taping interior

Preparing before painting is key to achieving a great interior finish.

Nothing beats a great paint job, especially one you’ve done yourself. Give yourself the best chance at success by following these instructions.

What you will need

Before you start, make sure you have the right tools: 

  • Filler and filling knife 
  • Sandpaper 
  • Selley’s Sugar Soap 
  • Sponge 
  • Synthetic paint brush 60mm
  • Masking tape
  • Drop sheets


Use filler to make the surface smooth 

For a smooth paint finish, you need to start with a smooth surface

  1.  Choose a filler designed for the surface you’re painting. For interior wood we recommend Selleys Plastic Wood or Selleys No More Cracks Wood Filler. For plasterboard or hard plaster we recommend Selleys Spakfilla Rapid. If movement is likely to occur, like the joins between architraves and walls, use Selleys No More Gaps Multipurpose gap filler for extra flexibility.
  2. Make sure the area is clean and scrape away any loose paint or plaster.
  3. If the edges of the hole are cracked, unstable, or if the hole is too large, a self-adhesive patch will make the job easier.
  4. Apply a layer of filler over the area ensuring to completely cover any holes, cracks or patches.
  5. Spread the filler across the area in multiple directions and once the area is covered use a single downward stroke to remove any excess product.
  6. Once dry use a fine sandpaper to give it a light sand for a smooth, consistent surface.
Quick Tip

Quick Tip

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


For a smooth paint finish, you need to start with a smooth surface

  1.  Before painting, clear the space. Take down any curtains, mirrors and pictures, move furniture out of the room and cover larger items with drop cloths. Remove any fixtures and fittings you can before painting and tape plastic around anything you can’t remove.

  2. Brush or vacuum up any dust and thoroughly wash the walls with Selleys Original Sugar Soap to remove grease and dirt. This provides a clean surface that ensures the best possible performance from your paint.

  3. If the surface is in good condition, it can be painted after any filling or cleaning steps. Glossy surfaces may need to be sanded to a dull finish with a medium grit 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. Be sure to remove dust generated after sanding.

Masking the area

Masking before you paint makes the job faster and cleaner.

  1. Use a good quality masking tape along any edges you don’t want to paint, including trims or windows.
  2. Push the edges of the tape down firmly to ensure straight edges.
  3. Remove the masking tape 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.
  4. 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.

Undercoats and priming

If you are covering a dark colour or a surface that’s never been primed or painted, you will need to use an undercoat. It can also provide a better coverage and hiding power than just applying extra top coats. To apply an undercoat simply paint one coat of Dulux 1-Step Prep or two coats of Dulux PRECISION Maximum Strength Adhesion Primer after preparing the area.

Product Tip

Product Tip

For additional assurance of superior coverage and hiding power, use Dulux Wash&Wear +Plus Super Hide. It is formulated with concentrated levels of titanium pigment, meaning it is ideal for covering darker walls in fewer coats.