Home & Interiors LIY (Luxe it Yourself)

Painting tips and tricks to make decorating much easier

I have done so much painting in our house since we bought it and I can imagine we will be doing one hell of a lot more painting in the future and so anything that can make painting easier and quicker is a winner!
Over the last few years, I’ve learned a few simple tricks that have really helped to make painting easier and quicker and I thought I would share them with you in the hope they may be able to help someone else.

Tip number 1: try before you buy 

When I’m looking for a new colour to paint the walls in any room, I always buy some samples of different colours before buying a full-size tin of paint. It is really useful to be able to compare paint colours, particularly because they usually look slightly different when they are painted on the wall in comparison to how they look on the image on the tin. 
It’s much better to buy a small sample and decide you don’t like it than to buy a much more expensive big tin of paint, only to find that you don’t actually like the colour.

Tip number 2: preparing to paint 

I used to just paint onto the wall without doing any preparation first and then I would later regret it. The walls in our home had so many little cracks and holes in them that would pretty much drive me mad. 
Nowadays, before we paint anywhere, my hubby and I go all around the walls sanding down any little bumps with sandpaper or scraping them off with a scraper and filling in any holes. It takes a little time to do, especially when painting a large area, but it makes such a big difference to any painted wall.

Tip number 3: cover up

I always used to keep a set of clothes just for painting. Yes, I would have a top and a pair of trousers that I didn’t like anymore just sitting in my drawer for when the time came to paint.  Such a waste of space!

I recently decided to buy some coveralls instead. I bought some from B&M and they were about £2/£3 each, and I’ve seen other shops selling them for a similar price. It has been so much easier to put them on over my normal clothes, then fold them up and stash them away for next time, rather than having to keep getting changed. They have protected my clothes really well. They even have a hood on them, which is great for protecting my hair if we are going out after painting, as I usually end up with little dots of paint all over myself!

Dan did a great job of modelling his new coveralls! Probably best not to go out in, or people will think you have gone a little doolally, but highly practical.

Tip number 4: masking tape

I find that using masking tape is a great way to make edges much neater. In particular, I always try to use it when I’m painting skirting boards because then I don’t have to worry about painting the floor at the same time!

Tip number 5: never clean plastic trays again

I think I discovered this tip online a while ago and I’ve since heard it quite a few times. Nearly as annoying and time-consuming as cleaning paintbrushes is cleaning out the plastic tray that you pour paint into. With this tip, you don’t need to clean those plastic trays out ever again.
If you take some aluminium foil and put it into the tray, pushing it into the corners and around the edges, when you have finished painting you can just remove the foil and throw it away, leaving a nice clean plastic tray that doesn’t need any cleaning. 

Tip number 6: clean your brushes less

One of the things I used to hate about painting was having to keep cleaning brushes after every use. This is time-consuming and not the most fun job, which is all the more annoying when there is lots of painting to do over several days.
A professional decorator told Dan that instead of cleaning his paint brushes after every use, he simply wraps them in a plastic bag so that they don’t dry out, and they are fine to use the next day.
We decided to give this a go and it really works. When we have finished painting for the day, we simply put our paintbrushes into plastic food bags and they don’t dry out. I’m not sure how long they can be wrapped up without drying out for but we’ve tried it for longer than overnight and the brushes have still been fine.

And there you have it, 6 simple tips that have really helped to make painting our house so much easier. If only we had known them all when we first moved in!

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