DIY tricks to paint your home in your way

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Bedroom Pixers Country style bedroom Multicolored
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We know that a beautiful house is not just about immaculate floors, fluffy pillows, and some fantastic appliances in the kitchen. Those walls and ceilings (and windows and doors) also need to look their very best, which is where a decent paint job comes in. 

Here you have two options: phone up an expert painter, or do some DIYing around the house to ensure personal touches. And here is where homify comes in with first-hand home improvement advice to ensure only the most stylish results for you.

1. Selecting the right materials

Tackling a paint job will involve significantly more than a paintbrush. Elements such as plastic sheets and newspapers will also come in handy to protect your floors and furniture. 

In addition, invest in a dust mask, some decent rollers, dusting brushes, a drop cloth, paint scraper, paint thinner, sandpaper, a ladder, masking tape, a few brushes of various sizes, latex gloves, and your paint of choice. 

And wear some of your oldest clothes and shoes for paint day.

2. Preparing those walls

House in Chandlers Ford II LA Hally Architect Modern corridor, hallway & stairs
LA Hally Architect

House in Chandlers Ford II

LA Hally Architect

A wall that has begun to peel off its previous coat of paint is by no means ready for its next touch up. Those surfaces need to be clean, smooth, and dry before you bring a brush and paint near them. 

Prep those walls by rubbing them with sandpaper and dusting them with a brush. If you’re sanding the ceiling, use a pole with a pad on top, covered with sandpaper. Or get up that ladder of yours. 

Use a paint scraper to remove loose or scaling paint. And when removing paint from the sash, trim, or doors, use a fine sandpaper to sand the entire surface. 

homify hint: Had a spill? Cat litter soaks up that paint spill like a boss. Contain the spill first, then pour a generous amount of cat litter on it. If the paint has dried into the flooring, pour paint thinner on the stain before adding the cat litter. Wait overnight and then clean up the spot.

4. Your paint tool options

A roller is the best tool for covering large areas. When dipping it in the paint tray, make sure not to overload it, and apply with a light and even pressure. 

A paint pad is a rectangular decorator’s tool with a foam front to spread the paint. It creates less mess than rollers, treating you to a smooth and even coverage – but you have to dip it more often into the paint. Should you decide to use a paint pad, pour the paint in the applicator tray and the built-in roller to load the paint and remove any excess. Best start in a corner and work in strips. 

If you decide on a paintbrush, first dust it against your palm to remove any loose bristles before you start painting. Dip it in the paint, covering about one-third of the bristle depth, rub it against the side to remove excess paint, and then apply to that wall.

3. Choosing your colours

Folk Pixers Country style bedroom Multicolored

Interior designers and professional painters apply paint to small sections on walls to see how the colour looks in the actual environment. You should do the same before splashing those tones across entire wall surfaces. 

First make sure the test surface is clean and dry (you will get the truest colour rendition if that sample is painted on a clean, white background). Use different areas of the wall to test out the colour (such as a spot that gets lots of light, and one that doesn’t). 

Allow those test patches to dry for at least two hours before you vote yes or no. 

You may want to see these: 11 psychological room colours your home can benefit from.

5. Painting a bathroom

Master bathroom Loft Kolasinski Industrial style bathroom Stone Grey
Loft Kolasinski

Master bathroom

Loft Kolasinski

Cleaning the walls before painting the bathroom is even more crucial, as soap scum and bleach-based cleaning products can cause your beautiful paint job to peel off (if you get it to stick in the first place). 

Some paint manufacturers sell “bathroom paint”, specially made for spaces that get a lot of water and moisture. This paint has both mould-inhibiting agents and a better surface for resisting moisture.

Should you not want to opt for special bathroom paint, then go with sheen quality: eggshell or glossier paint.

6. Getting that paint perfect

Bazar Mural ref XXL4-028 Paper Moon Walls & flooringWallpaper
Paper Moon

Bazar Mural ref XXL4-028

Paper Moon

Generally, you will find a top layer of skin when opening a tin of paint. If this is the case, all you need to do is strain the paint.

Placing a piece of old stocking, cheesecloth, tights materials, or even pantyhose over the paint bucket, strain the paint through it into another. 

Another option would be to turn the paint can upside down for a few seconds (with the lid on tight, of course).

7. Cutting in

Hexagonal Floor Tiles Tileflair Modern walls & floors

Hexagonal Floor Tiles


Use a technique called “cutting in” when painting the internal corner of a wall where it meets the ceiling at a right angle. 

Paint along the top of the wall in a horizontal line, keeping the edge of the brush tight to the ceiling using firm and steady strokes. This helps to ensure a nice straight edge. It also prevents any paint spilling over and is particularly handy if the ceiling and wall are different colours. 

Use this technique along skirting boards and windows too. 

homify hint: When painting ceilings or cornices, buy an extension handle for your roller instead of lugging a heavy paint tin up the ladder with you. Or transfer some of the paint into a smaller and lighter container, like a yoghurt bucket.

8. Working with chalkboard paint

Chalkboard paint—available in any colour – helps turn any surface into a useful, fully-erasable chalkboard. Like regular paint, a clean surface is vital, so ensure that you first repair protruding nails and any other imperfections. Shiny metal surfaces should be lightly sanded before the chalkboard paint is applied. 

Use painter's tape to mark off a space for your chalkboard, and then apply the chalkboard paint within the taped-off area using a brush or roller. For best results, leave the painted area to dry for three whole days. But before you start scribbling away on it, rub the entire surface with a piece of white chalk. 

homify hint: Use a clean, damp cloth or paper towel for erasing instead of a chalkboard eraser.

Got any other tips to make that paint job even easier?

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