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DIY time: how to paint a wall step by step

Wondering how to paint a wall? Don’t panic, we’ve got you covered! Read on for top tips right here.


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  • Clean the wall with warm water and a detergent like Omo.

  • Use painter’s tape to protect anything you don’t want painted.

  • Apply primer.

  • Use a paintbrush for the edges.

  • Use alternating ‘M’ and ‘W’ roller strokes for the main surface.

  • Allow the final coat to dry overnight before removing painter’s tape.

Ensure you protect the floor, furniture and your clothing when painting walls. If an accident does happen, use our guide to removing paint from clothes to clean them with ease.

Painting a wall isn’t rocket science, but some tips will help. If you’re renovating your house, knowing how to paint a wall and add some colour might be a nice touch! To help you achieve the best results, we've put together a step-by-step guide for your DIY project. Find tips on wall painting techniques, from preparing to painting! 

How to paint a wall yourself: 4 easy steps to get wall painting right

From steps for cleaning walls before painting to understanding how to paint a wall, you’ll find 4 easy-to-follow steps in our guide below.

  1. Firstly, you need to prepare the wall and surrounding area. There are a few ways we recommend doing this:

    • Where you can, remove all accessories such as light switches and plug sockets. 

    • If you don’t want to remove them, aren’t sure how to do so safely or simply want to save time, pop painter’s tape around the edges to protect them from the paint.

    • Cover the floor and any surrounding furniture with old sheets, newspaper or tarpaulin.

    • Clean the wall thoroughly. The last thing you want is for the paint to look messy or have bubbles where there’s dirt beneath the layers.

    • Use warm water and a good quality detergent such as Omo and wipe the wall down with a clean cloth, taking care not to saturate it. You want it clean, not soaking wet!

    • Put painter’s tape around the edges if you don’t want paint on adjacent walls, the ceiling or skirting.

  2. Apply your chosen primer. This will help get the wall ready for the paint layers (and means you need less paint to get a good quality finish). Always follow the instructions on the label. 

  3. Paint the wall. Once the primer layer is dry, you can start to paint with your chosen colour. For this we have a few recommendations:

    • Use a good quality paint as it will require fewer coats to give you good coverage.

    • Make sure you buy enough to cover the entire area (whether it’s one wall or a whole room). You don’t want to run out halfway through the job!

    • Mix the paint before using it to ensure the colour is consistent.

    • Use a good quality paintbrush and start with the edges and around areas that are protected with painter’s tape. This gives you better precision in these areas.

    • Working in and alternating a ‘W’ to ‘M’ pattern, use a roller for the main surface area of your wall.

    • Leave paint to dry for 2-4 hours between coats or follow the manufacturer’s advice for quick-dry paints.

  4. Leave your paint to dry. For the best results, leave your final paint coat to dry overnight. Once you’re sure it’s 100% dry, you can remove the painter’s tape and admire your beautiful, freshly painted wall.

To add the finishing touch to home renovations and décor, it might not just be walls you want to paint. While some of the steps above work for painting furniture too, just be sure to read our article on 5 mistakes to avoid when painting wood furniture!

Now you know all about painting walls and how to clean walls before painting, you have everything you need to be able to add a splash of colour to your home renovations.

Originally published