As I am writing this blog post, the UK is inching towards one year from when lockdown officially started. While it’s been all over the place since then (remember when everyone was confused over the county level lockdowns here in Wales last summer?), there has been one constant throughout; everyone has gone a little bit DIY daft.
Queues for DIY shops are just as long as supermarkets at the weekend. Everyone I know, and their dog, seems to have a fancy barbecue in their gardens now. And I don’t know of one person who hasn’t popped a photo on their social profiles to show that they’re re-painting around the house.
I used to be clueless when it came to painting. Unless someone handed me a roller and told me exactly what to do, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you the difference between a matt emulsion and satin paint. With so many people still working from home and the weather about to take a positive turn in the next few weeks, I can bet spring will see many of us pulling old clothes and shoes from the back of the wardrobe as DIY fever takes over again.
Whether you’ve been binge-watching the most recent series of Grand Designs, have had enough of your home office feeling a little drab, or feel it’s time to give the rooms your family is spending more time in than ever a fresh lick of paint on the walls, you’ll want to know when to use paint appropriately. Avoid simple painting mistakes and master this advice on knowing what to paint. Trust me; it’s the difference between a paint job done properly & having to drive back to B&Q to stand in the queue again.
Getting sheen just right
Let’s start with paint sheen, especially glossy paint. Gloss is a tricky old thing to get right on walls. One slip-up, and you could have living rooms that look shiny or hallways with light bouncing around the place. There is a sliding scale that goes from flat matt paints to high-gloss you typically reserve for small spaces like your windows and doors. When painting your walls, what should you opt for? Dulux has a thorough guide breaking it all down, but to make it short & sweet, the glossier the paint, the smaller the surface. For example, it would be better to use glossier paints on kitchen cupboards and matt paints on the walls.
If you are painting kitchen cupboards, The Guardian has a lovely little guide on how to go it alone to save money, rather than hiring a professional. In terms of what paint to use, Dulux satinwood gives you the best of both worlds. It has a decent sheen when rooms are lit up in the evening and has the delicate finish you would get from eggshell paint. If you want to toe the line right down the middle when your sheen, stick with satin.
And for anyone thinking of painting every single room and hallway white, a reliable matt is the most appropriate choice.
Using the appropriate equipment
Want an easy way of making sure a small paint job will not quickly snowball into an all-day painting extravaganza? Then make sure you have the right brushes and rollers for the job. The intricacies of paintbrushes aren’t something we are expected to know. Yet, the wrong item can have terrible knock-on effects for painting at home.
By default, most of us have a brush & roller set we bought when also buying paint; the ones which have a few sizes and come in a plastic tray. While they are great for simple paint jobs, it helps to know whether a better style of brush could save you time and money when working on specific tasks.
For example, if you wanted to paint the outside of your house and went to use a roller from your little set, it would be a terrible idea. Most rollers we use for painting walls inside have what is called a short pile. This is where the pile has lots of short fibres to lift a small amount of paint; ideal when working on flat walls. If you wanted to paint outside, it would be best to have a long pile, which is a fluffy looking roller that holds a lot of paint on the brush. It does so to help retain paint for coverage over uneven areas like roughcast and brick. There’s a great guide to paint brushes by DIY Doctor that explains everything in more detail than I ever could.
Having adequate protection for your walls
Paint loves it when it is protected and can adhere to a surface that is protected too. Whenever you paint a room, always stand back and ask yourself, “Do these surfaces need protecting? And what does my paint need to protect against?”
For example, if you were in your bathroom and wanted to paint around the shower and sink, you would want to consider the role moisture plays. If you have a bathroom where the fan doesn’t pull moisture out efficiently and some areas are prone to water clinging, it would be best to get a glossier paint or something that has anti-mould properties. There would be no point painting with a regular emulsion if it can’t help but hold on to moisture and prevent signs of damp. Oh, and for anyone about to do some work in their bathrooms or en-suite, I recommend reading this recent post highlighting the additions you need for a relaxing bathing experience.
You’ll also want to think about the protection walls need to have from anyone walking by. A normal paint won’t mind when people rub against it from time to time, but if you have a particular wall or area in the home people are regularly hitting or scraping without realising it, you need a scrubbable paint. One of the best examples of this is any home where people have to scoot around the dining room table to sit down, rubbing their backs, belts and shoes against the wall. If you have a wall like this, which drives you up the wall, keep an eye out for paint that says it is suitable for high-traffic areas. Most resistant paints are glossy, but you can get a decent resistant matt from the likes of Dulux, Crown & Johnstone’s.
Now you know how to paint appropriately!
I hope this article has clued you in on some ways to think about buying paint other than only talking about what colour to pick. If you think it is time for some redecorating at home, get all the tips and tricks you need to make it a doodle by checking out the latest posts in the home & garden section. Recent posts have looked at choosing new blinds, building a deck for the garden & wall stickers for nurseries.