How to Paint a Wall? Everything You Need to Know

06 Nov 2018

Husband and wife painting a room in overalls

Painting a wall at home

Adding a fresh coat of paint to a room is an easy way to update your decor on a budget, plus painting walls is one of the easiest do-it-yourself jobs you can complete in under a day. If you are redecorating the house, we have some tips on the things you need to know to get the perfect finish.

Before you begin painting your walls

Painting becomes much easier when there is nothing in your way, so always empty the room as much as possible. Anything that can’t be removed should be placed in the centre of the room and covered up with old sheets or a canvas dust sheet. You should also take the time to remove any wall fixtures such as shelves, where possible. Don’t forget to cover up the floor with dust sheets too, minimising clean up!

Next, prepare the walls by washing or dusting them, depending on their condition, before you begin painting. The less dirt on the surface the better the final paint job will look, so taking the time to remove dust and oils will ensure the wall requires fewer coats of paint later.

After thoroughly dusting the walls and skirting boards, you should prepare a dilution of sugar soap in a bucket. Using a sponge, work the sugar soap solution into the walls and leave it alone for a few minutes to work.

Next, using clean water, you should wipe down the surface with a fresh, dry cloth. Finally, leave the walls to dry fully. Consider doing this in the evening and leaving to dry overnight.

You can also use this time to fill cracks and repair any holes in the wall. It’s worth tackling these spots before you paint to give filler the time to dry thoroughly. If there are a lot of small cracks on the walls, using a base coat will help as it can be applied to the wall the same way as paint, acting as a primer and filling any hairline cracks.

Choosing your paint

Before you choose your paint, test different colours and types of finishes by picking up samples and applying them to the wall you want to be painted. Once dry, it’s worth checking on the wall throughout the day, as the paint will look different in changing lights. You should also consider how it looks under artificial lighting.

The looks of the paint will vary depending on the type of finish, so keep that in mind when making your pick. The most common types of finishes are:

  • Gloss paint

Gloss paints give the most reflective finishes and are more durable.

  • Matte paint

Matte paint is the most popular type of paint for interior walls, as it has a velvety texture and the least reflective sheen. The range and depth of colours available are particularly good for hiding imperfections on walls.

  • Eggshell paint

This type of finish is particularly durable and most often found in kitchens and bathrooms. It’s easy to clean paint, that also offers some reflectivity.

How to paint a wall

When painting walls, you first need to take care of the edges of the room:  anywhere the wall meets the ceiling or coving, as well as skirting boards and around any windows and door frames. We recommend using a good quality angled brush which will help you paint a neat line.

Next, get your paint tray and roller brush, loading the paint into the reservoir of the tray. Dip the edge of the roller brush into the paint (there is no need to submerge it fully) and spread evenly along the brush by rolling it along the incline of the tray.

When it comes to painting walls, work out from the edges, rolling the paint in a ‘W’ pattern, and going back across the pattern to fill in any areas. The aim here is to apply the paint evenly, blending the edges into the wall to stop a paint ridge-forming.

Once you have applied the first coat of paint, leave it to dry for a few hours (following the recommendations on the paint tin). Apply extra coats of paint as needed until you achieve the desired colour density.

Cleaning your equipment

When you’re finished painting all the walls, you’ll want to save your painting equipment for other jobs or touch ups in the future. You can clean your brushes by brushing any remaining paint residue on a piece of scrap card or paper to remove most of the paint. Then the bristles can be washed with clean water until all traces of paint have been removed. If you are finding it tough to get rid of any paint you can add a drop of washing up liquid to the water to help remove the residue. Dry the brush with some paper towels and then leave it to dry fully.

To clean a paint roller, remove as much paint as possible by rolling it along some scrap card. Next, remove the roller sleeve and rinse under warm water until the water runs clear. Again, if you are finding the paint tough to remove then a drop of washing up liquid can help get rid of it. After drying the roller with some paper towels, leave it to dry by standing it vertically on one end.

Hopefully, you now feel more confident to tackle a few walls in your home with some fresh paint, but if you’d rather a professional took care of the job then let Hoppy help. We have countless trusted painters and decorators on our site, ready to help you.

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