Painting walls and ceilings is one of those tasks that seems deceptively simple, but it can be all too easy to get wrong! Luckily, our experts here at R&J Builders Hardware are on hand with some advice. If you want a flawless finish, you’ll want to consider our tips below…


Sure, you can slap some paint on and hope for the best (the tried and tested method for homeowners everywhere), but that’s not going to give you a professional finish. The first stage in any decoration project is to prepare the room. Begin by removing as much as possible. Next, use drop sheets to protect the floor and any remaining furniture.
If the walls and ceiling have been painted previously, wipe them down with a sugar soap solution. This will remove dirt and grime. Nicotine is tougher to remove, but you can’t afford to leave it unless you want your fresh white paint to turn yellow. Use fine surface filler to repair any holes and cracks. Pro tip: wait until you have done one coat of paint, as it’s easier to see holes and small cracks.
New plaster needs special treatment. Don’t paint new plaster until it is 100% dry and then give it a mist coat (a diluted coat of paint). This seals the plaster and ensures the paint doesn’t peel off after a few months. Don’t forget, if you’re working at height, be mindful of your personal safety! Before you get started in earnest, make sure that you’ve got enough space to mount and dismount any access equipment, without taking a spill (the more serious kind) from some height above the ground.

Mixing paint batches and painting the trim first

First off, if you need more than one can of paint, pour them into a large container and mix thoroughly. This ensures a consistent colour finish. Now, contrary to what many people believe, it is easier to paint the trim before you tackle the walls. Masking tape can sometimes pull fresh paint away from plaster, whereas it doesn’t do this on skirting boards and architraves. When the paint on your skirting boards and trims is dry, mask it off and you are ready to start on the walls and ceiling. Use a utility knife to gently cut along the edge of the tape before you remove it, so you don’t pull any paint away from the wall.

Start with the ceiling

It’s always better to paint the ceiling first. Otherwise, you will spoil a freshly painted wall with splatters. Don’t tackle a large ceiling unless you can finish it in one session. Otherwise, you’ll end up with unsightly marks where two sections of paint join. When painting, overlap the previous section to prevent lap marks. If you can’t manage this, feather the area with several strokes either side before reloading your roller.

Painting Edges

Most people use a paintbrush to do the edges between the walls and ceiling. Unfortunately, this leads to a noticeable difference in paint texture. To prevent this from happening, paint a section using a brush and then run over the wet paint with a roller to give it some texture. Use a small roller to keep the area nice and neat.

Remove Radiators

Professional decorators always remove radiators before painting walls. It’s very difficult to paint properly behind a radiator, and even more difficult to remove old wallpaper. Shut the valves off and remove the radiator before you start. That way, you can achieve a seamless finish.
To get properly equipped for the job, you can find everything you need right here at R&J Builders Hardware. With over 40 years of history behind us, we’re a one-stop-shop for construction, DIY, plastering and home improvement hardware. Click here to explore our range of plastering products, or feel free to give us a call on 01254 52525 for any extra help or advice!