A quick guide to painting almost any surface in the home.

Deciding on Paint

Feel free to experiment; mix various colours of paint before deciding on your final colour. Keep in mind the colour theory when you are experimenting and always keep track of the ratio and quantities so you can recreate the colour on a larger scale. If mixing paint is too daunting or the amount of paint you need is too great - get it mixed professionally. Once you have decided on a colour try it out on an inconspicuous area and wait until the paint dries before you make your final judgment.


Don’t scrimp on tools – good brushes, rollers and equipment are key to doing a good job. You want brushes that spring back into shape when you flex them, and hold paint well. The bristles on cheap brushes are stubbly and lead to uneven coverage and shed bristles. Buy a combination of sizes, as this will make it easier to reach deep corners.


When you’re finishing up for the evening or taking a break, reseal the paint can so it’s airtight. And store your paintbrushes by brushing off the excess paint and wraping them tightly in cling film and then popping them into the fridge. This will keep your brushes and rollers fresh for days.


When you’re painting your ceilings it is good to start in a corner next to the window and paint away from the corner along the edges. Use a small brush when painting the edges, but begin to paint in broad strokes as you move away from the corners. Rollers are appropriate for bigger ceiling spaces.


Take off all the accessories on the door and make sure to wedge the door open. Start by painting the frame, and then move on to the main door. Remember to paint the tops and bottoms and behind the hinges if you can reach! But if you are painting each side a different colour ensure the surfaces on view when the door opens are the same colour.


Prior to painting your windows try to take off the stay and catch. Start on the inside of the frame and move outwards, this will make the painting easier. Try to start painting early in the morning to maximize the drying time, so you can close the windows at night.


Use solvent based paints, and make sure your radiators are completely cold when you start painting them.

Outside painting

Use masonry paint if you are painting outside, which is usually a water based paint. If you are painting over bare cement you should use a primer coat made up of paint mixed with water.


Wipe over the tiles with white spirit to get rid of dirt and clean down. Then use a tile surface primer and follow with paint.

Unpainted wood

Use a wood primer and then an oil based undercoat. If the wood has already been painted there is no need for an undercoat, just wash it and sand it.