Add a touch of style to your home

Want to paint the perfect wall? Brush up on a few top techniques

how to paint the perfect wall

Of all the home improvement decorating jobs out there, the one that most of us probably take for granted most of the time is painting the humble wall. Whether it’s a fresh coat for the living room or something more adventurous for the spare bedroom, painting done right can make a world of difference – so it’s good to bear a few important things in mind before you set about prising the top off that tin.

The right colour can set the right mood

Let’s start with possibly the most crucial decision of all – which colour to go for. Before you decide, think about the room that you are going to paint; is it a space that will primarily be used for relaxation? If so, calming tones are probably the right way to go. Think subtle pastels and neutral shades. Perhaps it’s somewhere that will be used mainly for entertaining and socialising. In this case, you can afford to be a little more adventurous, with deep reds, lilacs and burgundy colours making a real statement.

Which paint is the right paint?

The choice of different paint types can be a bit bewildering. So make sure you choose exactly the right one for the room concerned. For example, if you are painting a bathroom, moisture resistance will be a must. The same can be said for kitchens too. Whereas, if you are simply freshening up a hallway or general living area, you’ll need to worry less about moisture, but still pay attention to a paint’s wipe clean qualities (especially if you have small children!).

Similarly, you need to work out the kind of finish that’s right. Basically, as a rule of thumb, the higher the sheen level, the easier the surface is to clean. Added to which, shinier surfaces can give more of an illusion of an open, airy space, by the way they reflect light into darker rooms. But don’t discount matt completely – after all, matt paint absorbs more light and so reflects less, making them brilliant when it comes to covering less than perfect surfaces.

Masking other problems?

One of the best known of all painting tips is to use masking tape to ensure more of a professional-looking finish to your handywork. So here’s a word of warning: don’t leave the tape on for too long. By removing it while the paint is still fairly fresh (45-ish minutes after you’ve applied it) you remove the chances of paint bonding to both the wall and the tape, which can lead to plasterwork damage. Remember – re-masking is a lot easier than repairing.

Decals – make a statement, make a difference

Finally, why not consider a wall decal? With a limitless range of images, designs, patterns and shapes to choose from, it could set the ultimate finishing touch to your painting project. From tree-filled landscapes and city skylines, to cute comic characters for the kids, a decal complements the right paint perfectly – leaving a lasting impression every time you use a particular room.

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