Save a lot of heart ache by reading these paint tips before you start your interior painting job. Painting is fun and very rewarding, but can be very messy if you don’t know what you are doing.

Surface preparation is vital, and can make or break a paint job. Ensure you fill any holes and take off any old flaky paint, and then sand back to form a smooth finish. The “she’ll be right, the paint will fill in the holes” theory is totally incorrect. Always check the surface before starting to paint with a light to see if there are any blemishes.

Make sure the surface you are going to paint is clean. This is essential, especially in kitchen areas where the walls can have oily residue from cooking. Use sugar soap for cleaning.

Get rid of any problems before you paint, mould – use household bleach diluted 1:5 with water to remove the visible mould and find out why it is happening, and fix it. Stains from nicotine – these are nasty as they bleed through the paint. Seal the area with a proprietary stain block, or use a couple of coats of solvent based paint.

Color – always use a test pot before buying you paint. Apply it in the room that you will be painting so you can see it in the correct lighting conditions. That way you can be certain that you have the color you require. It can be costly and time consuming repainting because the paint in the tin looked different to the little paint chip.

Color blending, ensure you have enough paint to complete the job, the color can vary slightly, so if in doubt, mix all your paint tins together in a larger pail to ensure consistent colour, then transfer back into the original containers for storage.

Select good quality paint products, if you are unsure of what you are buying, make sure you ask and get the experts to specify the correct preparation required, product, and sequence of application.

Always use quality branded equipment (brushes & rollers etc), as they usually have a guarantee or come back if they brake or don’t perform as expected.

Always look after your quality equipment so you can use it again. For cleaning acrylic paint from brushes use water to remove most of the paint residue, and then use a brush cleaning product and rinse again, then use dish washing liquid and a final rinse in water. For Enamel, use mineral turpentine to initially clean the brush, and then the brush cleaner, then the turpentine again. Use a bucket for these processes, you use less product and can use the side to press the brushes against to remove any paint residue.

Remove all fittings that you can, ie door handles, light fixtures, and use painter’s masking tape around any that cannot be removed ie door hinges, light switches, glass in windows. A sloppy paint job is obvious when you see paint all over the light switch.

– Culled from Interior Dezine