How to paint a wall
Simply changing the colour or shade of your walls can go a long way in updating the interior appearance and atmosphere of your home. Painting your walls is also a relatively easy way to freshen up a tired-looking decor without spending huge amounts. And no, you don’t necessarily need to choose bold splashes of neon or bright yellows to transform the mood of a room.
Professional paint application is just as important as the colour you choose, but luckily it’s not something you always need to turn to an expert for (well, unless you want to that is). Whether you’re a DIY expert or a total newbie, teach yourself how to paint a wall professionally with a little bit of patience, time and experience. Shake off those nerves, gather your tools and give it a whirl using our mini-guide on how to paint a room.
The tools you need to paint a wall
Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- A pot of interior paint in a colour that you love
- Paintbrush and paint roller (& cutting in paint brush)
- Primer (unless you're using Lick paint that is. In the main, our paints don't require the use of primer). Learn when to use primer paint here.
- Soap for pre-paint cleaning
- Single room painting kit which includes a biodegradable eco-friendly painting tray
- Painters masking tape for painting clean lines (check out how to use masking tape when decorating)
- Decorators dust sheet to protect your floor and furnishings
- Paint roller extension pole (if you need help reaching those high ceilings)
Grab your Lick tools
9" Biodegradable Pulp Paint Tray
Large, strong and reusable£5Shop 9" Biodegradable Pulp Paint Tray
1.5" Cutting-in paint brush
Use for effortlessly exact edges£8Shop 1.5" Cutting-in paint brush
2" Flat paint brush
The all-rounder brush£10Shop 2" Flat paint brush
Caring for your brushes & rollers.
how to • 3 min readRead more
Painters masking tape
To keep those lines clean and crisp£5Shop Painters masking tape
Biodegradable dust sheet
For eco-friendly floor & furniture protection£5Shop Biodegradable dust sheet
Large heavyweight to protect your space£20Shop Decorators canvas
Multi-room painting kit
Everything need to transform your home£29Shop Multi-room painting kit
How to prep your wall for painting
The key to a seamless finish lies in the prep. Kick off with the simple preparatory steps below and you’re good to go:
- Start by clearing your working area to give yourself ample painting space. Put away your favourite furniture items and anything you don’t want to get splatters or splodges on.
- Put a protective dust sheet down to save your flooring and any furniture that’s too heavy to move. Newspapers and bedsheets won’t be sufficient here, but either a canvas or a plastic drop sheet should work equally well.
- Examine your wall for any flakey areas or little bumps. Use filler and sealant to fill up any cracks or holes or a scraper to even bumps and flaking paint. Don’t skip this step if you want to achieve a smooth and professional finish.
- Next, get your painting surface ready. Clean your walls thoroughly but gently using a soap and water mixture. Wipe clean and leave to dry.
- Once the surfaces are dry, use painter’s masking tape (the best tape for painting) or good old-fashioned masking tape to cover any sockets, switches, and skirting boards in the area (check out more about the best paint for skirting boards and how to paint skirting boards). Line up the edges of the tape with precise care to avoid a lopsided paint job.
- Time to prime. Apply a smooth and even base coat of primer using a roller. Work into smaller crevices using the tip of your paintbrush. Leave to dry for a few hours before starting to paint.
Do I need to prime before painting?
If you happen to be using a Lick paint, then 1) great choice, and 2) you can skip the primer step - our paint has been carefully developed to ensure you only need two coats, and no primer base either.
Watch our tutorial below
How to paint a wall: painting instructions
- Start by stirring your paint thoroughly for an even texture.
- First, use a paintbrush to tackle the edges and corners - this is known as cutting in (learn how to cut in when painting). Load enough paint to cover the brush halfway up the bristles. Tap your brush on the side of the can and get rid of any excess paint before brushing.
- Next, get to work on the main surface areas in the middle using a paint roller. Dip your roller into the paint can and start to paint your wall in ‘W’ or ‘M’ motions for even distribution.
- Leave the first coat to dry for a couple of hours before you apply another coat. Most walls shouldn’t require more than two coats of paint. Top tip: remove the tape from the wall whilst the second coat is still wet.
- Leave to dry for at least 24 hours and remove your dust sheets to reveal your brand new wall.
Et voilà- you’re done!