12 Best DIY Decorating Tips Only The Experts Know

PLAN, RESEARCH AND COST YOUR DIY PROJECT: (refer to our blog-‘Decorating, where to start?’)  Which Room? What Colour Scheme? What Paints are required, and how will they perform? What Tools are required? Time Scales, can you allow adequate time to carry out each task? Costs, are they within your budget? Techniques, do you need to learn how to carry out the task? Create a plan of attack…

  • REMOVE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE OUT OF THE AREA TO BE DECORATED: Empty the room to be decorated as much as possible, including taking up the old carpets, will give you the space to move around safely with your tools, and prevent paint splash damage.


  • MASK UP FLOORS & LARGE PIECES OF FURNITURE: Wrap furniture with cling film or plastic sheeting, and use low tack floor protector, dust sheets and masking tape to protect wooden floors or carpets you are keeping. 


  • GOOD LIGHTING: It is essential to carry out decorating to areas that are well lit. A plug in floor mounted ‘site light’ can be purchased for under £10, and will greatly assist in seeing the imperfections.


  • CLEAN SURFACES BEFORE CARRYING OUT ANY WORK: Washing down surfaces prior to decorating will give a good start to the preparation work. Grease and grime and other contaminants can prevent paint from adhering to surfaces, and giving good results.


  • STRIPPING WALLPAPER: Can be time consuming! Remove as much as you can dry- lift away the edges with a scraper, and peel off as much as possible. Soak the remaining paper, one wall at a time with a large sponge and a little fairy liquid, which helps the water stick to the paper! Piercing the wallpaper with your scraper in a criss cross motion will allow water to soak behind the paper, and soften the adhesive. Soak 3 times before attempting to remove the remaining paper, and stick to stripping 1 wall at a time, to prevent other walls drying out before you have time to strip them! Clear away the stripped wet paper as soon as each wall is stripped. Remove all traces of adhesive from the wall surfaces by washing off with clean water, cloths and sponges. Scourers can help to loosen the wet adhesive. Steamers can be used for this process, but beware not to leave on the wallpaper in one place for too long to prevent damaging the plaster.


  • KEEP TOOLS CLEAN: Keeping your tools organised and clean will ensure the job goes well. Washing out brushes and tools after each use will prolong their use, and give better results. Roller sleeves can be washed in the washing machine with your overalls after scraping off the excess paint with your scraper, back in the can. They will be ready to use when you take them out of the machine.


  • STIR PAINT WELL BEFORE USE: Pigments and components used in colouring paints can settle to the bottom of the can. It is important to thoroughly mix the paint prior to use, to ensure all components have re amalgamated. A kitchen balloon hand whisk is great, even a wooden spoon. Stirring sticks can be purchased for under a £1 from the DIY store.


  • USE A PAINT KETTLE: Pour small amounts of paint into a 2L paint kettle, instead of dipping your brush into a large can of paint, will make the job easier to manage and less hazardous. An unfortunate small spillage is easier to clean up than a full can of paint!


  • A HAIRDRYER: Can greatly speed up drying times! To be used with care and caution of course, moving it around constantly, and not too close! But very useful if you have a small area of paint or filler that wont dry, which may be holding things up.


  • THICK GLUPY PAINT?: Some DIY paints can have the consistency of mayonnaise. Stirring will greatly help with thinning the consistency, but adding an egg cup or two of water and stirring thoroughly into the paint can help the consistency and flow when ‘cutting in’ straight lines!


If you need any more advice please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us here at Wall2Wall