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How To Protect Your Home From Painting And Decorating Mishaps

This is the first in a series of posts on DIY projects, and how you can protect yourself and your home from common mistakes and accidents.

Painting & decorating is the most popular DIY project in the country, and supposedly one of the simplest tasks you can do yourself at home. Most us spruce up the walls of at least one room every year.

Take a trip to your local home improvement store, and you’ll find the paint aisles lined with DIYers weighing up with whether ‘cornflower blue’ is a lighter shade than ‘moonlit sky’, or couples blocking the wallpaper section arguing over whether glitter is in or out this season 

With decisions made, it can seem like that’s the hard part out of the way. All that’s left is to throw some paint onto the wall. But that’s a common mistake DIYers make. There are lots of pitfalls to avoid when it comes to painting and decorating.

We’ve listed some of the most common mistakes many of us make, and how you can either prevent them from happening, or protect your home to ensure no damage is done!

Make sure you prepare the wall in advance

Unfortunately, painting isn’t as straightforward as just picking up the brush and starting. You need to make sure you prepare the walls first – cleaning, filling and sanding. Many people forget to do this – and end up with rough, uneven walls, patchy paint, and holes or dents.

Before you start, take the time to make sure the wall is as clean and smooth as possible. Sponge it all down the night before, and fill in any holes with filler. The next day, you’ll need to make sure you sand the whole wall down so you have a completely even surface for painting or wallpapering.

And sanding means dust – so it might be worth thinking about some dust sheets to keep all dirt away from the areas of your home that you want to keep clean. 

Always use the right tools

It always sounds like a cliché, but having the right tools really does make a difference.

It could be something as simple as the right size brush for the nooks and crannies you want to tackle – so you don’t end up painting over areas you shouldn’t.

Or it might be having an appropriate ruler and level for wallpapering – along with a table to do the pasting on – so that you can cut the paper to size in a straight line and get the perfect hang!

Two things to watch out for – the different types of paint and the masking tape you use.

Masking tape is a great tool to have to hand, helping you to cover those areas you want to protect and preventing overlap of paint. BUT – make sure you have a low tack version – especially if you’re using it to cover the edges of wallpaper. If not, you’ll find you might rip some of the paint or paper off with it when you peel it back.

If you’re using loose brushes and rollers with emulsion paint for the walls, the odds are you’ll get quite a few splashes of it. Especially when using a roller, and applying a little too quickly, you’ll find the paint will flick back and spatter everywhere.

Don’t forget to protect clean walls, floors and furniture with covers

Emulsion paint is notorious for getting everywhere, but thankfully, it is easy to clean. Gloss paint not so much. One of the biggest mistakes a rookie can make is thinking they won’t splash paint everywhere.

Of course, most of us will throw an old towel down on the floor, and think that will be enough. There’s no way we’ll get paint on the opposite wall will we? And that sofa is too far away across the other side of the room to need covering up…isn’t it?

Well, you’d be surprised.

You should cover ANYTHING in the room that could get paint on it, and consider putting mats at the doorways to stop paint being tread throughout the house.

Old towels and sheets are useful, but invariably they slide around and leave gaps in the floor, or they have holes in them which is like a target calling those paint drops. Murphey’s Law means that’s where the paint will drip!

Instead, you might want to consider cotton dust sheets, which are ideal for quickly and simply covering large areas – including furniture. But sheets on the floor do have a tendency to get moved around and scrunched up, becoming a trip hazard and exposing areas of the carpet or wood. Floor protection film is a great option instead, as it sticks to the carpet or floor and stays in place (plus the clean up afterwards is a lot quicker. 

Covering walls is a bit more difficult. You should always paint before you wallpaper anyway, but if you’ve gone about things the wrong way around, or are happy with the wallpaper you have, you’ll want to prevent paint getting onto it at all costs!

But you can’t hang sheets on the wall. Thankfully, you can buy full protective covers and boards for walls, to keep them pristine – paint and scratch free!

The little things make the big difference

We’re always eager to get stuck into painting and decorating, but taking the time to prepare your home before starting can save you so much hassle and expense.

There really is nothing worse than doing a perfect DIY job only to find you got paint on the new carpet, or have scuffed the pristine skirting board!

Temporary protection materials can be a big help when it comes to DIY at home. If you need any help or advice on how you can prevent any accidents happening during a project, our expert team is more than happy to advise you on the best products for the tasks you’re doing.

Just send us an instant message or an email, or give us a call on 0800 834 704


Looking for more advice on protecting your home from DIY accidents? Don’t forget to read our next post on Gardening and Landscaping.

Next post: Don’t Damage Your Kitchen Or Bathroom With DIY Tiling