How to paint a room like a pro

Prepare walls, and choose the best formula for the surface

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Updating with paint is an effective DIY job that isn’t hard work but can take time.

Thoroughly preparing the surfaces is the key to a professional finish.
Preparing a standard room with skirting boards, door frames and window in fairly good condition can take a day for cleaning, repairing and sanding.

Painting an average-sized 4m x 5m room takes at least four hours for one coat. Factor in up to two days for a full job, including drying time.

How much to buy

Consider which surfaces are to be painted and how much wear they’ll get, which determines the type of paint you need to buy.

For volume
measure each wall, multiplying the height by the width for a total in square metres. A litre of paint covers up to 16 square metres for one coat. You’ll need about two four-litre cans for the walls of an average room.

Preparing surfaces

Regardless of the type of surface, it must be clean for the paint to adhere. Scrub walls and skirtings with sugar soap and wipe dry.

Make any minor surface repairs using interior filler, slightly overfilling holes and cracks then sanding with 180 grit abrasive paper.

Skirting boards, architraves, window frames and trims are usually painted in gloss that can be ruined by dirt and dust. Use a vacuum nozzle to get them spotless before painting.
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