Help with painting


Preparing interior walls and ceilings for painting


Before you begin any painting project, it’s important to ensure surfaces are properly prepared to achieve the optimal finish.

Ensure that all surfaces to be painted are sound, dry, clean and free from other materials that could affect the finish of the paint, for example dirt, grease or oils.

Sugar soap is especially effective for removing dirt, grease, oils and nicotine prior to painting. When cleaning around electrical outlets and switches, precaution should always be taken to avoid water getting into a switch or socket.

Always use rubber gloves when using sugar soap and other cleaning materials.

Remove loose paint or plaster and use an appropriate filler to fill cracks or holes before sanding smooth any repairs. If dry sanding, make sure you wear a suitable dust mask.

The best way to use sandpaper on flat surfaces is wrapped around a block. You can buy specially made sanding blocks but I normally use a simple rectangular offcut of wood and wrap the sandpaper around, turning frequently in use. Ensure that you don’t have the join of the wrap-around on the face that you sand with as this may sand unevenly or damage the surface.

Depending on the type of surface that you are painting, additional preparation may be needed as follows.



Bare, newly plastered or plasterboard lined walls and ceilings


Firstly, never paint on newly plastered or plasterboard lined surfaces until they are fully dry.

Freshly plastered new walls can take around 4 weeks to dry out in a centrally-heated house. Plasterboard can take 2-4 days to dry after plastering. In all circumstances it depends on conditions, particularly warmth and ventilation.

When they are dry, brush the surface to remove any plaster dust or other dirt. Fresh plaster is normally clean but if not, wipe down with a damp cloth and again allow to dry.

You will need to seal your newly plastered surfaces. This can be done by applying a mist coat, also know as a sealer, which can be created from Warner House Matt Emulsion thinned with up to 10% water. If you have good quality matt emulsion paint, in a similar colour, left over from another job you could also thin this to create a mist coat.

The purpose of the mist coat is to address the high rate of absorbency of the new plaster, and make subsequent unthinned coats easier to apply.

Take extra care when applying the mist coat as it will be quite runny having been diluted.

Allow to dry and inspect wall for imperfections, these are easier to see after applying the mist coat and any imperfections can be lightly sanded at this stage.



Previously emulsioned walls and ceilings


If the existing emulsion-painted surface is in sound condition it will make a good base for overpainting. If there are any signs of dirt, wipe over the surface fairly quickly with a damp cloth to remove any dust, rinsing the cloth frequently. Less preparation is needed when the existing paint is clean, newer, smoother and more firmly fixed, however more preparaton will be needed if any of these aspects need attention.



Preparing your room for painting


1) Start by clearing the room that you are working in. Take down any curtains, mirrors and pictures, and move any lighter or easily moved furniture out of the room. Use plastic sheets or drop cloths to cover any items left in the room that you don’t want to damage, including flooring. Tape plastic sheets round items for added security, for example around any pendant lighting. 


2) Apply masking tape to any fixtures or fittings that cannot safely be removed to protect them from paint drops.


3) Use masking tape to cover edges and corners that are close to the surface being painted, including door or window casing. If you are applying masking tape to freshly painted areas make sure that it is hard and completely dry. If it’s not completely dry or if preparation was suspect, the paint could peel off with the masking tape. I prefer low tack masking tapes which are easier to remove and much better for delicate surfaces. Tape can pull off loose surfaces when being removed, so always take care when using and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. An alternative to masking tape is to use a paint shield – a ‘george’ – which is a straight edge that acts as a barrier between two surfaces, for example skirting and wall. The paint shield should be frequently wiped clean as you work.


Top Tip: I prefer to use a paint shield, but I would recommend using masking tape when you are abutting dark and light colours, or where the adjoining surface is fabric or non-wipeable. 


4) After surface preparation give surrounding surfaces a thorough clean, removing any dust or dirt that may end up on the paint roller or brush.


5) Ensure the room is well ventilated by opening windows. Do not apply paint in very damp or humid conditions, or if the temperature is below 10°c.



Where to start painting


Always start at the top of the room so that any paint that falls does so onto yet to be finished surfaces, so always paint the ceiling first.


After the ceiling, I like to move on to the woodwork and trim. I do this as I find it easier to perform a neater job by painting the frames, skirtings, trims and dados, allowing the paint to lap onto the unpainted walls. Once dry, you can then move on to painting the walls or hanging the wallpaper. As the woodwork will be dry, you can cut in with the emulsion and if you do splash this on to the eggshell it will wipe of immediately with a damp cloth.


If the doors are being painted it really is personal preference whether to paint at the same time as the frames and skirtings, or after the walls are finished. I prefer to paint doors last, ensuring they are carefully wedged open while wet so that they can’t swing.


Top Tip:If any emulsion does get on to the skirting or door frame remove immediately with a wet cloth or wet kitchen roll. I use kitchen roll and have a few squares of wet and dry to hand as I paint.


How to paint walls and ceilings with Warner Matt Emulsion by roller


1) Before you begin, stir the paint thoroughly. Warner paint is mixed in the can especially for you and it is not unusual to see a few spots or streaks of pigment when you remove the lid, and you simply need to stir with a clean, flat implement. I use an old wooden ruler which wipes clean with a damp cloth. Paint that has sat for a while before use can also separate out a little. It’s quite normal and once again simply stir any oil back into the paint thoroughly shortly before you are ready to apply. When stiring stir use a wide circular motion raising and lower the stirrer as you do so – this helps bring heavier solids from the the bottom of the can to the top.


2) To ensure a consistent finish when using different cans of paint, premix the whole amount before painting. This is important advice given by every manufacturer as differences in tins can sometimes be visible. It can, however, be a practical problem with larger quantities of paint and so another option is to mix together when at natural breaks and/or additional coats. A good approach is to plan ahead for natural breaks in the room and consider the quantity of paint needed per coat. The second coat will always go a little further than the first coat. Natural breaks are perfect for any changes in tins or batches or for changing tins if you get caught out, with corners being the best natural breaks.


Top Tip: If you look at any internal or external corner in your room, you will see clearly that adjacent walls appear a different shade at their join. This is the perfect place for changing tins.


When it comes to working out when and how to mix your paint tins, a good tip is to consider using an amount of one tin for the first coat, then mixing what is left in the tin with another tin. For example, if you have a 5l and 2.5l tin, these being enough for 2 coats, then start with the 5l for the first coat. What is left of the 5l should be mixed with the 2.5l for the second coat. This can be done in two ways:


- If the remainder in the 5l is comfortably less than half a tin, then pour the 2.5l into the remainder and mix thoroughly together.

- If the remainder in the 5l is about half the tin or more, it is better to pour both this and the 2.5l into a perfectly clean household bucket, and mix together thoroughly. A bucket with a spout will help you pour the paint back into the 5l tin, with any remainder decanting into the 2.5l tin or straight into the paint tray if ready for use.


Most important of all, do not change tins halfway through a wall or ceiling.


3) You can now start cutting in. This simply means carefully painting all around the edges with a small brush. It will make the main stage of application with the large roller much easier if you paint a wider rather than narrower frame all around the edges, reducing the risk of inadvertent painting onto frames or skirtings. I would recommend cutting in all the way round to a minimum width of about 7-8cms.


Although it does take more time, I like to cut in using a small brush and a 10-12cm mini paint roller at the same time. There are a few ways you can approach this:


- If you have spent the time masking, then cutting in is quick, and with a brush quickly apply a 2-3cm strip at the very edge of the wall against the frame or skirting, and while the paint is still wet, apply a strip the width of the mini roller as close as possible to the masking tape. I would suggest working along approximately 1m at a time because it’s best to keep the paint wet when you apply the roller over the brushes area and more so when you join each of your strips together as you work along the wall. If you need to stop then aim to break in a corner or other natural vertical feature.

- If you have time to work at a more leisurely pace, cut in with the brush all the way round and leave to dry before retracing your steps with the mini roller. Depending on the size of your job and the speed that you work, the brush coat could be dry by the time you have been all the way round.


Regardless of which option you choose, always apply two coats to the cutting in area just as you will be for the main sections. Spending time doing this first will allow you to cover the main areas quickly. Leave the cutting in strip to dry fully before covering the main wall or ceiling areas.


4) When you’ve completed all of the cutting in, you can then prepare your roller and tray to cover the larger central areas. A great tip with your paint roller and tray, full size or mini, is to lay cling film in or a plastic bag over the tray so that it lines the inside. Either way, when you are finshed you can lift out the cling film or remove the bag and your tray is totally clean.


Top Tip: If you need to take a break from painting, you can cut another rectangle of cling film to cover the up the paint filled tray to keep the paint wet and fresh.


5) Fill the deep end of the paint tray with around one inch of paint, keeping the shallow end of the paint tray empty.


6) Dip your roller into the paint but do not submerge it, then roll back and forth on the shallow end of the tray to evenly load the roller. Ensure there is a good coverage of paint on the roller, but not so much that it is dripping.


7) When paintimng walls start at the ceiling and working your way down, cover the surface one small area (around 60cm²) at a time, moving the roller up, down and across to ensure even coverage, but finish in the same direction each time.


8) Watch for ridges from a build-up of paint on the edge of the roller, and re-roller these immediately before the paint starts to dry.


9) No matter how tempting, if after the paint has started to dry you notice a patch where the paint looks thin, avoid applying another coat until the paint has completely dried. This is because when partly dry the paint can ‘pick up’, altering the texture and making it appear a different colour.


10) After applying the first coat Warner emulsion should be allowed to dry thoroughly, and a second coat can be applied after 4 hours.


11) Wash brushes and rollers in warm water quickly after completing the job, and before the paint is dry. Prior to washing remove excess paint with a paper towel or by ‘painting’ on old newspaper.


12) If you’ve used any masking tape remember to remove within 24 hours.



Painting doors, frames, skirting, trims etc with Warner Eggshell


Warner Eggshell is a modern, high quality, water-based, low/mid-sheen paint for properly prepared wood and metalwork. It can also be used on walls where a more durable finish is required or in areas of high humidity.

For painting wood and metalwork follow the instructions below.


1) Bare surfaces should be painted with the appropriate primer. For woodwork, quick drying acrylic primer/undercoat is a good partner for Warner House Eggshell. For metal, use a good quality metal or all-purpose primer.


2) Existing woodwork in good condition should be thoroughly rubbed down to remove any shine and provide a good base or key. The better the standard of preparation, the better the final finish.


Top Tip: Rub down glossy surfaces really well with wet and dry abrasive paper. This helps to prevent poor coverage during application and susceptibility to chipping.


3) Use a brush with synthetic bristles and apply the paint generously paying attention to prevent runs. Try to apply fairly quickly and do not over brush. Modern water-based paints dry more quickly than old oil based paints – this is great for being able to recoat the same day but not so good for keeping the edge of your paint wet. As a result, expect to apply two coats, and if you see some areas a little way back along the frame or skirting that have some ‘misses’ don’t try to rebrush if the paint has started to skin. Instead, pay extra attention to that area with the second coat.


4) Despite this Warner House Eggshell is very easy and quick to apply and is smooth, creamy and flows out nicely. As you move along the job, always brush back into the last applied area. What this means is that when you ‘lay off’ - that’s the final smoothing of the paint before you move to the next section - you should brush back into the last section completed and not from the last section. This way you get a better join between each section you complete. Most importantly, don’t overwork the paint.


5) Warner House Eggshell will be touch dry in 1-2 hours but should be left for 4 hours before applying subsequent coats. There is no need to rub down between coats if you apply within 48 hours.


6) To clean up, remove excess paint from your brush with a paper towel and wash in warm water.

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