We’ve all had some DIY decorating disasters… probably because people assume decorating is easy… until they try! There are all sorts of do’s and don’ts and DIY stores appear to sell a different type of paint for every room but here are some easy tips that can help you on your way.
1. First things first… get permission! Whilst most Landlords are happy that tenants want to care and look after their home, you do need their agreement to do so.
2. Plan ahead. Paint by its very nature is designed to be durable… so if you get it on to a surface you shouldn’t it won’t come off easily. Use masking tape and dust sheets to protect surfaces and to get nice straight lines at the junctions with other surfaces.
3. Preparation is key. If there are any holes in the walls use a filler material to fill. Allow this to dry and then rub the surface with sandpaper so it is flush with the surrounding area.
4. Use the right material for the job.
a. Internal Walls and ceilings – generally emulsion paint. This can be Vinyl Silk (shiny appearance but easy to wipe clean) or Vinyl Matt (looks good but expect to have to re-paint fairly often to get rid of marks). All brands will have more expensive versions of this paint ‘Diamond Matt’, ‘Endurance Matt’, ‘Super Durable Matt’ etc and the have additives in them which make them longer lasting and claim to be a bit easier to clean. In honesty I’m not sure if the premium paid is proportionate to the extra durability.
b. Kitchens and bathrooms – in areas where there is more moisture the paint will often flake if you use a Vinyl Matt type paint. DIY stores sell a Kitchen and Bathroom paint which is an Eggshell paint (very slight sheen level) which can deal with the additional humidity but Vinyl Silk is a more cost effective option.
c. Trims – anything painted in gloss. Spindles, handrails, skirting boards, window cills etc etc. These often won’t need redecorating when you complete the painting in a room as they will normally be remaining white. If you do need to paint them… rub them down with sandpaper. This removes the sheen and allows the subsequent coat of paint to key to the surface. Apply at least one undercoat and allow to properly dry, then one coat of gloss. Gloss shows any imperfections really easily so you should make sure there is no dust around before starting the gloss coat.d. Plastic surfaces, Radiators, Tiles etc – normal paints will not adhere to these surfaces without specialist primers. If you need to paint these surfaces do some research before you paint… if you don’t do it properly it will peel in a patchy fashion and will be time consuming and costly to rectify.
5. Wallpaper – don’t do it!! Whilst wallpaper can provide a real impact in a room it is difficult to hang properly, and expensive to change at the end of its life. Often when removing wallpaper from a wall it damages the surface of the wall and you are then restricted to re-papering it. Some people try painting over the paper but this will often cause the paper to lift from the wall.
– Wrap brushes and rollers in cling film overnight or if you want to take a break