The painting guide

Preparing for a home repainting project? Read through our detailed step-by-step guide

Whether you’re due for a complete home-makeover or just want to freshen up the look of a room with a new colour or feature wall, a painting project requires a fair bit of research, time and budget set aside. We break down everything from paint finishes and textures to the dos and don’ts of colour selection for your next home painting project.

PRE-PAINTING STAGE

Budget

Start out with setting an approximate budget for the paint job. A great tool is the Paint Calculator by Asian Paints which helps decide how much paint you will need based on the type of project you are undertaking.

Visit the link here to enter your details and calculate the amount of paint you will need. 

Product 

While choosing the type of paint, keep in mind the following factors:

·         Surface to be painted
Interior or exterior walls as well as metal or wood surfaces require different kinds of paints designed specifically for those surfaces.

·         Oil-based vs water-based
Oil-based paints are more durable, and are perfect for areas that undergo a lot of wear and tear like doors. The paint is also more forgiving of application imperfections like brush strokes but takes longer to dry. Water-based paints dry quicker but are less durable. They are great for walls as they are more resistant to cracking over time. 

·         Finish
A glossy finish is the most durable, easiest to clean and provides better protection against wear and tear. However, it is less forgiving of surface imperfections. High-gloss is great for kitchen walls and cabinet doors while semi-gloss is perfect for trims and areas with moisture like bathroom walls. Providing less light reflection is a sheen finish which is also easy to take care of but tends to highlight imperfections. You can choose from high-sheen, low or soft sheen and satin or silk sheen for room walls. Flat or matte finish is the best for concealing surface imperfections and provides the most coverage but has the lowest resistance to dirt and weathering.  

·         Texture and patterns
Adding texture to a feature wall is a great way to update a room. There are many styles to choose from like brushing, combing, ragging, spatula, dapple, colour wash, weaving, canvas, crinkle and sponging (check out our story: “50 shades of ombre”). Textures look especially good with metallic paints. Each effect requires at least two colours, special tools and extra labour so factor that into your budget. You can also add patterns to the look by using stencils.     

·         Colour guide
Choosing the right colours can be a little intimidating. Try using a colour visualizer software that allows you to upload a picture of your room and virtually play around with different colour combinations. You can also buy sample sizes of paints and try them out on your walls before making a choice. Keep in mind the size of your room, the lighting conditions, furniture and décor (see our stories “How to choose colour combinations for your living room” and “Colour ideas for the bedroom”).  Understanding the basics of colour and combinations goes a long way in helping you decide. Here's a quick guide:

·         Hues or pure colours
Primary colours are reds, blues and yellows. Lighter reds and blues suit medium-sized rooms while darker reds and blues suit large spaces. Bright yellows are great for kitchens and kid’s rooms and darker yellows lend a modern look to the space. Secondary colours – purples, oranges and greens – are made mixing two primary colours. Light purples are great for any space while light oranges and greens work well in mid-sized rooms. Dark purples suit large spaces and dark oranges and greens work well in spaces with abundant natural light. Tertiary colours are made mixing a primary and a secondary colour.  

·         Tints, shades and tones
Adding white gives different tints of the colour, softening the original hue, this is great for smaller spaces with less natural light. Adding black gives different shades of the colour for a deeper, more striking effect while adding grey gives different tones of the colour lending a space a more sophisticated, formal look.

·         Warm versus cool
Warm colours like oranges and yellows make a space look cosy and inviting. These colours are great for smaller rooms that don’t get a lot of natural light while cool colours like blues and green have a calming effect.

·         Colour combinations
Bold or complementary combinations are made using colours opposite to each other on the colour wheel. Being a combination of a warm colour and a cool colour, these have the highest contrast and lend a vibrant look to a space. Providing less contrast, sober or analogous combinations are formed using colours next to each other on the colour wheel. With one dominant colour and one or two balancing colours, these lend a peaceful feel to a space. Soft or monochromatic combinations are formed using dark and light colours from the same colour-family lending a sense of elegance to the space.

PAINTING STAGE

Getting ready
Clear the room of furniture or cover with drop cloths and use masking tape on areas like switch boards and light fixtures. While not necessary, it is a good idea to start with scraping off the old paint completely. Alternatively, you can scrape off only the peeling and cracked areas if the rest is in good condition. Check for damp sections and have the source of the seepage repaired before water-proofing the walls. Make sure to complete all masonry work like plastering to fill up cracks and allow sufficient time for curing. 

Painting
Lightly sand down the surface and wipe with a damp cloth. Wait for the surface to completely dry before applying a coat of primer. Follow up with wall putty to smooth out the surface and apply another coat of primer. Oil primers are good for wood surfaces or walls with problems like chalking and cracking while water-based primers provide a more flexible finish, best suited for dry-wall. Wait 10-12 hours for the primer to completely dry before sanding the surface down again to make it completely smooth. Dust the surface before applying at least two coats of your chosen colours, giving ample time between each coat to dry. Always use the suggested thinner with the type of paint chosen and in the recommended amount. Wear a mask and make sure the space is well-ventilated especially when using oil primers and paints.

Tools of Application

·         Brushes
Using a brush helps the paint penetrate and hence reduces wastage. Don’t use brushes with quick-drying paints or fast evaporating solvents.

·         Rollers
A great tool for DIY painting projects, rollers are perfect for even application on large, plain surfaces like walls and ceilings.

·         Spray application
The quickest application and best left to the professionals, this technique should be used with quick-drying paints and fast evaporating solvents.

POST-PAINTING STAGE

Clean-up
For water based paints and primers, wash wet drips with cold water and wipe with a cloth. If the drips have dried, soak with a diluted detergent solution and lightly scrape off the drips. Wet drips of oil-based paints can be wiped away with a cloth dipped in mineral turpentine oil while dried drips should be soaked with turpentine and lightly scraped off.

Maintenance
Washing your walls periodically with a diluted soap solution will keep the paint looking fresh longer. Use a sponge to lightly scrub the walls without damaging the paint and wipe dry immediately. A single coat of paint can be reapplied after two years to maintain the colour.

THUMBNAIL VIEW

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