Nothing beats a great paint job, especially one you’ve done yourself. Give yourself the best chance at success by following the instructions. Using poor quality tools or incorrect techniques can result in added time, more costs and a lot of frustration.


Before starting, get the basics sorted with:

  • the recommended paint roller sleeve
  • matching roller frame
  • matching paint tray and tray liners
  • synthetic paint brush 60mm
  • synthetic paint edger 38mm
  • drop cloths
  • quality masking tape
  • flat paddle for mixing paints
  • filler and filling knife
  • sand paper


No matter the season, mould is not a good look.

Remove it from your walls and ceilings with Selleys Rapid Mould Killer by scrubbing the wall with bleach solution (1 part household bleach with 3 parts water). Ensure your eyes, skin and clothing are well protected then apply the solution to the mould with a thick scouring pad. Leave the solution on the wall for 15 minutes then wash with water. Prime the surface with Dulux PRECISION Stain & Mould Blocker. Follow with Dulux Wash&Wear +PLUS Kitchen & Bathroom which offers a 10 year guarantee against mould growth. Improved ventilation will assist with prevention of future mould growth.

Previously painted or varnished surfaces

The preparation required for previously painted surfaces is determined by the condition of the previous coating. If the surface is intact and in good condition, it can generally be painted with only a little preparation.

Low sheen or matt surfaces in good condition can be painted over after they have been cleaned with Selleys Original Sugar Soap to remove any dirt, grease or grime that may affect adhesion.

Glossy surfaces need to be cleaned with Selleys Original Sugar Soap and then sanded to a dull finish with a medium grit (P80) sandpaper. There’s no need to sand back to bare timber, just enough to rough-up the surface so the next coat of paint will have something to grab onto.

Removing wallpaper

When removing wallpaper, some people choose a remover solution such as Selleys Wallpaper Peel/Stripper, while others choose to hire a steaming machine. Most vinyl wall coverings can be peeled off by hand when dry. They may leave a backing paper residue, simply sponge on a little warm water to soften it. You can then peel or scrape it off with a broad-bladed scraper.

Dealing with some uncooperative wallpaper? Try scratching it with a very coarse sand paper to help the steam or remover solution get through.

Water stains

Before you cover that water stain you need to know where it came from and fix the source. Once the leak is contained, do an adhesion test to check the integrity of the existing paint. If the paint is sound, clean the surface then apply Dulux 1 Step Oil Based Primer Sealer & Undercoat before applying your topcoat.

Filling and patching

Every wall has a story through its cracks, scratches and holes. Before you turn over a new page with a fresh coat of paint, you’ll need to fill them in.

For interior wood, there are a number of fillers you can like Selleys Plastic Wood and Selleys No More Cracks™ Interior Wood Filler.

Before you begin, make sure the area to be filled is clean. Apply the filler with a spatula or putty knife. Flexible filler like Selleys No More Gaps Multipurpose Gap Filler is recommended for places like the joins between architraves and walls, where movement is likely to occur.

Filling holes in plasterboard or hard plaster is easy. Simply scrape away any loose paint and plaster, and fill the hole using Selleys Spakfilla Rapid. If the edges of the hole are cracked and unstable, a self-adhesive patch will make the job easier. Larger plasterboard holes will need a patch inserted. To do this, cut away the damaged section and use contact adhesive to put in wood or plasterboard backing strips, before fixing the patch onto the strips.

TIP: A quick wipe with a damp sponge before the filler sets will smooth out small ridges and save on sanding time later.

Bare plasterboard

Before painting your new plasterboard it’s important to get the base right.

Remove all dust from the surface by wiping it down with a damp cloth. Once dry, prime the surface with Dulux 1 Step Acrylic Primer Sealer & Undercoat to provide a sealed and stable base for your top coat.

Bare set plaster

Remove all dust from the surface by wiping it down with a damp cloth, once dry, seal the plaster with Dulux Sealer Binder.

New timber

For woodwork, sand with a medium grade sandpaper in the direction of the grain and then prime with one coat of Dulux 1 Step Acrylic Primer Sealer & Undercoat. This prevents tannin staining and provides excellent adhesion for the paint.

Covering dark or bright colours

To cover dark colours with a minimum of fuss, undercoats can provide better hiding power than applying extra coats of the final finish. Apply one coat of Dulux 1 Step Primer Sealer & Undercoat to cover dark colours. If you are painting with some light colours, a tinted undercoat will also improve the covering power. The requirement for a tinted undercoat will be identified when tinting the top coat. Dulux Wash&Wear +Plus Super Hide provides superior hiding power due to concentrated levels of titanium pigment, it is ideal for covering darker walls in as few coats as possible.

A final check

Whatever preparation regime you use, it’s critical that prior to painting, the surface is clean and free from any oils, grease or dust. Brush or vacuum the surface to remove any dust and then clean the walls with Selleys Original Sugar Soap, rinse and allow drying before painting.

Masking tape for preparation

Masking before you paint makes the job faster and cleaner. Push the edges of the tape down firmly to ensure straight edges.

Ensure the masking tape is removed at a 45° angle before the paint dries completely. If the paint is too dry, the masking tape can rip the paint film when it is removed. If the paint dries before the tape is removed, using a sharp blade, score the edge of the tape before removing so that it doesn’t pull paint away from the wall.

Clear out the room

Start with a blank canvas.

Before painting, clear the space. Take down any curtains, mirrors and pictures. Move lightweight furniture out of the room and cover larger items with plastic sheets or drop cloths and tape plastic around pendant light fittings. If you’re painting outside, it’s handy to tie back surrounding plants so you have clear access to the areas you want to paint.

As for fixtures and fittings, always remove as many as you can before painting. Carefully scrape old paint out of screw slots before you try to unscrew them.

Clean walls before painting

Thoroughly washing walls with Selleys Original Sugar Soap will remove grease and dirt, providing a clean surface that ensures the best possible performance from your finish coats


More how to guides

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