Top tips for repainting walls

wall painting blog

When painting new walls, the job of decorating is relatively easy. You use a primer to ensure the new paint doesn’t soak into the surface, and with a couple of coats of paint, you are done. The same process cannot be used for repainting walls, whether the walls are light or dark or relatively new or not. There are a series of tasks that cannot be skipped for the best results. Here we take through some of the top tips for getting the smoothest finish when repainting walls.

Getting started

Before you even think about tackling the walls, you need to make sure you are ready. Moving out furniture and leaving yourself room to work is task one, and covering any remaining furniture is task two. Repainting is always messier than you imagine. 

Before you reach for any painting equipment, you also need to wash the walls with sugar soap. The wall’s surface is likely to be dusty or greasy, depending on its place in the home. It could also have the odd cobweb, which you don’t want to ruin the final finish of your wall.

Create a smooth surface

Nicks, scratches, and holes will all appear much more in a repainted wall. Therefore, you need to spend some time creating the smoothest surface possible. Begin by sanding down the wall, even if it is relatively new. You might need a scraper to remove paint bubbles or loose flakes.

You should then use putty to fill in any imperfections, sanding these down after the putty has dried. Be aware that you will need to wash the wall again with a damp sponge after sanding and repairing and then dabbing it with a dry sponge to remove excess water.

The more preparation you do here, the better the finish at the end. Equally, you will save time, as you won’t have to apply so many coats of paint. 

Taping and cutting in

Before applying any paint of any kind, you should go through the process of cutting in. This process begins using masking tape to seal off the walls and ceiling you do not want to paint and protect the sockets. Then, painting from the edge into the wall ensures a clean line. It is an essential step no matter what wall you are painting.

Apply a primer

A primer is not just for newly plastered walls, and using a primer helps the new paint adhere much better to the wall and save you time later in recoats. A primer will also better cover those areas where you have had to make repairs, which would otherwise take many layers of paint.

Use a preparation coat for different coloured walls

When changing a dark colour to a light colour, you may want to first use a cheaper white emulsion to cover the darker paint. It will take a few coats of paint to remove the hue of the darker colour coming through, which can be achieved quicker with a prep coat of paint.

A minimum of two coats

Your wall is now ready for painting. Using a paint sprayer will give you an even finish and is perfect where you have larger surfaces. A roller might be best to get the smoothest outcomes where you have smaller spaces. However, before using a roller, use a brush to create a clean edge to work from. 

One coat of paint might feel enough on first finishing, but you will likely see why we advise two coats once dried. 

Laying off

A final step, often missed out when using a roller or brush to paint, is laying off your walls. When painting, you can be left with roller marks or paintbrush streaks on the paint’s surface. For the ultimate smooth finish, use an unused roller. Place the roller in the top left corner of the wall and roll it along the surface without applying any pressure, moving to the bottom right. Use this same direction throughout laying off to get the best finish possible.

Remember, as with most things in life, preparation is everything when repainting walls. Get the wall clean, smooth, and ready for the paint, then make sure you use these finishing touches. You will be proud of the results.

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