Questions Answered

Questions Answered2020-10-21T07:54:54+00:00


Frequently Asked Questions

Hiring a decorator for your home or business can be a challenging decision. We often get asked questions around why people hire a decorator and how to best approach a project if you choose to go it alone. We’ve put down a few of our frequently asked questions and our hints and tips to help you along the way!

Why hire a painter decorator?2023-07-24T13:38:06+00:00

When the time comes to refresh a room, you may find yourself considering a do-it-yourself approach. But unless you’re an experienced renovator, you may be better off bringing in a professional. In this article, we are going to explore the differences between doing your own decorating and hiring a painter and decorator.

A Painter And Decorator Will Have The Right Tools and Supplies

Professionals don’t just know how to prepare for a job; they’ll make sure they have the right supplies, including the right paint for your surface and lighting.

Decorators have access to trade suppliers and will be able to get hold of materials that you wouldn’t be able to get your hands on in a standard DIY store.

As well as this, they can save you money on decorating materials. You won’t need to buy any paint brushes, rollers, dust sheets, ladders – your decorator will come well-stocked and well-prepared.


It’s so easy to go over-budget when it comes to DIY. It’s not unheard of to begin a project on a small scale, and then watch the costs spiral out of control as each step of the project reveals a new item to purchase.

You may need to consider a few more things other than just paints and brushes if you are going to do the decorating yourself. For example, dust sheets, filler, caulk and sandpaper are a minimum requirement if you want to make a good job of it and unless you are 6ft tall, a set of safe steps will be needed. (ladders if you are going to tackle the Hall/Stairs/Landing)

Depending on the existing state of the rooms you plan to decorate you may also need a few other tools to assist the job; scrapers, filling knives, a caulking gun, paint kettles, rollers and a wallpaper stripper/steamer are just a few of the tools you could have to spend your budget on.

To help give you an idea of how much it would cost to decorate an average hall, stairs and landing, here is a shopping list of everything you would need:

  • 10 Litres (minimum) of good quality washable matt emulsion: £120.00
  • 5 Litres of good quality undercoat for doors, frames, skirting boards, handrails: £60.00
  • 5 Litres good quality topcoat for above: £60.00
  • Plaster filler: £15.00
  • Wood filler: £10.00
  • Caulk: £10.00
  • Sandpaper:£5.00
  • Brushes & Rollers: £30
  • Any tools, ie scrapers, filling knives etc: £30

Total Cost: £340.00
(cheaper alternatives can be sourced, but may not live up to expectations on finish or durability)

When you hire a decorator, you know what your costs are up front – making the renovation simple and easy to plan for.


When it comes to decorating, preparation is key. Without adequately preparing the area, you’re risking the integrity of the job.

Badly prepared surfaces, for example, will not retain paint for long. Preparation is necessary for longevity, and for an excellent finish.

Before you go ahead with any decorating work by yourself it’s worth asking yourself if you know which brand of paint will create the finish you need and considering which tools and equipment you may need to facilitate the job and whether or not you know how to use them.

Most importantly you need to feel confident that you have skills required to create the finish you’re hoping for and to know what to do if things don’t turn out as you expected. If you answered yes to the above questions, that’s great, you probably don’t need to hire a painter and decorator, you will do a good job by yourself. But if you answered no to any of the above, you may want to consider hiring a professional Painter & Decorator.

With a breadth of experience, a professional decorator will know exactly how to prepare your specific surface to make sure it looks great – and stays looking great.

The Cleanup

The worst part of any job is the cleaning up. Paint-splattered rags, brushes soaking in white spirit, sawdust and who knows what else will accumulate in your house before you can do anything to stop it.

The benefit of a painter and decorator is that they will take care of cleaning all their own tools and equipment and make sure they leave your house as clean and tidy as they found. All you need to do is sit back and enjoy your nice new room!

A Painter And Decorator Will Save You Time

One of the things we haven’t mentioned yet is the time it takes to actually carry out the work.

Do you have 5-10 days available to get the job done? It’s not always easy to find the time in between work and family commitments to focus on a decorating project and it could end up taking you a lot longer than it should.

Re-decorating a room can be incredibly time-consuming, especially if you lack experience and are figuring things out as you go.

The most obvious reason to hire a painter and decorator is that it will give you back the time you would have spent on DIY so you can spend it doing things you actually enjoy. By hiring a professional, you can take that time back, get on with your life, and come home to a beautiful-looking room.

Wall2Wall directly employs a team of professional, experienced and qualified painters and decorators, who are ‘tooled up’ and ready to carry out your decorating. We have the knowledge and the tools to transform your home or office. So give us a call on 01793 435141 for a no obligation free quotation.

We look forward to working with you.

How long before painting over new plaster2023-07-24T13:45:04+00:00

After plastering a new surface, nothing is more disappointing than painting it badly. That is why knowing how long plaster takes to dry is very important.

How long does it take for the plaster to dry?

Ensure new plaster is fully cured and dried prior to painting. The colour will change from a dark pink to light pink. Also, the time it takes to dry depends on the thickness of the plaster, the temperature within the building, and the amount of ventilation available.

If the plastering is carried out to an old property following the introduction of a chemical damp proof course, the plaster system used includes removal of the old plaster back to stone or brick, and 2 backing coats of sand and cement prior to the final plaster skim.

This system replaces plaster contaminated by hygroscopic salts (which occurs due to the action of rising damp). This takes considerably longer to dry out and cure, depending on the thickness of the masonry, and the thickness of the rendering/plastering system. Always seek professional advice from a damp course specialist if you have any concerns about damp.

If the plastering is carried out as a ‘skim’ to finish new plasterboards, or cover up/encapsulate artex, the drying times is considerably quicker than the above application.

How to speed up the drying process

The drying out of the new plaster is enhanced significantly by increasing ventilation to the area. Opening windows and doors, and the introduction of a dehumidifier, will remove moisture in the atmosphere.

The introduction of heat must be considered with caution. Low background heating is preferable to turning the heating system up high, which can dry the plaster out too quickly and cause cracking.

Preparing plaster for painting

When dry, new plaster has a thin layer of dust on the surface. Brush this off prior to applying any paint. When the plaster is fully cured and dried, it is essential that a thinned down coat (65% paint/35% water) of a non-vinyl emulsion is applied.

This is called a ‘mist coat’. This soaks into the new plaster to form a key or primer prior to the application of the proposed paint system. Apply the ‘mist coat’ evenly as possible and allow to fully dry.

At this stage, sometimes minor surface filling is required. Any imperfections in the plastering shows up following the mist coat. Pay particular attention to corners, around electrical fittings, etc. This is where the plasterer may have experienced some difficulty with finishing due to getting trowels into tight areas. So, fill and abrade using a fine filler and sandpaper, and mist coat any filled areas.

Prior to applying the final coats of paint, now is the time to caulk the corners.

Painting over new plaster

Consider the colour scheme prior to mist coating. It’s preferable to mist coat in the same colour as the final coats to help build up to full opacity.

A possible problem with applying paint to new plaster is that the plasterer has over trowelled or polished the plaster. This is noticed on the application of the mist coat, which sits on the surface of the new plaster, possibly forming ‘bubbles’ and will not soak in to form the key/primer. In this case, it’s essential to thoroughly but lightly abrade the surfaces to roughen them. This allows the paint to soak in.

Use fine sandpaper in this instance, so as not to scratch the surface too much. Otherwise, the scratches show up following the application of the final coats.

Following the successful application of the mist coats, and filling/light sanding is carried out, the surfaces are ready for the final paint coats.

A minimum of 2 coats is required to achieve full opacity. Apply as evenly as possible, using a clean medium pile roller head. If the paint is very thick, thoroughly mixing in half a cup of clean water into the paint helps make the application easier to apply, and reduce patching to the final coats.

The decorators at Wall2Wall are experienced in painting new plaster on a regular basis. Please call us on 01793 435141 if you would like to discuss painting new plaster. We are more than happy to offer to advise, come and see you to discuss your project, and offer an obligation free quotation if required.

How to calculate paint quantity2023-07-24T13:50:28+00:00

Paint quantity is sold in various container sizes. The most common sizes are- 1 litre, 2.5 litres, 5 litres, 10 litres. Some paint manufactures package paints in 500 ml (half a litre), 3 litres, 7.5 litres, 15 litres.

The amount of paint needed depends on the porosity of the substrate, and how many coats you require to achieve full opacity. One coat of paint is rarely sufficient to achieve a good finish, unless it is the same colour.

REMEMBER- for painting new plasterwork, a watered down coat of paint is required as a primer. Water the paint down by mixing 60% paint to 40% water. This coat soaks into the new plaster, and form a key to subsequent full coats. If you apply undiluted paint to new plaster, it won’t soak into the plaster, and is likely to peel off.

Paint Quantity: Ceilings

Measure the length and width of the floor area of the room, and multiply the two measurements. For example, if the room is 4 metres wide, and 6 metres long, 4 x 6 = 24 square metres. 2 coats are required, so ensure you have enough paint to cover 48 square metres in total.


Paint Quantity: Walls

Measure the length of all walls of the room, and add them together. Then measure the height of the room, and multiply the two measurements. For example, if the room is 4 metres wide, and 6 metres long the total measurement will be 20 metres. Multiply this by the height of the room, say 2.5 metres, 20 x 2.5 = 50 square metres. 2 coats is required, so get enough paint to cover 100 square metres.

REMEMBER- measure any windows or doors, to remove this from your measurement, which reduces the amount of paint required.



There are important differences between Professional trade paints and retail paints. Professional paints must be more durable and versatile to meet the needs of professional decorators and their clients.

  • Trade paints cover better and spread further than retail paints, even after thinning. For example: Retail Dulux Vinyl matt emulsion will cover 13sqm per litre. Trade Dulux Vinyl matt emulsion will cover 17sqm per litre. So 5 litres of Retail paint will cover 65sqm- one coat, and 5 litres of Trade paint will cover 85sqm- one coat.
  • Trade paints are consistently tested to ensure they offer the high standards required and relied on by professional users and their clients.
  • Trade paints are available in larger, more economical quantities than Retail paints.
  • Professional decorators will usually have opened Trade accounts with their main suppliers, and negotiated good price deals with them to ensure they can offer their clients more value for money.

Different types and brands of paint has differing levels of coverage. The recommended spreading rates of the paint usually is identified on the container. Good brands will also have a website, where you can access the data and relevant information for each type of paint.

Other important factors to consider when calculating the paint quantity required are:

  • When painting over existing dark colours, and you require the finish to be in a pastel colour, it is necessary to allow for 3 coats instead of 2. Applying a base colour of white could also be considered (as white emulsion is usually cheaper than tinted emulsion) prior to the application of the 2 coats of the required colour.
  • When decorating in colours from the deep red or deep yellow spectrum, consider allowing for 1-2 more coats to achieve full opacity. This is due to the pigments being used will need to mixed into clearer bases to achieve the required deep colour.

Important Note

Paint has approximate 4 main components: Bulking agents, binders, liquid and pigments. Therefore, omit the bulking agents, for example talcum powder, from the paint base if deep red and yellow pigments are used.

Wall 2 Wall Decorating are professional painters who can help you calculate the quantity of paint needed or offer assistance if you decide not to do it yourself. More information on Residential Painting, check out our blog here.

Decorating and where to start.2023-07-24T14:06:42+00:00

Are you thinking of decorating a room in your home, and need some guidance on where to

Firstly, you must decide on the room to be decorated, and how you would like it to look.
Below is our guide on how to successfully decorate any room in your home.


Write a list of everything you need to think about:

  • Colour schemes: Look at interior design websites and Magazines for ideas on colour schemes
    and styles. It’s wise to decide on the large furniture that you already have, and if you
    are keeping it or replacing it. Also, it’s worth downloading from the Google Play Store
    the Dulux visualiser App. This will allow you to try out different colours for your walls on
    your Smart device, to see how they look before making your final decision.
  • Are you going to change the flooring or carpet? If so, decide on the new carpet or flooring that
    you would like. It is always best to remove old flooring or carpets prior to decorating,
    as skirting boards can be damaged when removing the old. New carpets can then be fitted
    following completion of the decorating. In addition, if you are planning on wood flooring,
    the skirting boards may need to be removed, and refitted following floor replacement.
    This must done before decorating. You may need to get quotes for replacement flooring.
  • Do you need to update the existing electrical fittings? If so, decide on the new fittings you
    would like to have. If needed, get quotes for electrical alterations and the work that
    needs to be completed prior to decorating.
  • Are you going to change the sofas and chairs? If so, look around and decide on the new
    ones, and get costs and delivery dates for your new ones. We suggest to consider getting
    rid of your old furniture, so consider selling or disposal.
  • Are you going to change the curtains or blinds? If so, look around and decide on new ones,
    and cost them up. If curtain poles are being changed, it is wise to remove the old
    ones prior to decorating, so redundant holes can be filled.
  • Are there any other alterations you would like to do to the room? If so, decide on what
    alterations you would like, and get quotes for these to be carried out prior to decorating.


Once you have made all the major decisions regarding flooring, furniture, fittings and
alterations, costed it all up, and arranged for the delivery/to start working on it, now is the time to work
out how to decorate your ceiling, walls, skirting boards, doors, frames, sills, etc!

Firstly, decide on colours. Then, work how much paint you will require.
(Please see our blog on how to calculate paint quantity). It is worth browsing the paint suppliers, and
looking on line to get to know what paints and what finish you are looking for: ie Matt, Silk, Satin or
Gloss, depending on the substrate you are painting. Also, we suggest to consider stain block, primers
and undercoats.

Now, consider the tools and sundries you will require for decorating:-

  • Preparation tools: Scrapers, Filling Knives, Screw Drivers, Caulking gun.
  • Painting tools: Brushes, Rollers, Paint Kettles and Trays. (Different brushes and roller heads
    are available for different applications)
  • Sundries: Sandpaper, Caulk, Filler, (Different fillers are available for different substrate, ie:
    The fillers for plaster differ from the fillers for wood)
  • Access equipment: Safe Step ladders.
  • Masking tape and dust sheets.

Prior to starting the decorating:

Make sure the area being decorated is cleared of obstructions – Picture Hooks, ornaments, window dressings, light shades and small furniture (as then the task is carried out safely, and in an organised way).

Cleaning down the surfaces: 

Prior to starting your preparation work ensure that contaminates, such as grease or grime, does not affect the paints being applied. Surface contaminates have a tendency to cause paint to bubble. If this is the case, the paint won’t adhere adequately.

Mask up: 

Make sure floors and large furniture which will stay in the room are masked up and protected.

Carry out preparation works:

Fill holes and imperfections, and rub down all areas to achieve smooth surfaces.

Clean up dust before applying the paints.

And congrats, you’re now ready to decorate!

10 Best DIY Decorating Tips Only The Experts Know2023-07-24T14:11:51+00:00

PLAN, RESEARCH AND COST YOUR DIY PROJECT: refer to our blog-‘Decorating, where to start?’  to get you started.

Now it’s time to choose. Which Room? What Colour Scheme? Which Paints are required, and how will they perform? What Tools are required? Time Scales: do you have 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 with our expert tips below.

Our DIY Top Tips


Firstly, empty the room to be decorated as much as possible, including taking up the old carpets, to give you the space to move around safely with your tools, and prevent paint splash damage.


Then, 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.


Next, it is essential to carry out decorating to areas that are well lit. A plug in floor mounted ‘site light’ is easily purchased for under £10, and will greatly assist in seeing the imperfections.


Washing down surfaces prior to decorating will give a good start to the preparation work. Grease and grime and other contaminants prevent paint from adhering to surfaces, giving good results.


Basically, if you’ve attempted this before, then you know it’s 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 help to loosen the wet adhesive. However, beware not to leave on the wallpaper in one place for too long to prevent damaging the plaster.


Afterward, 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 are able to wash 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.


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.


Pour small amounts of paint into a 2L paint kettle, instead of dipping your brush into a large can of paint, makes the job easier to manage and less hazardous. An unfortunate small spillage is easier to clean up than a full can of paint!


This greatly speeds up drying times! 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 won’t dry and holding up the process.


Some DIY paints have the consistency of mayonnaise. Stirring greatly helps with thinning the consistency, but adding an egg cup or two of water and stirring thoroughly into the paint will 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.

Wall2Wall offers a free consultation for all enquiries, to provide an accurate, fixed cost quotation so you know that there are no nasty surprises.

No Charge Consultation


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