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Painting Like A Pro

Simon Stevenson

Anyone can throw on a coat of paint, but if you want it to last as well as look good, there is more to it.  You would not believe how many times I’ve been called in to fix DIY disasters, many that could have easily been avoided.  Here are a few tips that will have you painting like a pro in no time.

Before starting any project, spend half an hour or so reading the instructions and labels – even if you have used these products before.  In addition to preparation requirements and product information, you’ll find safety and compatibility guidelines.  Understanding this material is vital to the success of your paintwork.  

Good preparation will make all the difference to the end result. Not only is prep work 80 per cent of any painting job, it’s the most important part.  Yes, it includes the tedious jobs we all hate doing like scraping, sanding and filling, but cutting corners at this stage could very well mean you’ll be doing it all over again in six months’ time. 

Clean all surfaces really well.  Remove any loose and flaking paint.  Run your finger across the surface.  Is it chalky? If so, use a suitable primer or sealer.  It’s important to know what you’re painting over. Not all products are compatible with each other or the surface that you’re painting. It might seem easier just to put that acrylic paint right over the top of the oil based, but trust me, it will not end well.  

A good quality paint brush will give you a top quality finish.  Choose one that’s tapered at the end of the bristles. The bristles should be firm but not stiff and the tips should be like split hairs and soft. What material the handle is made of isn’t terribly important so choose one that’s comfortable in your hand.  Always remember, quality not quantity.

Choose premium paints. There are plenty of great ways to cut costs while redecorating but skimping on paint quality isn’t one of them. Inferior paints often won’t last as long or give as good of coverage as top-end paints.  They can also be responsible for issues such as chalking, cracking and flaking.  For a few dollars more you’ll actually be saving yourself money in the long run.   

Most of us know not to paint outside when temperatures are extreme but did you know that interior paintwork can also be affected?    

High temperatures can make paint difficult to apply. One significant problem is that the paint dries too quickly and doesn’t adhere to the surface.  This can result in blisters, peeling and other imperfections over time.  In colder temperatures paint may not cure properly or can even freeze.  The lower the temperature, the longer it will take to dry.  

A general rule of thumb is never to paint inside or out when the temperature is above 35 or below 10 degrees Celsius. This also applies to the surface temperature of what you’re about to paint
Here are a few of my golden rules that’ll help you achieve a perfect paint job every time.

Always keep a wet edge between cutting and rolling.

When painting a porous surface thin the first coat down by 10 to 15 per cent, depending on the product. This allows the paint to penetrate rather than just sit on top.  

Good brushes are an investment. Clean them properly after each use and never leave them soaking in water or solvent.  Hang them to dry with bristles downward to prevent rot and mould.

Last but not least, one coat of paint is never enough. Make sure you give several coats. 

Simon Stevenson hosts the very popular Simons House Home Improvement Show on 2UE 954am Saturdays from 1.00pm and Fridays from 1.00am.  His handy home improvement tips can be heard on radio stations all across Australia.  You can visit or send an email to 

5. Woven Bamboo Blinds

An Eco-friendly option; woven bamboo blinds create tranquil, ornate spaces within the home setting.  With a large array of weaves and colours ranging from light neutrals to dark ebonies, bamboo blinds are often made within Australia and sourced from sustainable forests around the world. Bamboo blinds come in roll-up or Roman styles and add an exotic finish to your window space. 

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