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How to paint like a pro

Is it time to start thinking about brightening up your home and giving those tired walls a new lease of life? If you’re thinking of putting a fresh lick of paint anywhere, we know that choosing the right thing can be a tricky business, especially when it comes to picking from the plethora of colours, finishes and styles available.

With plenty of decorating tips and tricks up our sleeves, we’ve got the help you need to get all your painting jobs done around the house.

  • Sarah - copywriter
  •  8min read
How to paint like a pro

Test and test again

Using paint testers is one of the most effective ways of helping you find the right colour. To get an accurate representation, put the paint on more than just one wall in the room to see how the colour looks in different lights.

To make sure your colour is going to complement everything in the room, how about painting a small board and holding it up against furniture and other surfaces?

Top tip: keep any leftovers. Coloured paints can be used for some great little craft projects, like colour-matching photo frames, but you may need to add a layer of undercoat first.

It’s all in the finish

With so many options, it can be mind-boggling finding the right paint finish. To help you make your decision, we’ve rounded up our paint ranges with the benefits of each:

Flat matt – this chalky matt finish has a very low sheen which makes it perfect for uneven walls, hiding everyday wear and tear like surface lumps, bumps and scrapes. It’s also thicker and creamier than our standard paints, so give it a good stir before loading the roller with this product. Flat matt is tough and hard wearing.

Kitchen paint – grease, moisture and stain resistant, washable and easy clean. Matt finish.

Silk – wipe clean and hardwearing. High-sheen finish.

wilko quick one coat – if you're short on time then this is the paint for you, start to finish in a matter of hours.

And here's how to paint the perfect one coat.

  • Prepare the area, taping up any edges with masking tape, and laying down a dust sheet to protect your floors
  • Grab a paint tray and a medium pile roller. Always remember to stir your paint to allow any natural separation to be mixed back into the paint.
  • Load up your roller generously with paint, using the flat part of the tray to evenly distribute the paint around the roller.
  • Apply paint liberally and avoid overspreading your paint (i.e. trying to cover too much of your wall with a single roller full of paint).
  • Remove the tape and allow 4 hours to dry. That’s it – freshly painted walls in one coat!

Bathroom paint – mould, moisture, steam resistant, and easy clean. Mid sheen finish.

  • Use a sponge to wash the walls with sugar soap to help remove any soap residue or other contaminants. Otherwise your paint might not stay stuck in the long run
  • Gently sand any shiny paint, surface imperfections or flaking paint. Wear a mask to avoid breathing in dust
  • Use masking tape to protect any fixtures and fittings
  • Making sure you’ve chosen a paint designed for bathrooms, use a medium pile roller and paint tray.
  • Load up your roller evenly and paint the wall in a W shape
  • Remove masking tape and allow to dry.

Top tip: Try using a handy paint caddy to lighten your load and move up and down ladders more easily and limit chances of spills.

Complete the look

Choosing your emulsion paint for interior walls is just the start! If you’re redecorating, you’re likely going to need some door and skirting board paint too. Here’s our rundown of your options and the benefits of each:

gloss – shiny finish, reflects a lot of light so ideal for paler colours but will show up imperfections more than satin. Practical and hardwearing with a high sheen finish.

satin – mid sheen finish. Hides imperfections more than gloss as it reflects less light.

eggshell – less sheen than satin. The range of colours work perfectly with our wilko flat matt emulsion.

It’s worth noting that you can also get Quick Dry options in all three of these trim paints. The benefit of this is that they’re water based, meaning they dry faster, don’t smell as strong as solvent paints, and you don’t need white spirit to clean your brushes - they will also stay white for longer. However, if you prefer solvent based, which are best at resisting humidity and high temperatures, we have those too!

And here's how to paint woodwork.

Whichever topcoat you choose the key steps are usually the same when it comes to woodwork:

  • Lightly stand the area to be painted, wipe the dust away and then apply masking tape to your edges to give you a clean finish
  • Use a 2 inch brush to apply primer (we recommend a quick dry option, which will be ready to repaint in 2 hours)
  • Use another similar-sized brush to apply your top coat. Make sure you wipe off excess paint from your brush before applying to your wood to avoid drips
  • Remove your tape and allow to dry for the recommended time. And don't forget to wash your brushes, a little soap and warm water will do the trick.

Specialist paint

And for more specialist jobs, you’ll need some equally specialist paint suited to the job:

furniture & cupboard paint – satin finish. Hardwearing and touch dry in 2 hours. Ideal for a variety of jobs including upcycling old furniture and bringing old kitchen units up to date.

tile paint – gloss finish. Designed to cover in one coat. It’s also moisture resistant so it’s ideal for kitchen and bathroom tiles.

bathroom paintgetting the right paint for rooms that regularly get wet or damp can often be overlooked but it's really important that the paint is fit for the job and the surface is prepared properly so the paint stays put.

Hopefully this has given you some pointers to help you get on with your next decorating job. Painting can transform a room in no time so it's well worth putting in a little effort.

Got any tips of your own? We’d love to hear them. Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.