Decorating Tips

Decorating Tips

Make a room plan

Make a rough sketch of your room, and photocopy the sketch. Use coloured pencils to experiment.

Choose a scheme to suit the room

Pick warm colours for walls with northern light, cool colours for southern and neutrals for all other exposures

Bright Accessories

Use accessories to balance strong colours on walls.

Use strong shades in moderation

Too much strong colour can overwhelm a room, but by emphasizing individual walls you can create an optical illusion and alter a room’s proportions.

Keep a steady hand

Strong colours hide imperfections – a good idea for rough or uneven walls. Apply paint carefully as uneven strokes will show.

Painting tips & tricks

Dip and Smack vs Wiping

As an amateur painter you probably are in the habit of “wiping” the brush on the lip of the can after every dip. This creates two problems: the lip of the can will fill with paint and drip down the sides, and the bristles can be damaged. There is a dip and smack technique that is easy to perform and will help you to get the job done right. Dip the brush into the paint, and as you pull the brush up, smack it on the sides of the paint can from one side to the other instead of wiping. This “wakes up” the bristles, allows more paint to stay in the brush and eliminates paint from accumulating in the lip of the paint can.

Paint – Dry stripping

This entails the use of a scraper, with a very sharp blade, to remove the paint. It is recommended that you wear safety goggles to prevent flakes of paint from shooting into your eyes. If the paint being removed is very old, wear a mask to prevent your inhaling the dust. Angle the blade until it hooks into the surface, and pull it towards you with even pressure.

Drywall Primer

Primer is an important part of any painting job. Picking the right primer can be a particularly confusing task. You can use the following basic requirements to help you choose the right product for your drywall job.

New drywall needs at least one coat of latex primer. Keep in mind that a good primer coat will still show brush and roller marks. You may need two coats over water-resistant (green colored) dry wall, or areas that have a lot of drywall mud. Generally, one coat of primer is sufficient. You are better off to apply a second coat of the finish paint. Remember that the primer color should be a lighter match but close to the finish color. In other words, don´t use a white primer under a dark blue finish coat; a blue tinted primer will work much better.

Easily Touch-Up Woodwork

To easily touch-up woodwork (if using white finish only), here’s what to do:

Clean trimwork of all dirt and grime

Lay a protective barrier over flooring (next to base), such as cardboard or blue masking tape.

Lightly (and gently – no drips or runs) spray paint onto base or other trimwork. You’ll want to “feather” it, so the finish will appear consistent.

Let dry before moving on to painting other surface(s).

It’s important to note here, that you are touching up the base, and other trimwork, before you paint anything else. Then, after the woodwork is fully dried, you can apply finish paint. If you get wall paint on the trim, simply wipe off with a wet rag (keeping one handy at all times).

Also, make sure the trimwork throughout the room has a good, solid base coat of paint on it prior to doing any kind of touch-up work. Touch-up only when the existing coat looks good and fresh, or nearly freshly painted.

Again, this is a great tip to save you a fair amount of time and money, but not at the expense of the room’s appearance, and overall condition. (this is really handy for rental property owners)


Enamel is a varnish with pigments added. Enamel has the same basic durability and toughness of a good varnish. It produces an easy-to-clean surface, and in the proper formulation, can be used for interior and exterior applications. For the highest quality interior work, an undercoat is required.

Here’s a trick well-known to old-time painters

Here´s a trick well-known to old-time painters. The stucco coating on the exterior wall surfaces of nineteenth-century masonry houses was marked out to look like blocks of stone. Narrow horizontal and vertical grooves were impressed into the surface of the stucco coating to give the walls the appearance of the regular blocks of stone known as ashlar. After repainting the outside of your house run a carpenter´s pencil along the grooves. This sharpens up the appearance of the building and reinforces the impression of ´stone´ blocks. The impression works best if the paint chosen is in a stone colour.