This guide to painting walls explains how to paint walls with emulsion paint and includes details on final preparation of the surfaces as well as explaining techniques for cutting in the edges with a brush before roller painting the main area.
2. Inspect the surface of the walls and if necessary make good any defects
8. Once the filler has dried, smooth it off with abrasive paper. For large areas, use a sanding block to keep the surface flat.
Cutting in with a brush
11. Paint the edges first, using a decent size brush. This is called cutting in. The size of brush you use depends on what you can comfortably manage, but don’t be tempted to use a very small brush - this actually makes the job more difficult. A 2” brush is usually fine for cutting in. Load paint onto the brush and work the paint along the edge.
12. You should aim to keep the bristles at a slight angle to the edge so that paint flows smoothly from them. The angle and pressure used can be adjusted slightly as you work along allowing the brush to follow the edge accurately. Long continuous strokes will enable you to produce a smooth line. It does take a little practice – try working on an offcut of board to get the hang of it. By practicing running straight edges you’ll soon be more comfortable with it and able to cut in surprisingly quickly.
13. Working on one wall at a time, paint a band of paint around the edge of the wall. At the top and bottom you’ll obviously need to cut in carefully to get a neat straight edge to you paintwork. However, on the verticals between walls you can cut in both sides of the corner in one go rather than doing one then the other.
Loading the tray and roller
17. Start at the top corner of the wall, apply a band of paint about 1m long and about 300mm from the corner. Cross roller this band to spread the paint so that you’ve covered around a metre square. Finally, lightly roller the area vertically to give a smooth finish. Rollering up and down from the outer edge back towards the corner, use overlapping strokes to finish the paint without any tram lines.
18. Continue with a bay of about the same size below to the first one. As you lay off the paint with the final rollering, work back into the first bay. As a general rule you should always work wet paint back into dry rather than the other way round. This minimises the chance of variable sheen showing in the finished work. Carry on working down the wall to the bottom.
20. As your experience builds, you’ll find that you can roller back and forth in a tight ‘W’ pattern leaving a good finish very quickly. Keep the roller fully in contact with the surface to avoid skipping or skidding
22. When painting a second coat or painting over a very similar colour, it can sometimes be difficult to see where you’ve painted and where you haven’t. The best way round this is to position yourself so that the light from the window is reflected on the new paint as you go along. This should help eliminate skips and misses which would otherwise spoil your work.
23. One the first coat has fully dried, a second coat is normally required to ensure full bodied coverage. Check on the paint tin to see how long the paint needs to be allowed to dry before recoating. Emulsions are normally re-coatable in 4 hours or so. Rather than washing out brushes and rollers after the first coat, you can put them in a sealed plastic bag to keep out the air and stop them drying.