Painting tips

Paint Coverage guide

  1. If a previously distempered/'whitewashed' surface needs to be repainted, all the old finish should be removed by scraping and washing away with sugar soap. A less messy (but also less satisfactory) option is to remove all the loose material and apply a coat of stabiliser solution to seal the top surface of the original finish.

  2. Make sure that you have sufficient paint for the job, match 'batch codes' when you buy more than one can of a particular colour - different batches may have different tints. If you have paint mixed to your colour requirements, make sure you have sufficient mixed for the complete job.

  3. Consider using different shades of primer, undercoat and top coat especially where the paintwork is out of doors. By doing this, you will ensure that you apply sufficant undercoat and top coats - it you can still see the previous coating, you will know you need at least another coat. But don not pick shades too different.

  4. Before you start work, always read the manufacturers instructions and make sure that you have to hand the requirements to clean the brushes/rollers and any spillage. Also note the drytime time and re-covering time - the actual period may change with temperature/humidity - do not try to apply another coat before the previous one is properly dry.

  5. Even with water based paint, keep the area being painted well ventilated.

  6. Unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer (i.e. with non-drip or gel paints), stir the paint thoroughly before you start painting and during painting. The dyes and chemicals contained within paints tend to separate during storage. Make sure that any 'sludge' in the bottom of a can, is well stirred into the paint before you start to use it.

  7. Remember that each coat needs to adhere to the previous coat - for a coat to have a good key, the previous coating must have recently been applied (within twice the recommend recover time) otherwise it will need to be roughened with glasspaper.

  8. Paint dries 'from the outside, inwards' and there are various drying terms involved :-
    • touch dry - the outer surface is dry - light 'finger' pressure will not transfer any paint (often less than an hour for emulsion paint).
    • overpaint dry - the complete coating has dried enough that application of another coat will not cause the first coat to react (can be up to 24 hours).
    • 'real' dry - all the coats of paint have fully hardened (two or three weeks plus).

  9. Paint tends to change colour as it dries. If you choose a colour from a colour card, do not worry if it looks darker immediately after you have applied it.

  10. Use a paint kettle. Rather than using paint direct from the manufacturer's can; after thoroughly mixing the paint in the can, pour off a quantity into a paint kettle (just a small can with a handle) and use the paint from the kettle. The advantages of this is:
    • The main can of paint can be resealed to reduce evaporation and contamination of the remaining paint.
    • If you have an accident with the paint kettle, less paint will be wasted than if you were working from the manufacturer's can.
    You may need to top-up the kettle during the job.
    After you have finished the work for the day, throw away any paint left in the kettle to avoid possible contaimation.

Rough coverage guide - per one litre (check cans/manufacturer's litreture):

Coverage will depend on how well the paint is brushed out and the porosity of the underlaying surface.

  • Primer - 12 to 15 sq m
  • Under coat - 15 sq m
  • Gloss - 15 sq m
  • Emulsion - 11 to 15 sq m
  • Non-drip - 12 to 14 sq m

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