Painting Tips and Techniques

English: Rubber sanding blocks


Your completed job may only be as good as the planning and preparation, presuming you have chosen good quality paints and other materials. Painting a poorly prepared surface may limit the durability of the paint and may not look as good. To prevent the requirements for extended repainting, clean up your paintwork before it begins to blister, fade chip and peel! Deciding on the best primers, undercoats and topcoats is an essential phase in accomplishing fantastic success.


Daily temperature extremes can impact the way your protects protects and cures. For external painting it would be good advise to check the weather forecast. Days when cold and or fog and frosty nights are forecast and significantly affect the finish and drying of various paints. Oil based paints if too cold over night will not only dry slowly but may have cloudy effect to the finish when dry. Acrylic or water based paints may not dry overnight and can easily run down walls and and windows if there is a mist or fog present.

The manufacturers recommendations on the can will specify a temperature range and use outside the selection is not suggested. Blustery heated days can cause exterior use acrylic pains to dry very rapidly.

Mixing is Vital

Before applying your paint mix it well according to the recommendations on the can. Always 'box' your paint Which means if using more than one can of the same colour, tip the items of each one into a bigger box, e.g. a huge cheap bucket, and mix the contents of the cans thoroughly. This is to limit the possibility of a mistint in 1 or more cans and the paint will have colour consistency as you paint from wall to wall. You can then return it to its original cans or into your paint tray or pot.

There are many different types or styles of paint brushes, and selecting the right one for the task can make things quicker and simpler.

Before using a new or clean brush, eliminate any loose bristles give it a gentle tease with your hands and fingers. It's a good option to keep the brush moist with the same fluid that's in your paint, ie. water for water based paints and turps for oil based paints.

Small paint brushes are simple to use and can be held the same way a you use a pen to write. If you are using a big brush grasp it in your fists. Having it in your hands and fingers, which may at first seem more relaxed, is very strenuous.
Load the brush by dipping in up to half of the length of the bristles. This is important as it prevents the paint getting into the ferrule, from where it is challenging to eliminate, and solidifies the bristles.
Tap it gradually against the edges of the can or pot, don't stroke the brush hard against the lip. The bristles should flex only a little as you paint, don't press too hard and the paint should flow easily from the brush.
If you have to paint a large area by brush the paint should be applied in vertical or diagonal strips about the width of the brush you are using apart until the brush need reloading. Then brush horizontally or diagonally in the opposite direction so that the surface gets an even coat or paint. When a sufficient size or area has been painted the area should be finished by “Laying Off” which is done by light even vertical strokes. Load the brush and do it again and again until completed. Tip Always check what you have done especially when using oil based paints as the run more easily and can leave drips or runs which are visible. If you are using a roller the first step is to paint the edges as you will not be able get a roller too close to items such as window frames and light switches. This is known as 'cutting in'. The aim is to paint a line about 5 to 8cm wide around any surface on which you intend to use the roller. Use The narrow edge of the brush to do this, and paint with long slow strokes using just enough pressure to bend the bristles. Don't do too much of your cutting in at once but fill in the areas with the roller in order not to make an effect known as Framing or ridging around the edges.


Painting mouldings, window frames and skirting's can take a lot of time but it's worth investing to do the job effectively and get the best results.

Using a small brush or cutting in brush first paint the edges and fill the rest with a larger brush if required. Always works in sections usually from top to bottom in a methodical manner in order to reduce the risk of missing sections.

Never try to paint over an area which has started to dry as the brush will leave marks.

The lower edge of skirting boards can be tricky. Remove any carpeting or floor covering if possible, to prevent getting paint on the pile.. Always use a guard suck as a strip of metal or piece of stiff card . Hold the guard into the base of the skirting and paint down to it, shifting it along as you go. Even it you have no floor covering it will help to stop the paint brush picking up hairs or dust.


Using the correct roller sleeve for the job at hand is essential. Generally the smoother the surface has to be the shorter the nap length is required and the type has to be taken into consideration. Your local stockist will tell you about which one you require.

An extension pole is most advisable to paint walls and ceilings as it makes the whole job easier, use a either telescopic aluminium or fixed wooden pole.

Fit the roller sleeve to the frame and slightly dampen it with water, if you are using acrylic paint, to prime it and remove any lint or dust, then use it slightly damp. Pour paint from the can into the reservoir at the end of the roller tray. Be careful not to overfill it. Dip the roller lightly into the paint, then roll it gently backwards and forwards on the ramp to evenly distribute the paint on the sleeve.

Roll up the wall on the first instance which should help reduce splatter then roll the paint on the walls in a series of close zig zag strokes. Usually one loaded roller will cover approx ½ a square metre. When the roller begins to run out of paint, go over the area with even vertical stokes to even out any variance in the texture. When a large enough area has been done it is also advisable when possible to run the roller lightly from top to bottom of the wall to again to even the finished texture.

Don't leave a paint covered roller exposed to the air for any period of time as it will start to dry. “Tip” wrap it in plastic cling wrap or stand it in turps or water, depending in the paint being used, when you take a break Often when wrapped in cling wrap the roller will be OK to use the following day which saves time not having to wash the roller out.

A brush and roller are the most common ways of painting around the home. Spray guns, both airless and air driven are used less frequently in domestic situations. A considerable amount or preparation is required to mask up certain areas in a home and the time taken to do this appropriately outweighs the shorter time taken to use a roller. It is difficult to produce top quality results with a spray gun without considerable practise

Application Pads
There are a variety of paint application pads available. They are particularly useful for cutting in to edges and corners and make sections like joins between ceiling cornices and walls far easier for those who do not have a steady hand. They are simple to use. The best way to load them with paint at first is to use a paintbrush and paint the right quantity directly onto the pad, after a little practise the pad can be loaded directly from the tray by resting the pad onto the surface of the paint.Then it's a simple matter of placing the pad on the wall and running the little wheels on the edge along the architrave, skirting or corner. ”Tip” Watch to make make sure that the wheels remain clean as fresh wall colour on a white ceiling is not a good look. Don't be afraid to wipe of paint that gets onto the wrong surface with a damp clean cloth.