31 July 2016 5 tips to help you paint like a pro After completing two reality renovation shows, you may have heard me say that I’d never pick up a paint brush again. Yet, I continue to do so, as the transformative power of paint is just too good. Whether you’re upcycling old furniture, or painting walls, paint has the ability to make old new again. Preparing your surface prior to painting is vital to ensure a job that not only looks good, but lasts. Here is my step-by-step guide to painting your walls this weekend: Ensure your walls are free of dirt by cleaning with a solution such as sugar soap. Follow directions on the bottle to create a soapy solution with water in a bucket, and use a sponge to wipe down walls. Use gap filler or putty to fill any holes or imperfections. Some fillers on the market come with their own tools to apply, however if not, apply using a paint scraper. Once the gap filler is dry, use a hand-held sanding block to sand the surface to be painted. This will remove any loose paint or rough spots, and will also allow you to see more clearly if there are any other imperfections or holes that need filling. I aim to sand all surfaces down, which may sound time consuming if painting a wall, generally a light sand is all that is required – I use a hand held sander and think of it as some good arm toning exercise. Use a gap sealer and caulking gun to seal any cracks between walls and skirting boards, or gaps in corners. Always have a small bucket of water and cloth on hand when gap filling to remove any excess filler and smooth over the surface. Once your gap filler is dry, you’re ready to begin painting! Be sure to cover floors with drop sheets, and have all tools on hand before you crack the paint tin open. This includes, paint, a paint tray, brush, roller and pole, and something to stir the paint with. Which brings me to my next point, be sure to give your paint tin a good stir to ensure the pigment and paint is thoroughly mixed prior to pouring into tray. It is often tempting to rush in and get some colour on the wall, however, I can tell you from experience that paint will go on much easier, and look much better if you’ve taken the time to prepare the surface. So whether you’ve been meaning to paint your bed side table, or your whole house, there’s no better time to start preparing than right now.