How to paint a room – for beginners

Does your space feel dreary? One of the simplest and most affordable ways to perk up your interior is through refreshing your wall colour. It’s a project you can take on yourself. As long as you are using the right supplies and understand the basics—you’ll be painting like a professional in no time. To get you started, Naeem Farooqui, NEO’s Technical Paint Application Head, gives you his top 10 tips.

  1. Before you pick up a paint brush, have a plan

You don’t want to get halfway through and then realize you’re missing something. Does the ceiling also need a refresh and what about the skirting boards? Will you be using one colour or painting with two—a feature wall or accent colour, perhaps?

  1. Consider what paint finish is best for the job

NEO’s Interior Plastic Emulsion is suitable for all types of interior masonry surfaces, providing superb durability, coverage, and washability. It’s excellent for high-traffic interior areas such as living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, and hallways. Whereas NEO’s Silk Water Matt is a highly washable silk like coating that resists common household stains allowing them to be easily wiped away without leaving a mark.

  1. Select your perfect colour

NEO offers over 1500 colours to choose from, including neutrals, bolds, and brights. There’s something to suit every vibe. To guide your choice, consider your space. Would it benefit from a bold colour or would a neutral be better. Do you envision a calm and relaxing feel or something bright and breezy? Once you have a direction you can start sifting through shade cards and make your decision.

  1. Calculate your paint quantity

As a quick guide, 1 litre is ideal for a 2.5m interior wall, around 2.5 litres would cover all walls in a 2m x 2m room and you’ll need about 5 litres to cover all walls in a 4m x 4m space. If you download the Kaizen Visualizer App, it can do the calculations for you—easy!

  1. Organize your supplies

You’ll need painter’s tape, dust sheets, paint brushes—angled and straight, paint roller, paint tray, stir stick and of course paint. If you can, try and invest in a quality roller and brushes.

  1. Prep for success

Paint doesn’t like a dirty surface. Dust the walls from floor to ceiling and get rid of any stubborn grime with a wet sponge (let dry before painting). Lay dust sheets on the floor. Remove light switch covers and tape around areas you don’t want painted.

  1. Prime the wall

You’ll need one coat of primer. NEO’s Water Based Primer & Sealer is an ideal undercoat and dries in just 2-3 hours.

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  1. Stir the paint

Do this before you begin, and again every so often during painting. This ensures the colour and consistency of the finish.

  1. It’s time to roll

Use an angled brush to paint around the edges of the skirting and ceiling. Make sure the roller is clean. Fill a quarter of your paint tray – when you’re loading the paint, start rolling until you have uniform coverage. Paint the walls in overlapping “W” movements. Let the first coat dry for 2-3 hours and then coat again.

  1. Clean-up

Decant any leftover paint back into the can and seal. Rinse the tray. Rinse your brush and roller until the water runs clear. Once the brush’s bristles are dry, put it back in its sleeve. If you do not have a sleeve, fold, and then tape a thick piece of paper around the bristles and this will help keep the bristles from fanning out. Remove the masking tape from the walls.


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