How to paint a wall like a professional painter & decorator

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by Ryan Jenkins

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11.09.2021

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Learn how to paint a wall like a professional painter and decorator

Tools you’ll need:

  • 2 inch synthetic brush
  • Paint kettle
  • 9 inch roller
  • 9 inch roller cage
  • Roller tray
  • Stir stick
  • For better results include:

  • Mini roller and mini long roller handle
  • Roller pole
  • PREPARATION!

    Preparation is key to decorating, great saying “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. Read our other posts on preparation – how to remove a water stain, prepare a room for decorating

    Cutting in.

    Hand with paint brush

    Once the area is clear, the walls are filled and sanded ready for painting then let’s get started. Stir the paint until the colour is consistent and there are no lumps. We recommend using 2 inch synthetic brush for cutting in. Give the brush a good rinse with water and shake out excess water. Try cutting in, if you find the brush is pulling then add water to the paint gradually while stirring, which will thin the paint and make it easier to apply. Don’t go too far and add too much water, as this will reduce coverage and you may end up having to apply more coats. We tend to find on average we add 10% water to trade quality paints, and less to retail paint due to it’s quality.

    If you are happy with how the paint is applying, start at the top cutting in with your 2 inch brush. Load up your brush so there is just enough that it won’t drip but there is plenty for application. Apply the paint couple millimetres away from where the wall meets the already finished painted ceiling and gradually work it closer to the ceiling to get your straight line. You only need a 3 – 4 inch width cutting in line. While you are painting the top of the wall, to help speed up the process, cut in anything from your sockets, window rivals and corners that are above a metre from the floor. After painting the top half of your room now focus on the easier part – the bottom half. You don’t have to be so cautious in cutting in against woodwork that has yet to be painted*, and may put your wall colour a couple of mm on to the woodwork so it makes cutting in your woodwork easier later.

    * If you are not painting the woodwork purchase some decent masking tape and protect all you skirting and window sills.

    TIP: Don’t be so worried getting a dead straight cutting in line on your first coat as it is a lot easier cutting in a straight line on your 2nd coat.

    Painting the walls.

    Now you are ready to do some rolling. Many professional painters and decorators have their own go to brands and our favourite rollers are the Hamilton perfection roller as they aren’t going to break the bank but leave a great finish. A medium pile roller is well suited for interior wall and ceiling paints in most circumstances.

    Rinse the paint roller and mini roller in water, fit roller on to the cage and spin out the excess water. This prevents loose fibres getting in to the paint and helps the roller apply the paint better.

    To make your life easier it is worth purchasing a roller pole – it helps to prevent a sore back and allows easy and speedier application.

    Pour paint into reservoir of the paint tray, load up your roller starting on the end of the tray’s ramp, roll it towards the paint so the roller only hits the surface of the paint, lift back to the end of the ramp and keep repeating this help paint spread evenly over the roller. You find you will have to roller the wall 3 times until it works effectively.

    Once loaded, if you are right handed start from left side end of the wall in the middle from floor to ceiling, rolling the paint out, spreading it like butter. Lay it off as you work towards the right side of the wall (if left handed start right work left). Make sure you don’t finish the roller in middle of the wall it needs to stop either near ceiling or skirting.

    With the mini roller use the long handle arm to apply the paint behind the radiator.

    TIP: Some radiators are too close to the wall and get caught by mini rolling behind, have a wet cloth to hand to wipe off paint that gets on the radiator.

    Once the first coat is done, repeat the process above but this time focusing on getting that cutting in straight to the ceiling.

    You may find vibrant colours or a dramatic colour change from dark to light or vice versa requires 3 coats so having the right tools and good quality paint will make your life easier.

    Once your walls are dry, it is time to start painting your woodwork

    Paint roller

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    About the Author

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    Ryan Jenkins

    Ryan is the owner of Revolution Finish and a City & Guilds qualified professional painter and decorator with over 7 years’ experience in the painting and decorating industry.
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