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To ensure your painting project goes as smoothly as possible, make sure you’ve got everything covered with our planning guide. Clever planning and preparation will help keep costs down, save time and help you avoid common mistakes.
Break down your project into the following sections and take the appropriate steps.
We recommend you paint in the following order, leaving enough time to dry between coats:
It’s best to paint top to bottom to avoid any paint dripping from the ceiling onto the walls or drips from the walls landing on the skirting or woodwork.
It’s always better to overestimate the time you think it’ll take, rather than not giving yourself enough time to finish the job. For more information on paint preparation, see our painting FAQs.
If you don’t already have a colour scheme in mind or would like some inspiration, have a look at our paint ideas and advice to decide on the look you want to achieve. The next step is to pick up some paint tester pots. Once applied, they’ll show you what the colour looks like in the room and how it changes with the light.
If you can, paint the testers on a white base and space them out so one colour doesn’t affect your perception of another. If you’re choosing a new sofa, blinds or curtains, get fabric swatches and hold them up against the dry paint samples to ensure they work together.
For long-lasting, vibrant results, it’s essential to choose the right paint for the job. For a full guide to different paint types, see our painting interior FAQs.
If you’re painting over bare wood, you will need to use one coat of primer first to seal the wood then one coat of undercoat before one or two coats of your topcoat. You can buy 2-in-1 primer and undercoat which can negate the need for a separate undercoat. On already painted wood, it’s still advisable to do one coat of undercoat before one or two coats of topcoat. Between each coat, use a fine sandpaper to give the paint a better surface to attach to. This is known as creating a key for the next coat.
Use our handy calculator to find out how much paint you’ll need to decorate your space.