Painting your walls is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to instantly give your room a new feel.
But it’s also one of the most time-consuming and daunting things to do by yourself if you're not well-practised.
However, design expert, Ruth, blogger behind Design Soda, is here to help. She said: "I’ve painted more than 30 rooms over the last eight years and along the way I’ve picked up my own set of tried and tested golden rules for a good finish and light work."
1. Prep your walls
Before getting stuck in, all walls and ceilings should be dust-free, smooth and completely dry. Try washing them down with sugar soap which will remove any grease or dirt clinging to your walls.
2. Sample paint colours on paper
Ruth said: "The size of your sample really matters, the bigger the better. Using an A4 or even A3 sheet of paper allows you to move samples around the room and follow the light. Paint will look different in different corners of the room according to the way that light floods or shadows it so it’s a good idea to move your shade around a bit before deciding on your choice."
3. Select the right paint for you
"One thing I have learned over the years is that colour is everything, and true colour means quality over cutting corners," Ruth said. "A lot of people and companies will tell you that what I’m about to say is a fallacy, but in my years of painting houses, I believe that unless you are painting in dead flat white then it makes all the difference what you use. If you read my blog regularly then you will know that I am all for creating dash with as little cash as possible in my home but when it comes to paint I just won’t budge."
4. Cover your furniture
Make sure valuables and furniture are protected before you start transforming your walls. Dust sheets are always handy to lay down or chuck over your furnishings.
5. Paint one way
No one wants to sit back, and admire their hand work only to realise you can see all the lap marks. So make sure you roll the full length of the wall and wait for it to dry before you go back over it.
6. Be confident when you cut in
Ruth said: "Cutting in (using a paint brush to paint areas that are too tight for rollers) and painting up to cornicing (painting any decorative wall or ceiling) is a confidence trick, the more confidence you have to be natural, the straighter the line and better the result. The quicker you go the better; it’s so counterintuitive and I wish I’d known this years ago. I’ve spent painstaking time on cutting in, but when a builder complimented my cutting in recently he told me that speed and confidence are the advice given on decorators courses. So have faith in yourself and follow your hand; it works."
FrogTape can come in handy for painting with confidence. The painter's masking tape is treated with a clever technology that reacts with emulsion paint and instantly gels to form a micro-barrier that seals the edges of the tape, preventing paint to bleed.
7. Choose your rollers wisely
Ruth said: "Use cheap rollers, expensive ones hold more paint and give better coverage but they are heavier and therefore harder work, it’s far easier to paint one area twice with a light roller than once with a really heavy one (especially above head height with arms extended)."
8. Stockpile the wet wipes
Ruth said: "Wet wipes are a godsend to decorating. I wish I’d known this during the years before having kids as they make light work of slips and spills in a way that a simple cloth and soap can take hours and tends to bleed."