen you are to get started, sanding any lumps and bumps then wiping the area with a clean, damp cloth will make a huge difference to the finish.

Cut in before you go. It is very tempted to just get going but cutting in with a small brush beforehand will help you to get a good finish on even the most hard-to-reach areas.

Double up. If in doubt, add another coat – but wait until the paint is completely dry before you dash out to get more paint, and wait a little longer before you add the next coat.

Paint top to bottom. You don’t want your lovely new walls to be flecked with ceiling paint. Start with the ceiling and work your way down, finishing with skirting boards and woodwork.

DON’T

Paint straight from the tin. Tempting as it may be to give your paint a good stir and go straight from the tin, it is less messy and helps you to blend from one can to the next if you pour your paint directly into a painting tray.

Paint onto damaged wallpaper. Removing old wallpaper may be a pain, but it will result in a lot of work in the future – not to mention a substandard finish in the meantime. Unless the existing wallpaper is pristine, take the time to remove it.

Overload your brush. Loading your brush or roller up may seem like a time saver, but it will get messy – and you will end up with an uneven finish and irritating drips.

Paint into the night. You may want to get the job done ASAP but if you paint into the night in substandard light, you are likely to wake up to a nasty surprise.

There is no doubt that painting is an art; if you are a perfectionist or you are looking to get a room decorated now so that you can leave it for years, it may be worth getting a professional to do the job. Check out our directory of local, trusted painters and decorators so that you can get the job done to the highest standards.

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