Painting is one of those jobs many people are comfortable doing – and there’s nothing more satisfying than getting your roller onto a big beautiful wall. However, there’s a reason professionals do it better. Here are our tips for betting the best finish possible.

Choose your paint carefully. Paint will appear brighter once on the wall, particularly if it’s being used on all the walls of a room. Buy a sample pot and paint a large canvas, then live with it for a couple of days. Move it around the room to see how the colour reacts to different areas and times of day.

When painting a room, move furniture into the middle and cover with drop sheets, rather than pushing it around. This will lower the odds of you smearing wet paint where you don’t want it.

Make your personal clean-up a little easier. It’s easy, just apply sorbolene cream to your hands and arms before you start.

Invest in a good brush if you want it to go the distance – and choose the right one for the job. Synthetic-fibre brushes are best when using water-based paint. Natural bristle brushes are best left for enamel paints, as natural fibres tend to soak up water from acrylic paints. Also, run your hand through new brushes and over rollers before you start to remove loose fibres.

Remove a room’s hardware (such as door knobs and window latches). It’s almost impossible to do well, so it’s much better to carefully remove all these pieces before you start. Keep each one in a separate plastic zip-lock bag to avoid mixing up parts and screws.

Check on the back of the tin to see how many square metres that company advises one litre of its paint will cover (15 sqm is the rule of thumb).

To work out how much paint you will need for a room, try using our paint calculator or the Bunnings tool.

Alternatively, do the figures yourself first: measure the length of each wall and add the numbers together. Next, measure the height of the room and multiply the two figures. As you will need two coats of paint, multiply this figure again by two. Generally, one litre of paint covers 15 sqm, so to work out much you need, divide the total you’ve already tallied by 15. The number you come to is the amount of litres required.


Like this? Try our other guides too:

* Buyer’s guide to paint
* Buyer’s guide to painting effects