top of page

Painting a Wall

Updated: Dec 16, 2023

If a room in a house or other building looks boring or even not very pleasant, it's probably time to remodel. At home Dad and I are remodelling the lounge room. It is a good idea to start with the ceiling and work down. Painting a wall is similar to the ceiling, except more care is required at the edges.

If you haven't already, remove all the furniture next to the wall or cover everything near the wall with a drop sheet.

EDIT: Test the paint for soundness by cutting a cross with a sharp knife and pulling off with sticky tape. If it comes off, you will need to strip the paint.

Cleaning and sanding helps to make the paint stick and stay there.

Clean the ceiling using sugar soap (note it's only called 'sugar soap' because the stuff looks like sugar when dried, but definitely don't taste it 🤮 - in fact try not to even touch it). I used a floor mop.

If you stripped the paint off, you will still need to clean loose plaster off. In this case, apply a sealer and follow the instructions on the can.

Next, fill any holes with wall filler, following the instructions on the bag. Pay particular attention with the walls, I frequently miss dents only to discover them while I'm painting! If you are moving wall screws, use a block of wood and claw hammer to remove them then fill with wall filler.

Filled hole in a wall
Make sure those dents are filled in

Next, sand the whole surface.

Re-apply sealer where you applied wall filler and/or sanded. Even if it means waiting another 2 days, which our sealer recommends, it will save headaches later on. Nothing is worse than paint coming off behind a TV.

Either mask around any obstructions or if you are confident, use a fine brush later. Note that masking tape won't work very well or at all unless the surface is flat and even. Unfortunately, this is frequently not the case for the wall - cornice or wall - floor edge in my experience. Also check the masking tape won't actually rip the existing paint off, which I've had happen a lot.

EDIT: Check if the paint needs an undercoat with the paint manufacturer (probably Dulux). It makes a huge difference! Luckily, the light grey paint we used did not need an undercoat. For the red feature wall, we did. Follow the below steps for the undercoat, follow the instructions for drying time then repeat for the desired colour paint.

Start with the edge roller pad, then roll in the middle.

EDIT: While rolling, apply a 'W' shape to about 1 square metre. Then roll side to side to even it out, then roll up and down for the final even out.

Take the masking tape off before the paint dries. I have frequently had issues with masking tape and so like to use a roller pad or fine brush to avoid using it entirely. That said, it is very useful for edges of feature walls - a curved internal edge is difficult to control with a pad.

The wall will frequently need a second coat, read the paint can instructions for the wait time. Our paint can says 2 hours.

If you are OCD like me, wait for the paint to dry and do touch ups with an artist's brush. Wear a jumper and lean on the wall to steady yourself while painting along the cornice or wall - ceiling edge. It is better to do touch ups with the brush relatively dry - get a blob of paint and wipe it on the wall or cornice, so you don't have to go into the paint can (or similar) with the brush every time. Use the edge as your guide - as long as the brush is relatively dry, with a bit of practice it goes on well.

And look as satisfied as this Blue Willow depiction of me 😎

Man painting a wall with a triumphant face
Match the coolness represented here 😎👍

12 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page