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Painting and Decorating Tips

Painting and decorating is an extremely exciting part of being a homeowner. The chance to change the look and feel of your home is fantastic and can be very rewarding for you. You’ll get the style you’ve dreamt of for so long, the style that suits you perfectly.

Although decorating is an exciting time, you need to take the necessary precautions before you get started to ensure there’s no risk of making any mistakes or getting something wrong. This article is written to give you all the pointers that you’ll need to know, as well as giving you some useful hacks to get the most out of your decorating.

See below for some useful headings within this article. If you’re busy, or you’re eager to get started, then feel free to jump to the relevant section!


Getting Started
How to Decide on Room Decoration
Deciding on the Plan
Creating a Plan
Some Painting and Decorating Life Hacks
In Summary

Getting Started

When you first get started with painting and decorating, you’ll need to invest some time into the preparations to make sure you’re set and ready to go. By getting yourself prepared and ready you’ll make sure that you’ve got all the materials you’ll need and all the necessary equipment to get the job done. There are few things as frustrating as getting invested into a project only to find that you’re halfway through, and need something that wasn’t prepared at the beginning. Putting the project on hold just to fetch a tool or a material, can be a real nuisance.

To prevent this from happening, we’ve included a list of things that you’ll need to make sure you have. This list isn’t exclusive, and there are additional things for different types of projects, but this should help you make sure you’ve got the majority of the things you’ll need to crack on.

For painting, you’ll need:

–         Masking Tape – This is used to put a barrier between the area you’re painting and an area you definitely do not want to get paint on. Skirting boards, flooring and ceilings are some examples. Simply lay the masking tape so the side of the tape meets the area you’re painting and you’ll have no worries of going over the boundaries.

–         Paint Brushes – This one may seem like a no brainer, but there are lots of different variations to take into account. A small brush is very useful for those small areas, such as the corner of a room, but they’re not quite as good for painting the main body of a wall. The same logic applies to a big roller, this is great for the main parts of your wall but not quite as good for the tricky areas.

–         Dust Sheet – An old towel or bedsheet will work perfectly for this. Contrary to what the name suggests, this is placed underneath you when you’re painting to stop any droplets of paint from hitting the floor. This is especially useful when you’ve got carpeted floors, so do make sure you have one before you get started! An old cloth sheet is much easier to use than a dust sheet as they’re more manoeuvrable and can be cleaned to an extent.

–         Ladders – When painting a room, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting into those tiny corners as easily as possible. Stretching to reach the ceiling can cause you to slip and miss, ending up with a big smudge on the ceiling if you’re not careful. A set of ladders allows you to safely reach the higher areas, minimising the risks of making any mistakes.

–         Toolbox – Make sure you’ve got a set of tools ready if needed. Pictures on the wall, shelves and other such ornaments may require the use of tools to get them down to allow you to decorate.

–         Some Old Clothes! – If you don’t have some already, definitely dig out the oldest pair of shorts and an old T-shirt to transform into your painting attire. You will most likely get paint on your clothes at some point, so it’s better to commit to an outfit that’ll be used for decorating going forward than risking a nice outfit.


Once you’ve got all of the above, you’re set and ready to start painting. If you’re doing other forms of decorating, such as wallpapering, we’ve included some other handy reminders for you below.

–         All of the Above – Everything above is perfect for any DIY job, so make sure you’ve got all of these before you get started!

–         Wallpaper Table – If you’ve not got one of these, a fold-out table is incredibly useful to help you get the job done. You’ll need to make sure that it’s sturdy enough to allow you to glue the back of the wallpaper without any wobbles, making your wallpapering process much easier.

–         Glue Brushes – People often mistake this for using an old paintbrush, which doesn’t do the job quite as well. An old paintbrush will have old bits of paint which can cause bumps in the wallpaper once it has been applied to the wall. Ripping the wallpaper down because of a few tiny bumps is extremely frustrating, so make sure you avoid this!

How to Decide on Room Decoration

When it comes to decorating a room, it’s difficult to know exactly what you want to do. There are so many different options and choices out there that you’ll be almost spoilt for choice, making it very difficult to make the right decision. We know just what this is like, and we’re here to help you make the right decision for you. See some handy tips to make the right choices below!

Deciding on the Plan

The first step is to decide what you want to do with the room. There’s a lot of different choices, but the best thing to do is decide on how you’re going to approach the decoration. A few questions to ask yourself:

Are you going to be wallpapering? Do you want wallpaper on the walls, or are you looking to just paint over the walls for a bit of colour in the room?

Is there just one room, or are there multiple? Is this project centralised to just one room or do you have multiple rooms to tackle in one go?

Do you have an idea of how the room will be laid out? Will the room layout be moving around, or are you just planning to change the colours and the look and feel of the room?

These few questions will help you understand your next steps in terms of a plan. Once you know the answers to these questions, it’s onto the next step.

Creating a Plan

Once you’ve answered the questions you need to understand the plan of action, it’s time to put it into practice! You’ll need to first make sure you’ve got all the equipment to get started. We recommend setting a written checklist and ticking off everything you’ve got to make sure you don’t get caught out without something you’ll need. Check out the section above ‘Getting Started’ for more information!

Once you’ve got a plan in place, you’ll be ready to start the job! We recommend that you start the job early in the morning to give yourself plenty of time to crack on and get the job done. If you’ve not started the job until later in the day, you’ll be rushed to get the job done and may well find yourself working into the evening. Give yourself plenty of time and make sure you’ve only allocated so much to do in one day that you’ll be done before tea time, giving yourself plenty of time to get cleared away.

Some Painting and Decorating Life Hacks

Everybody loves a good life hack. They’re a great way to speed up things in your day-to-day life and help you to get the most efficient approach to many of life’s tasks, making your life much easier. To adhere to this, we’ve collated some great life hacks to make your life as easy as possible when it comes to decorating.

Allocate an Old Bedsheet to Becoming a Dustsheet

Many people purchase plastic dustsheets as they’re clear, so it’s easy to see where you’ve dropped some paint. However, this means that not only is the sheet slippery and presents a fall risk, but the paint doesn’t soak into the sheet and can easily flick off when moving the sheet.

An old bedsheet folded in half will perfectly capture and small droplets and won’t soak through to the other side, keeping your flooring safe from any droplets of paint.

Paint Barefoot

This one sounds wacky, but it does make sense… If you’re painting in shoes and you’ve stood in a small droplet of paint, you’ll have no idea until you’ve walked it across your house. Painting barefoot or in a pair of thin socks allows you to easily know when you’ve stood in some paint, allowing you to take remedial action immediately.

Put Some Music On!

Music has been proven to provide motivation, as well as keeping people focused on the job they’re doing and helping to prevent compromisation on the quality of the job being undertaken. When you’re decorating, music helps to keep your mind busy and away from wandering onto other things, helping you to keep focused on the job.

Make Sure the Room is Cool

If you’re painting in a hot room, it can become increasingly uncomfortable over time. To prevent the hassle and the heat becoming a bother, try to cool the room out as much as you can before starting the job. A few ways to do this are:

– Close the curtains or blinds in that room for a couple of days before the decorating to prevent any sunlight and heat coming in

– Open the windows to allow a breeze into the room, allowing it to cool down

– Place a fan in the room to circulate for an hour or so, turning the air and helping the room to cool down.

Make Sure There is Plenty of Lighting

If any work is being done regarding the electrics of the property, make sure this won’t impact the lighting you’ve got in the room that you’re working on. Most fuse boxes allow you to shut off power to the switches and plugs but not the actual lights to the room, so if you are working into the dark then you’ll not have to try and work in the dark. Good lighting helps ensure good quality!

Move Furniture Out of the Way

Move any furniture you can out of the way before you get started. This will help you as it means there’s less furniture in the way when you’re painting, allowing you to crack on with the job even easier. As well as this, you’ll be removing the risk of any furniture getting paint droplets on them which is a bonus.  

Attach Some Weight to the Edge of Your Sheet

When you’re painting, you’ll need a sheet that catches any droplets of paint. However, these sheets are easy shuffled around whilst you’re working. By attaching some weights to the corners of the sheet, you can get these corners pushed right into the corner of the wall and ensure that the sheet stays in place whilst you’re working.

Save Yourself Time on Cleaning

There are a few really easy ways to make the cleaning job much easier. Washing your brushes and your painting tray can be a real nuisance, especially if you’ve just spent the whole day cleaning, but there are a few easy ways to make your life much easier.

–         Place foil or another cover over your painting tray – During the day your painting tray will work the same as it would normally, however it has a small cover over it to prevent the paint from actually hitting the tray. At the end of the day, simply peel off the cover and throw away. Job done! 

–         Wash your brushes with vinegar or fabric softener – When it comes to cleaning your brushes, it can feel like it’s taking forever to remove the paint from them. A little vinegar or fabric softener are both trusted methods of removing wet paint from brushes, making them much easier and quicker to clean. 

–         Hang the dustsheet on the washing line – If you’re using an old bedsheet rather than a plastic dust sheet, hang it on the washing line once you’ve finished. This will allow any droplets of paint to dry and ensure that you don’t accidentally spread the paint to anywhere else in your home. 

Put an Elastic Band Around Your Paint Can

You might be questioning the requirement for doing this, but it serves a very useful purpose. The elastic band should go across the middle of the top of the can, putting a divider in place. When you dip your paintbrush into the paint, you’ll be able to wipe any excess paint off your brush without wiping it on the edge of the can and potentially spilling over the edge.

Dampen Your Rollers Before You Start

Your rollers are designed to absorb the paint, which is then applied to the wall that you’re painting. When dry, the rollers are quite reserved and don’t absorb paint easily which means your first few minutes of the painting aren’t great. Before you start, wet your hand with warm water and rub this across the roller itself. You’ll soon find that it starts to expand ever so slightly, but this allows you to get started quickly.

Masking Tape All Borders

If you’ve ever painted a room before, you’ll know how frustrating those corners can be to make sure you don’t go onto the next wall or skirting board. There’s a really easy way to do this and speed up the process too. Simply place some masking tape on every surface you don’t want to paint and you’ll be set to paint without the worry of going onto the wrong surface!

Use a Hair Dryer to Remove Masking Tape

The adhesive in masking tape can start to grab the paint, stain or wallpaper from other surfaces which can come off when you’re pulling the masking tape off. Using the heat of a hairdryer helps the adhesive to weaken, minimising any damages to your other surfaces or furniture.

Use Heat to Remove Unwanted Paint Droplets

It’s bound to happen; you’ll get a droplet of paint on your windowsill or your furniture. Fortunately, these can be easily removed. Using the hairdryer technique, this loosens the paint droplet enough for you to use a scraper to remove it.

Don’t Leave Paint Spills! 

If you’ve had a mishap (don’t worry, we’ve been there too!), don’t let it sit for a while whilst you finish off the section you’re on. Quickly attend to the spill and start cleaning quickly, as this will give you the best chance to get it cleaned before it’s too late. If you’ve spilt paint onto your carpet, every second that goes by means another second the paint is drying, so work fast and get rid of that blunder!

For Carpet Paint Spills…

If it’s a big spill, do not wipe it. This can push the paint deeper into the carpet and cause it to be impossible to clean. Instead, use a spoon to scoop up the paint as much as you can to leave minimal paint behind. Then use a damp cloth and continue to carefully blot the stain in the carpet. This will help to pull the paint out before it dries, and the damp cloth will slow the drying process to give you the best chance possible of removing the stain.

For smaller droplets, these often don’t have the weight to be able to go deep into your carpet. As long as they sit at the top of your carpet, these small droplets are best left to dry on their own accord. They don’t spread like a big spill of paint, therefore keeping themselves centralised. You can then take a small pair of scissors to chop that droplet out.

For Hardwood Paint Spills…

Big spills should be wiped up quickly to remove as much paint as possible. Kitchen roll that has absorbent capabilities will help to remove most of the paint, and a wet cloth will help to remove the remaining spill that’s on the floor. It’s important to work fast to remove the paint before it dries as once it does, you’ll need to get scrubbing to remove it. Soapy water can do the job in this case, however, if it does start to dry.

For small droplets, a small cloth will do the job just fine. Small droplets of paint have minimal paint so the wet cloth will be more than enough to ensure that it comes away easily. Just remember to rinse out the cloth once you’re done!

Aim to Complete The Big Jobs in One Day

When it comes to bigger tasks such as painting, wallpapering etc, make sure to set a timeframe so you can get them completed on the same day. Most of these jobs require a lot of preparation to get set up and ready to complete and a lot of efforts to clean them away at the end of the day. By completing these jobs in one day, you’ll only have to go through the preparations and the cleaning away once rather than multiple times a day.

In Summary

Decorating is a big investment of time and should be taken seriously when decorating. There’s a lot of things to happen when decorating so you must take the time to get it right and don’t make any early mistakes.

Our list of life hacks and tips are designed to make the job a little bit easier for you. If we can make that happen, then great!

We hope you find the above useful and interesting. If so, feel free to share this article with your family and friends to share the useful tips with them too. We hope you enjoy your decorating!


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