In the second installment of our #FixForwardFix series of DIY and Home Improvement tips, we give you some expert advice on Painting an Interior Room. In order to get the best inside info, we chatted to Fix Forward painter Kingstone Katuruza about selecting what paint to use and where; how to prepare the room for painting; and how to give your wall(s) a quality finish with the minimum of mess and fuss.
When it comes down to the type of paint that your interior wall requires, there are some important factors to consider. How much light does your room get and what colours would best suit the light conditions? What is the room used for? Different environments and surfaces will all require different paint finishes; for example the wet and warm conditions of a bathroom or kitchen will be best suited to a glossy finish, whereas an eggshell finish might work best in an ornate, decorative paint. Lastly, think about the size and architectural layout of the room – are there tricky cornices or alcoves and how big is the wall’s surface area? All of these considerations will better inform your decision when it comes to choosing the paint finish and colour at your local paint store.
Before getting started, be sure to properly prepare the walls by removing any unwanted nails or screws, filling any holes left by old shelves or art, and give the wall a good clean with a soft cloth and sugar soap. Prime your wall with a water based primer beforehand – this might only require one coat, depending on the original colour and how different it is to the new colour. If you have any issues with damp or mould, check out our #FixForwardFix on Rising Damp.
Selecting A Finish
As mentioned above, the rooms form and function will determine which paint finish to use. Whether acrylic, latex, or otherwise, here are a few of the more common paint finishes:
Flat Finish – use this opaque finish to add a touch of muted elegance to your ceilings and low-traffic walls. As it doesn’t have any shine or gloss, a flat paint finish does not clean easily so it is not suitable for use in kitchens, children’s rooms or bathrooms. It’s great for use on walls with slight blemishes, as the finish won’t catch the light and draw attention to imperfections as much as other paints would.
Eggshell or Satin Finish – although both of these finishes are low luster, they do have more sheen than a flat finish and so are easier to clean too. Perfect for higher traffic areas such as hallways or lounges, eggshell and satin finishes tend to be the most popular thanks to their all round practicality.
Glossy Finish – available in either semi or high gloss, these finishes are both extremely durable and easy to clean. A semi-gloss finish is ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, doors and moldings and will give the wall a subtle shine. Go for a high-gloss finish on surfaces that get used the most, such as railings, shelves, banisters, and in the kitchen or bathroom. A high-gloss finish is resistant to most stains and is scrubbable, making it perfect for future Picasso children’s rooms where crayons might be in high use! Remember though that the higher the gloss, the more the paint shows surface imperfections.
As a general rule of thumb, 1 litre of paint should cover 10 square metres of wall, but take your wall measurements to your paint provider for a more accurate assessment. Try to use water based paints whenever possible, as these are less odorous and toxic than oil based paints.
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Painting Your Wall
Move any objects that are near the surface to be painted and clear the floor space. Use masking tape to clearly define the wall’s borders or edges, as well as to tape down refuse bags on the floor to protect against drips or splatter. Use a brush to cut in on corners and edges, but apply the majority of a paint with a clean roller for the smoothest finish. When it comes to rolling, sometimes you need to roll in multiple directions to ensure even coverage, but always make sure than once you have evenly covered the section you are painting that you finish off by rolling in one direction throughout.
Be sure to give your walls enough time to dry between coats – this will vary depending on the finish and whether the paint is oil or water based. Give the room time to ventilate with open windows and doors wherever possible, and try to avoid sleeping in the room the same day it was painted.
Clean your brushes, rollers and trays well (with water or turpentine, finish dependent) and they will give you many years of good service. Then sit back and enjoy your new room!