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Tired of the dreary colours and the cracks that start appearing on your walls? Now with the new season you want something fresh and new or just to take your space to the next level? Whether you do it yourself or get someone to do it, it might take you just a weekend to convert your space.

The easiest way to change the feeling of a room is by sprucing up the paintwork. Don’t forget the ceiling, trim, doors and cupboards. There are many beautiful colours and textured paints on the market to create just the space that you are dreaming of.

What paint?

Consider the right type of paint for the finish (matt, satin, semi gloss, gloss) that you are after. Do your homework by visiting different suppliers or websites to get online information about paints that are available on the market and their uses. Some have online paint calculators and even visualiser programs, where you can try different colours on an image of your room to see if the colour works with your furniture and accessories. In another instance you just feed in a colour code for the colour you want to use to get the complimentary, harmonising or adjacent colour to make your colour choices easier.

Still not sure about a colour? Buy 250ml Tester Pots and make colour boards in the different colours that you like. Put them up in the area that you want to paint for a couple of days. This is really worth the effort to get what you really want.

Choose the best products you can afford and organise your tools before you start. Make sure that you have everything you will need.

You will need:

  • Primer, for untreated walls. Have it tinted in the colour of the paint you are using. You might save a second application.
  • Paint: Measure the area to be painted l x h = m2 add all the walls that need painting, subtract the area of windows, doors and cupboards to calculate your paint needs. Check for the spreading rate on the container to ensure that you purchase the right amount.
  • Mineral Turpentine if you use oil based paints.
  • Screw driver
  • Drop cloths
  • Sugar soap & Sponge
  • Scraper
  • Sanding block and sandpaper 60-100 grid
  • Bonding liquid or Universal Undercoat
  • Painter’s tape or Masking Tape
  • Step ladder
  • Damp household rag for cleaning up spills or wiping hands
  • Roller Tray or another small container to decant when using a brush to prevent contamination or drying out of the paint.
  • Paint Roller
  • Brushes 38mm for trim and 50mm for cutting in, and 100mm for cornices and skirting
  • Old clothes / overalls

Preparation is essential for a neat finish and is well worth the time.

  • Remove pictures from the walls and pack away loose lamps and ornaments
  • Move and  cover up furniture and accessories
  • Remove picture screws or nails from the walls.
  • Fill the cracks and  unwanted holes
  • Scrape off any peeling paint
  • Treat the cause of damp, distemper or mould on walls before painting.
  • Wipe away any dirt with sugar soap followed with clean water
  • Remove switch and plug covers, locks and handles from the doors. Keep the screws with the hardware in a container that you don’t lose them during the process.
  • Finish the area between the ceiling and cornice and cornice and wall with a thin layer of paintable silicone to create a neat expansion joint and prevent dust falling through from the ceiling at a later stage.
  • Lightly sand wood finishes, filled holes and cracks.
  • Seal the filled areas with bonding liquid or universal undercoat and leave it to dry according to instructions to prevent a flat finish when you do your final coat on those areas.
  • Mask off areas that should not be painted between coats with masking tape or blue painters tape, e.g. between the wall and the cornice, around the trim and the wall, the skirting and the wall, to prevent spatter.


  •  Start with the ceiling, cornices working your way down around the room, walls, trim, door frames, doors, window frames and skirting.
  • Use a brush to “cut in”. Paint a neat edge between the ceiling and cornice or cornice and wall and in the corners.
  • Apply your paint in a close zigzag fashion vertically with your roller about a meter wide going over it once more horizontally to ensure an even application. Work into the wet edge when you start the next area feathering in your paint.
  • Apply a second coat when the first has dried.

You can do wonderful things with paint from stencil work, striping or even use textured and metallic paint to create the feel you are after. Apply a second coat after the first coat has dried completely for a neat finish.

Cleaning up:

  • Pour left over paint into smaller labelled plastic bottles with lids to use for touch ups at a later stage.
  • Remove as much paint as possible from the brushes, roller and paint tray.
  • Clean water based paint with castile soap and water.
  • Clean oil based paints with mineral turpentine until the brushes are clean.  Wash them in warm water with castile soap.

Green tip:

  • Don’t pour the turpentine down the drain. Let it stand until the paint residue solidifies at the bottom. Pour the turpentine back into the bottle to reuse. Dispose any unused paints at chemical recycling depots.
  • Wrap your clean dry brushes in soft newspaper to keep the bristles neat.

Put things back

Now you have a beautiful clean canvas to let your decorative juices flow. Try a new layout or just spruce things up with new ornaments, cushions with texture, drapes, blinds, fresh flowers or even new lighting and then… sit back and enjoy your labour of love.

Heidi Meyer

Professional Organiser