home decor

How to paint an interior wall - A DIY guide for Beginners!

We’re big fans of interior decorating here at La Redoute – there’s nothing like a lick of paint to brighten up your home. A freshly painted wall will transform your space from bold statement shades to calming neutral tones. That’s why we’re really excited to launch a new collection of paints with our new suppliers – Coat and Sanderson – in shades designed to work throughout your home. 

And to ensure the finished result is crisp, smooth and oh-so fresh, we’ve gathered some professional tips on painting interior walls – take a look at our guide to ensure you’ve got the tools and techniques you need for the best results.  

Step 1 - Select your paint type and colour  

One of the hardest parts of painting an interior wall is choosing the paint – there are so many options! Eggshell, matte, gloss? Neutral, bright, earthy? Decisions, decisions!  

Start with colours – if you’re painting a whole room, think about the furniture and accessories you already have. Is there a colour theme, like warm neutrals or rich jewel tones? Maybe you can spot flashes of blue or a monochrome vibe. For a single statement wall, something that stands out against other colours in the room without clashing is a good way to go – a bright orange will pop while also complementing neutral tones, for example.  

Once you’ve chosen your colour palette, use sample swatches to see how the shade looks in different lights and at different times of day. A north-facing room will translate colour differently to a south-facing room and shades can change throughout the day as the light comes and goes, so using real-life examples is better than just looking at pictures.  

With your colour in the bag, it’s time to decide what type of finish you’re looking for. Paint finishes are usually determined by the room you’re transforming – for example, semi-gloss paints work well in kitchens and bathrooms as they have high resistance to water and can be wiped clean easily. For heavy traffic areas like hallways, a satin finish is a good choice as it’s less prone to fading and more durable. Matte finish paints are highly pigmented and will cover marks and blemishes on walls easily, but aren’t as hard-wearing – good for the bedroom or dining room. 

Take a look at our brand-new range of paints for more inspiration.


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Step 2 - Choose your equipment 

Before you go anywhere near the paint itself, you need to have the right tools for the job. When it comes to painting, smooth results are often down to the equipment you use – this is not the time or the place to scrimp on your brushes! Here’s a list of all the things you’ll need to get the job done: 

You’ll need: 

  • Brushes – a narrow one for cutting in and a wider one for large areas 
  • Paint tray 
  • Paint roller – look out for extendable handles to make high spots easier
  • Dust sheets or old bedding/towels
  • Step ladders
  • Decorator’s tape
  • Warm soapy water
  • White spirit 

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Take a look at our painting and decorating accessories to get you started with the essentials.
 
 
Assess the area you’re planning to paint – is the surface area large? Are you painting one wall a different colour to another? Is there furniture nearby that can’t be moved? All these things will determine what equipment you need to get started.  

For very wide or tall walls, a roller is better than a brush – it creates a flat finish with no brush strokes and covers lots more surface area quickly, with less effort. Look for a roller with extendable handle so you can reach those higher spots easily.  

For smaller areas and for cutting in around ceilings, light switches and plug sockets, you’ll need a couple of brushes. A wide brush is handy for smaller surface areas as it creates less mess than a roller, and it’ll make touch-ups easier too. You’ll also need a narrow brush for those tricky bits, to give you ultimate control of where the paint goes.  

Add some good quality decorator’s tape to your shopping list – don’t be tempted to use regular masking tape here, as it’ll pull your paint off the wall! Dust sheets are handy to have too, as it’s not always possible to move furniture out of the way – if you have old bedsheets or towels, these work just as well.  

Keep white spirit on hand for cleaning your brushes, and use a paint tray to decant paint from the tin. Step ladders will help you reach the very top of your wall, and you’ll need to wear clothes you don’t mind getting paint on. Don’t forget your shoes, either – slip on some shoe covers to protect from those pesky drips!  

Step 3 – Prep your wall for painting  

One of the most important parts of painting an interior wall is prepping the space beforehand. Skipping the prep stage means you’re likely to be left with bumps, patches, cracks and fluff all over your beautifully painted wall – not a great look!  

Clean your walls 

Start by cleaning the wall you’re going to paint. Don’t use any cleaning products, as the chemicals in them can react with your paint and affect the finish – instead, a simple soapy water solution will clean away any dirt or dust on the walls. Pay particular attention to skirting boards, plug sockets and light switches, as dust settles in these spots. Once clean, wipe down with water and pat dry with a microfibre cloth or kitchen roll.  

Fix wall imperfections 

If your wall has any cracks, dents or holes, use filler to create an even surface. You can sand down filled spots as well as any areas that feel rough or bumpy.  

Make sure you wait until filler has fully dried before you sand it down – check the instructions for the specific filler you’re using as they all have slightly different drying times, but usually a few hours is enough.  

Painting over fresh plaster 

If you’re painting a freshly plastered wall, make sure you seal it with a mist coat first – water down some white emulsion, around three parts paint to one part water, and use a brush to spread it all over your wall. Give it 24 hours to dry fully to create a stable base for your first coat of paint, stopping the plaster from soaking it all up.   

Section off painting areas 

Use decorator’s tape to protect your plug sockets and light fittings from paint – tape over the edges so you can get your paint brush right up against the fitting for a clean finish. 

If you’re painting a statement wall or using two different colours, tape along the edge of the adjoining wall to ensure there’s no colour transfer. Make sure you remove your tape before your fresh paint dries, otherwise it’ll take the paint off with it! 

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Step 4 – Get painting! 

So you’re ready to put brush (or roller) to wall and get painting – great news! With a solid foundation of equipment and prepped space, the next bit should be straightforward… but a good technique always makes a difference.  

Start with cutting in 

Use a small brush to paint beneath the join between wall and ceiling, around plug sockets and light switches. If you’re using decorator’s tape to protect adjoining walls or skirting, use the same small brush to paint alongside the tape.  

Cover the main surface area 

Once you’ve painted in all your edges, it’s time to start on the main area. If you’re using a roller, lay the paint on the wall with sweeping strokes, starting from the bottom and working upwards. Roll up and down to spread the paint, slightly overlapping your previous stroke as you cover the wall. Repeat until the whole wall is covered, leave to dry for a few hours, then start on your second coat.  

For smaller walls where a brush is easier, keep your strokes even and smooth, watching out for stray bristles as you go.  

Touch up and smooth out 

When you’re happy with the coverage, you can go over smaller areas and imperfections to create an even, opaque finish.   

Assess your wall in daylight so any patches or streaks are easy to spot, then go over with a small brush to fill in where needed.  

If you spot drips, wait until the wall has dried completely before scraping off the drips with a paint scraper, sanding down the area and touching up with more paint.  

For visible brush strokes, spray your paintbrush with a little water and go over the strokes to smooth them out.  

If you’ve followed all our top tips, you’ll now be looking at a beautifully painted wall that really makes your space pop – well done! 

For more interior inspiration, take a look at our new range of Coat and Sanderson paints. Don’t forget to tag us in your makeover projects on Instagram!

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Author Name
Leanne,
05/02/2023