Setting up before you paint

Setting up before you paint

A bold splash of colour. A soothing muted backdrop. Whatever direction you go in, painting is an easy, inexpensive way to refresh the interior of your home. But it can be a daunting task, we know! So here’s everything you need to know to make painting any room simple and less messy. Hey, you may even enjoy it!  

How to set up before painting

1. Plan

You don’t need architectural blueprints, but a little planning goes a long way when painting a room! Think about what you want to do and in which order. Paint the entire room or a single feature wall? One colour or multiple? Will you also paint door frames and skirting boards? 

Then, try to calculate how much paint you’ll need by looking at the size of the room and how many coats — usually, at least two. A general guide is 1litre per 100 square feet. You’ll thank yourself later when you don’t run out of paint halfway through the job! 

2. Purchase tools

Do yourself a favour and stock up on the right tools! Either purchase them new or borrow supplies from a friend. Every project is different and so may require different tools, but here are the must-haves:

  • Paint roller
  • Paint tray
  • Paint roller extension pole
  • Wooden stirring stick
  • Drop cloths
  • Paintbrush(es)
  • Painter’s masking tape
  • Rags and/or old newspapers
  • Step ladder

3. Paint a test patch

You trawl through Pinterest, or you’re handed an enormous colour swatch at the store, and your heart races. Choosing a colour can be overwhelming. Begin simply by deciding if you want a warm or cool hue and in a neutral or rich shade. Once you’ve got the gist, get a couple of sample paint pots and do some patch tests on the wall. See how the colour dries and looks against your furniture at different times of the day.

4. Pay attention to the finish

Turns out, colour isn’t everything! The paint finish is also important. A high gloss sheen is easy to wipe clean but makes imperfections stand out. A matt finish can hide wall-imperfections but is more easily damaged. An eggshell finish offers the best of both worlds.

5. Prepare the room

Nothing like a clean slate! Clear the space as much as possible. Move furniture and things on the wall out of the room or into the centre of it. Cover remaining furniture with a drop cloth. Protect the floor by laying old rags or taping newspapers. Then, set about taping the trims with painter’s tape — the window and door frames, light switch covers, skirting, and moldings. This stops paint splatter and is easily pulled off without damage afterward.

6. Prep brushes, mix the paint

Remove any fluff and fibres from new paint rollers by using painter’s tape like a lint roller. Also, rub the dry brushes against your hand to remove any loose bristles. This will stop any debris from being painted onto your wall. Not the look you’re going for!

Use a wooden stirring stick to thoroughly mix the paint before pouring it into the painting tray. Re-stir the paint often to keep it even.

7. Pick your technique

Chicken or the egg. Some swear by first painting the edges about an inch out with a brush — the areas a roller can’t reach — and then using the roller to paint the middle of the walls. Others prefer the other way around. Be aware that you can use the roller to flatten out brush marks for a smoother finish. Find your technique by starting with one wall at a time.

You are all set to paint like a pro! All you need is the right playlist to blast while you work to make the whole thing more enjoyable.

There are plenty more tips and tricks: How to refurbish without making a mess and the ultimate DIY guide.