Decorating is a great way to change the look and style of a room. A quick coat of paint can make a massive different to a decorative scheme, especially if you start off with white walls and end up with red ones. Anyone can decorate a room, it really isn’t that difficult, and if you are organised (and you aren’t tackling a large room in a Grade II Listed building), you should be able to finish a room in a weekend. So if you fancy having a go at giving your home a makeover, pay attention to these tips and you won’t need to call in the professionals.
Have the Right Tools Handy
Before you begin, make sure you have everything you need to hand. It won’t be very convenient to discover you don’t have any paintbrushes just as you open the tin of paint! For painting, you will need brushes, a paint roller and tray. If you are hanging wallpaper, you will need a pasting table, paste bucket and brush, and adhesive. A pair of sharp scissors and a pencil will also come in very handy. Other essential items include filler for any holes you come across.
It is a lot easier to decorate a room when it is empty. If you can, move everything out of the room before you begin and take up the floor covering. However, if this is not possible, get some dust sheets and cover up as much as you can. Water based paint can be wiped up if any is spilt, but oil based paint such as gloss is difficult to clean up, particularly if you spill any on fabric or carpets. So it is better to be safe than sorry!
If you are wallpapering, existing wallpaper needs to be removed before you do anything. Old wallpaper will come off if you wet the wall and use a scraper, but the easiest (and quickest) way of removing it is to use a steam stripper. Specialist steam strippers are available to hire, but if you have a Karcher steam cleaner, make use of the handy wallpaper stripper attachment and get the job done in a couple of hours.
Painted surfaces also need adequate preparation. Skirting boards and architraves should be washed down with sugar soap to remove dirt and grease. Fill in cracks and small holes with fine surface filler and when dry, smooth down with sandpaper.
Start at the Top
Always start at the top when decorating a room. Begin by painting the ceiling. Next, if you are wallpapering, paint the woodwork. If not, emulsion the walls first and then do the gloss. And remember, walls and woodwork will normally need at least two coats so allow time for the first coat to dry before painting over it.
Cleaning up is not as much fun as painting, but it is a necessary evil. However, if you still have some painting to do, your brushes and rollers can be wrapped in cling-film overnight, which will save you the hassle of washing them until the job is done.