Tips for painting a wall like an expert

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Decorate that wall like a professional with this easy step-by-step guide...

Paint brushes and tin
Woah slow down there. You can't just start slapping paint on that there wall – there is a skill to it. Follow these simple tips and do a decorating job that would make your Dad proud…

Use protection
Before you go anywhere near that paint tin, make sure you have your oldest, most rubbish painting clothes on, your hair tied back and jewellery off. Then do the same for your room.

Make sure all furniture is pulled away from the walls and covered, and put a protector or overlapping newspaper on the floor. Guaranteed paint will go everywhere.

Be prepared
Treat decorating like you're doing surgery. Lay all your implements out on a designated painting table. Brushes, masking tape, stirring stick (yes that is the technical term), roller, emergency kitchen roll.

'Cause this is filler
If you have any holes or uneven patches in your wall – use filler to patch them up. This must be fully dry before you can start to paint.

Sand it down
Roughing up the area you are about to paint will make sure it goes on better and sticks. Get some sandpaper and lightly rough up the wall. Work methodically across the whole surface.

Sand down the bits you've filled so they are now flush with the rest of the wall.

Clean it up
Brush up all the dust and then wipe the surface, but don't make it wet.

Masking tape at the ready
Use a good quality masking tape to edge your skirting boards, around doors, windows – basically anywhere you are going to need to paint up to the edge.

Cut it in
Ready? Let's paint. Your paint might have formed a delightful skin on it – remove that and then stir your paint. It's often easier to decant some of it into a tray or a small bucket. This prevents the tin getting dust and brush fibres in it.

Start off with a small paintbrush and cut in the wall. That means do the edges in decorator lingo. Paint in firm straight lines along the edges where the wall meets the ceiling, other walls, doors. You are creating a clean border around your wall.

Keep rolling
Now it's the fun bit. Rollering. For rough surfaces pick a bigger roller than for smooth ones. It's tempting to buy the cheapest rollers out there – but this is a false economy. It's worth spending a bit more on a better set.

Dip your roller into about ½ inch of paint and then roll it against the rough edge on your roller tray to ensure it is spread out evenly. You may need to do this a couple of times when you start off to get it nice and evenly covered.

Start at one end of your wall. Lay the paint on the wall in a sweeping motion. Leave about six inches from the top and bottom on the wall and using slight pressure, roll the paint up and down. Ensure that each new sweep slightly overlaps the one before.

Wet edges
Don't stop in the middle of the job. Each new bit of paint needs to overlap with a wet bit to blend. If you let one section dry, go away for a nap and come back to do the other half, you may see the join.

Connect the dots
Once you've done about four foot of the wall, go back around the edges with your roller and join the cutting in to the main bulk of the wall by carefully doing a long stroke along the edge. Carry on working along the wall.

Don't take too long!
Work quickly and carefully to ensure your strokes all blend. Wait for this coat to fully dry before doing a second.

Total decorating domination.

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