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Tom's Top Tips

Ok so abit overdue I know but if your not doing a last minute makeover of the spare room to accommodate the in-laws over Christmas, then i'm sure your be thinking of getting the brushes out before the daily grind starts again!!! I'm not encouraging you to D.I.Y but if you must (and if I can't do it for you) then at least let me help you DO IT RIGHT!

So i'm giving you abit of a helping hand call it a christmas gift from Brown's just for reading this blog!

Here's 5 Top Tips to help you with your painting project!

1. I can't emphasise enough the importance of preparation, in fact most of these tips will be related to preparation! people think to rub a piece of paintwork down you have to take it right back to bare wood and start again!. In an ideal world this may be true but very unrealistic!. So for pre-painted wood just rub down enough to remove lumps n bumps and take the sheen off gloss work. if you have got new wood to paint you should apply what's called knotting solution to all wood knots, what this does is seal the knot as the sap will stain the paintwork after a few months. if you can see brown stains on your white glossed woodwork that's what it is!. this can be brought in most decent decorating suppliers.

2. Next is where to buy materials, I know how convenient d.i.y stores are I live 2mins from the big orange one but I do not reccommend thier paint! yes even the one with the big hairy dog on the tin! you do not get the same quality as you would buying exactly the same paint in a main suppliers. it's made for profit not quality!!! I especially ask my customers not to buy their paint as it takes twice the coats and twice the time to dry so the worst thing for a professional decorator you may pay slightly more for the bigger brands but you get what you pay for. I highly reccommend for a good quality trade paint.

3. one of the biggest painting mistakes i see is when painting bare plaster walls & ceilings. alot of people think they can walk in a newly plastered room and start putting the finish colour straight on no probs! Wrong, it's got to be sealed if not a full coat of paint will just soak in and dry far too quick and stop the paint adhering properly causing problems later. All you have to do is apply what we call a mist-coat, a watered down coat of cheap basic white emulsion. I use the diy stores own brand matt emulsion, it;s already quite watery and very cheap so a perfect option! avoid anything vinyl, look for a "contract" type which is all you need!. With this kind of paint it will need watering down, some will say up to 50% I personally think thats too much I just add water gradually till it's thin enough to paint on without leaving a thick layer of paint. give the plaster a quick light rub down however smooth it looks!!! paint on as you would normally but remember it will dry quick so dont hang about! this is now ready for any finish you want to apply including wallpaper.

4. This tip probably sounds obvious but it's quite important which order you do things otherwise you will be going over bits you've already painted! 1st- ceiling 2nd- prepare woodwork 3rd - 1st coat walls 4th - undercoat woodwork 5th - 2nd coat walls 6th - finish woodwork 7th - wallpaper

5. My 5th and final tip is.........wallpaper stripping DO IT! don't be tempted not to strip off the old wallpaper!, you would not belive the amount of jobs ive done where theres more than one layer of paper on the walls. it will never look as good if you try and paint or paper over the top of old wallpaper and most the time it only takes a couple of hours. best tip would be if it doesn't fall off the wall as soon as you touch it just put a bit more effort into it and you will see results!. GIVE IT A GOOD SCRAPE-a bladed type scraper is best it will make light work of most wallpapers SOAK,SOAK AND SOAK SOME MORE - At some point you will need to apply water to the paper,try a small area first if it soaks through the top layer making it easy to peel then go round the whole room 3-4 times, I use a garden sprayer it's so easy and you don't soak yourself as well as the paper! Well there you go my 5 top tips to a good paint job!

I hope it's been of interest and use to you, if there's anything else you would like to know just get in touch!
But for now Merry Christmas and happy painting!!!

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