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5 Top Tips For Painting & Decorating

Jack is a DIY enthusiast who has spent years painting & decorating in order to provide the best advice to homeowners.


Whether it's sprucing up your home's exterior or getting round to decorating that spare room, there is always a new DIY project just around the corner. In this article we're going to discuss five of the best top tips that are going to make your life easier.

1. When Painting Outside, Use A Waterproof Paint

The first tip on our list is one that can't be stressed enough, when painting outside it is crucial to use a waterproof paint. We are all tempted by those great value tubs of white masonry paint that you see all over the shops at the moment, but don't be fooled. These masonry paints are cheap because they have very short-term lifespans. After as little as 2-3 years, they can begin to peel or flake due to moisture that is soaked into the surface through the paintwork, which eventually pushes the paint off. How do you prevent this, you got it, a waterproof paint. Whether your are planning on painting exterior brickwork, render, wood or any other porous exterior surface, ensuring you use a waterproof exterior paint will mean that the moisture is repelled off the painted surface rather than soaking in! One key thing is to also check that whatever paint you use is breathable, as without this any moisture in the substrate before you waterproof it will become trapped.

Don't worry, there are a number of excellent options available. My personal recommendation would be to use the waterproof masonry paint from Emperor Paint, which can be used on any brick, render or stone. It completely repels water while remaining breathable, giving it a lifespan of 25 years.


2. Use A Quality Trade Paint

This top tip is in the same vein as the first tip in this article, quality is king! You are only as good as your tools, which is why trying to save money on paint is only going to end one way. When I am asked what paint to use, I always tell people to go for a trade paint. Trade paint is always higher quality than retail paint that you see in high-street DIY shops because a professional decorator needs a paint that will cover as quickly as possible and leave a perfect finish for their customers. That is why trade paint was developed, offering better coverage, higher durability & overall offering much better results. Yes it is slightly more expensive, but not only will trade paint save you time but it will save you money in the long-run as the finish will last much longer.


3. Prep, Prep, Prep

Ask any professional decorator what their top tip would be and I bet you the majority would say put time and effort into the preparation! Without properly treating the surface you are going to paint, applying good quality masking & covering everything you aren't painting, you are just going to cause more problems for yourself. It sounds simple, but we've all been there where we think we can get away with applying some paint quickly. Ultimately, it always goes wrong and we then either have to spend double the time cleaning up after ourselves or have to re-paint in a year when the paint is failing. Take the time to identify any problems.

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Here are some key things to check for before you start painting:

  • Check for any cracks or holes in the surface. If there are any make sure you apply filler and let it dry completely before you sand them down to create a smooth surface to paint
  • Using a paper towel, wipe down the surface to see if there is any dirt. This is especially important for bare & newly plastered surfaces as these can be very dusty. This dust will prevent the paint from adhering correctly, which will cause it to peel in of months.
  • Check that the surface does not need priming. While some paints are self-priming, the majority are not, which is why you must check before painting. In most cases if you are painting a surface that has not been painted before, you must use a primer.

4. Get Creative!

I know it is tempting to go for a classic look, a neutral tone inside & a modern grey tone for exterior surfaces, but getting creative and being bold is such as important thing to emphasise. There is a beautifully unique shade out there for everyone, you just have to look for it.

My advice for finding the perfect shade for you is to visit Instagram and search for the hashtag #colourinspo. On the hashtag there are thousands of beautifully decorated homes that really showcase any chosen colour. In the caption there is almost always reference to which shade was used.

Once you have a colour in mind, you can get almost any paint you want in that shade by using a paint mixing service. All you have to do is type in the shade you are looking for, even designer shades, and it can be mixed in a cheaper alternative. A fantastic shade to try that is very popular is 'Dragon Song', which is a rich, dark green that in low light can appear almost dark grey, while in light has a vivid green note.


5. Enjoy!

Remember, enjoy the process. The brilliant thing about DIY is that it is a fantastic way to unwind and take your mind off things. It really doesn't have to be a chore, plus you get a beautiful house at the end of it. Just remember to take your time and do the research before you start.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Jack Louis

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