DIY How To

How to Paint Around the Home

DIY Projects - Preparing the paint

Wipe the lid of the paint tin to remove any dust, then use a wide lever to prise off the lid, such as a large screwdriver. Unless the instructions say otherwise, stir the paint thoroughly using a clean stick. To prevent the paint in the tin from becoming contaminated with grit and dirt, pour a small amount of paint from the tin into a paint kettle (paint pot). This also makes life easier, especially if the paint tin has no handle.

Allow any dust from the preparation stage to settle overnight before you start to paint. Remove as much furniture as possible from the room, if any furniture has to remain, group it all together in the centre of the room and cover with dust sheets. Also cover the carpets or wood flooring with dust sheets.

Top TipWhen using paint that has been opened remove any skin that has formed by straining it through a pair of old tights or stockings.

Top TipTo prevent having to clean the paint kettle after use, line it with kitchen foil before use.

DIY Projects - Painting walls & ceilings

There are many different types of paint and colours to choose from, the most popular choice for walls and ceilings is emulsion. All emulsion paints are water based which means they are quick drying and have minimum odour. They also come with various additives which make them hard wearing and washable.

The correct order for painting a room is ceiling, walls and finally woodwork. Aim to complete an entire section in one go, a half finished wall or ceiling will leave a drying mark which will be visible through the finished surface.

If there is more than one window start at the largest. On the other walls start on the right, if right handed and on the left, if left handed.

Load the brush with paint to about a third of the bristle depth, always brush away from a wet edge rather than into it, this ensures the paint thins out and stops lines forming where areas of paint meet.

Paint ceiling

Always start at the window end of a room, if painting the ceiling start where the ceiling meets an adjacent wall and continue painting from wall to wall in 600mm strips

Paint walls

When painting the walls again start at the window and paint away from the light. This makes it easier to see where you have just painted. When using a solvent based paint work in 600mm (24") squares in the order shown.

Paint walls emulsion

When using emulsion paint work in 300mm (12") deep horizontal strips across the wall using downward strokes in the order shown. Continue brushing until the bristles show signs of emptying then without adding more paint brush across the bands using a gentle stroke to even out the paint.


DIY Projects - Painting doors

Painting woodwork in a room is done in a certain order. Start off by painting the doors and architraves then window frames and finally the skirting boards.

If the door has been sanded down ready for painting, the chances are that the door handles, coat hooks and anything else, has already been removed from the door, if not you need to remove these now.

Plan to finish painting each area in one go otherwise a joining edge where the paint meets will be visible.

Always paint with the direction of the grain to prevent streaks and finish each vertical panel with an upwards stroke to prevent visible brush marks.


Safety AdviceWhen door handles are removed make sure you keep them in the room in case the door accidentally shuts.

Panel Doors

Panel door

Panel doors are painted in a specific order as shown.

First paint the mouldings, then the inner panels, don't press on too hard or the paint will become tacky and streaky.
Next paint the central vertical panel (mutin) and then the horizontal panels (cross rails) top, middle and bottom.
Now paint the outer vertical panels (stiles) and lastly paint the edges of the door.
Don't forget to paint the top, although you don't normally see it, it can help to dust off and keep clean.
Paint the edge nearest the door handle last, this will allow you to open and close it while working.
Open the door and wedge on the non painted side until dry.


Flush Doors

Flush doors are painted in sections making sure you keep a wet edge, in other words don't let one section to dry before it is joined to the next.
The best way to paint flush doors is to divide it up into ten imaginary squares, start at the top of the door nearest the hinge, then move onto the next square at the top of the door, brush towards the edges of the door, this helps prevent a build up of paint on the external angles.
Blend the two areas together using horizontal strokes and then light vertical strokes, continue down the door square by square blending in the wet edges, make sure you complete the whole door in one go, otherwise a join between squares will be seen.
If both sides of the door are going to be different colours, paint the edge of the door the same colour as the outside of the door.

DIY Projects - Painting window frames

Painting woodwork in a room is done in a certain order. Start off by painting the doors and architraves then window frames and finally the skirting boards.

Painting window frames can be more difficult than doors especially windows with small panes due to the number of small glazing bars (mutins).

Window painting order

Paint windows in the order shown. First paint the rebate into which the opening window closes, then the edge of the opening window. Next paint the fixed part of the frame and then the glazing bars. Now paint the horizontal top and bottom cross rails and finally the vertical stiles. Keep the window open until dry to prevent sticking.

Mask off glass

To prevent getting paint on the glass, use masking tape to mask off. Leave a gap of about 2mm between the edge of the masking tape and the edge of the frame, this will allow the paint to form a seal between the glass and frame.

Paint shield

An alternative to masking off is to use a paint shield, these are a little more difficult to use as you need to use both hands. To prevent smears along the bottom it is necessary to keep wiping the shield on a damp cloth.

Top TipRemove masking tape as soon as the paint has started to dry. If masking tape is left until the paint has fully dried, when you try to remove it the paint will chip.

DIY Projects - Painting skirting boards

Painting woodwork in a room is done in a certain order. Start off by painting the doors and architraves then window frames and finally the skirting boards

Paint skirting

Skirting boards are the last thing to paint in a room. The biggest problem with painting skirting boards is dirt and fluff off the floor sticking to the paint brush. Use a piece of cardboard under the skirting, this also protects the floor. Take care not to get paint on the walls when painting the top of the skirting, using masking tape or a paint shield if you need to.

DIY Projects - Painting behind radiators

If you are freshening up a room with a coat of paint you will probably want to leave any radiators in place and paint behind them.

Radiator roller

Radiator rollers are ideal if you don't want to take the radiator off the wall. Make sure the radiator is cold, dust away any cobwebs with a feather duster then use the roller as you would a normal roller. Take care not to get paint on any valves or fittings as this could make them difficult to operate.

DIY Projects - Painting around sockets, light switches and light fittings

To paint around light fittings, light switches and sockets, first turn off the electric then with sockets and switches, unscrew them slightly from the wall and using a small 15mm (1/2) brush paint just past the edge. With light fittings unscrew the ceiling rose to allow you to paint behind.

Safety AdviceAlways remember to disconnect the electricity supply when working near electrical fittings.


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