The painting itself is actually quite fun and can be done and dusted (well, once it’s dry, anyway…) in no time. The tiresome stuff comes before you crack open that can (of paint, that is) and get going. Yes, you have to make sure you’re fully prepared for it. It’s dull, but it’s necessary and you know it. Here’s how to get ready with the minimum of hassle.
Clear the room
Shift as much stuff out as you can before you start – there’s a high risk, no matter how careful you are, that something will get a splattering. One alternative, if the room is big enough, is to push everything to the very centre of the room and cover the pile over with plastic sheets or thick cloth.
Take off the light fittings
Remove light fittings and put them into plastic bags, with the screws taped to the backs. Outlet covers, light switch plates, phone exchange boxes…we’re so over seeing them daubed with coats of paint, so just don’t do it! One important tip is, if you’re removing plates that are stuck to the wall in any way, cut them loose with an art scalpel, as prying them off can remove half the wall with them.
Sand down rough patches or flaking paint
This is very important. You must remove any loose paint, or smooth out any other rough patches before painting. The same goes for crevices or old nail holes that you’ve filled with spackle. Once the putty is dry, sand it smooth and level before you even think about painting.
While you’re at it, wash down the walls
Walls accumulate a surprising amount of dust, dirt, food residue and grease, especially in kitchens, so make sure that surface isn’t just smooth, but squeaky clean as well. Once you’ve washed down the walls, rinse with a wet, soft cloth and leave it all to dry for a day.
Use masking tape
If you can’t cut in very well, then don’t risk it – use masking tape to avoid any smudges or wavering paint lines. Use shorter lengths of tape and make sure the ends overlap to prevent any gaps, then smooth the tape down with the back of a spoon or a finger. Make sure you peel the tape away before the paint is dry.