A lick of paint

There is no easier or more affordable way to give your home a new look than by treating it to a fresh coat of paint. Here are our practical tips, room by room.

Living areas
Painting doors
It is much easier to paint a door when all the handles, locks and hinges have been removed and it has been placed on trestles:

  • A washable paint with a slight gloss is a good choice for interior doors. For exterior doors you should use a type of paint that is suitable for outdoor use – Plascon's Velvaglo can be used both inside and outside and looks beautiful on wood.

  • If the door has already been painted it should be lightly sanded. If it has been varnished, clean it with turpentine, scrape off all flaking varnish with a scraper and then sand lightly.

  • Use a roller to paint standard doors that have no detail. Doors with detail such as carvings or panels should be painted with a brush.

  • First paint the edges, as well as the edges of the panels.

  • Paint the front and back from top to bottom, following the grain of the wood.

  • If paint drops form, wait until they are dry, sand them away, clean the surface and then paint that section again.

    Preparation
    As with all home projects, proper preparation is everything and will make your task easier. Here are a few tips:

  • Cover: Carry furniture outside or cover it. Cover the floor with a groundsheet.

  • Unscrew: Remove the plates of power points and all light fittings.

  • Protect: Use masking or painter's tape, such as Scotch Blue Painter's Tape, to protect surfaces that you are not going to paint. If, for example, you are going to paint the walls but not the ceiling and skirting boards, your handiwork will appear much neater if you cover the latter with masking tape. Do not use any other tape without testing it first, as the glue on some tapes is so strong that it can pull the paint off. Carefully remove masking or painter's tape as soon as you have finished painting to prevent it from sticking to the dry paint.

  • Clean: Make sure the walls and other surfaces are clean before you start painting. Wash them down with Polycell sugar soap.

  • Sand: If you are going to paint wood finishes they should be sanded lightly before a fresh coat of paint is applied.

  • Fill: Fill cracks and holes, created by nails and screws that have been removed, with a product such as Polyfilla.

  • Kill: Never paint over mould. First kill this fungus with a mixture of household bleach and water.

  • Scrape: Old, peeling paint should be removed with a scraper or putty knife before you apply a new coat.

    Painting kitchens
    Kitchens are often hot and moist and get dirtier, especially greasier, than other rooms. Choose an enamel paint that is non-absorbent, washable, and damp- and stain-resistant. Examples are Plascon's Velvaglo or Double Velvet and Dulux's Wash 'n Wear Luxurious Silk.

    Bedrooms
    Painting interior walls
    In Woman's Value Complete Home Makeover (Tafelberg, 2004) the authors recommend that it is best to paint at a moderate temperature. If it is too cold the surface will not dry quickly, while heat can make the paint dry unevenly. Go about painting interior walls as follows:

  • Fill holes and scrape off loose paint.

  • Start at the top and paint the strips where the walls join the ceiling with a brush – this is the 'edging' that painters often refer to.

  • Paint small sections of the wall at a time with a roller, beginning at the 'edging' while it is still wet. Paint over this so that there won't be different textures on your wall.

  • Follow the instructions on the package carefully, especially as far as the waiting time between coats is concerned.

    How much paint do you need?
    First measure the width and height of the surface you want to paint – and remember to subtract the measurements of the windows and doors. Once given this information, your paint dealer will be able to give you sound advice.

    The quantity of paint you will use depends on the type of paint, the surface (textured walls, for example, use more paint) and whether you paint with a roller or a brush.

    Here is an indication: 1 litre of acrylic PVA is enough for about 9m2. Rather play it safe and discuss this with your paint dealer, or visit the Plascon ( www.plascon.co.za) or Dulux ( www.dulux.co.za) websites and use the calculator function (click on 'Paint Calculator').

    Primer or not?
    The right primer will make your paintwork look neat and well finished. It makes porous surfaces, such as raw cement, non-absorbent, neutralises chemicals and ensures that the paint adheres properly.

    Non-porous surfaces in good condition, such as ceilings, walls and wood that is already painted, do not need to be painted with a primer. Wood can simply be sanded lightly, while untreated wood should be painted with a wood primer.

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