Tips - Preparing & Painting Walls and Ceiling

Preparing & Painting Walls and Ceiling

Do you want to paint bedroom or feature wall in living room? You have time now… But what about brush or roller which you should use? How to fix this horrible looks crack in the middle of wall?

I will try help you with these jobs by giving some advice and suggestions. All of them are based on my years experience, they are absolutely subjective and I know that there are so many different ways of completing DIY jobs, many point of view as people. These suggestions I believe will work best for you. If you wish trust me – use them😊

You can also send me photos of your projects If you have any concerns or just want to show off. Have you got any questions? – send them to me, hopefully Ill be able to help. If not – Ill try find answer for you.




Lats talk about walls and ceiling. Woodwork – next time.


If you want paint your walls or ceiling white and with not necessary spending huge amount of money for paint, I suggest use one of these below. I really like them:

- Crown Contract White Emulsion paint 10L

You can normally find this paint at the Toolstation and it will cost you around £15. Due to the current situation it may not be easy to find in store however you can try online in B&Q, Wickes or Screwfix. An alternative affordable emulsion, available in Screwfix is:
- Leyland Trade Matt Emulsion Paint Brilliant White 10L – £14,87£ in Toolstation:
These white emulsions have been tried and tested and did not disappoint me!

Now in regards to colour emulsion, my recommendation to all my clients is Valspar Premium V700, the versatility is endless with the colours and two types of formulas for matt and a soft sheen finish. This emulsion is widely accessible at B&Q. This brand is not the cheapest option on the market however the quality is worth the money. Alternatively if you reach the shelf for cheaper paint, you my have to apply extra layers to achieve the some effect, not necessary good one...
For bathroom renovations my go to paint is the Dulux EasyCare Bathroom at price of £27. It can be accessed online at B&Q and Wicks, try homebase or on alternative websites:

Likewise for kitchens – use emulsion designed for a kitchen – grease and stain resistant like Dulux EasyCare Kitchen. In and around same  £27.

Before you take the brush into your hand, its something which you must remember - preparation is always the key.
Make sure your walls/ceilings are perfectly smooth, no cracks or holes. No stains or leaks (0r splashes from when kids played with slime ;))
As much as all of us would love for the walls to be perfectly smooth, that is not always the case.
Even if there are no cracks or stains, you will possibly find some old drops of paint, lumps or grains of “sand” on surfaces.
Its good to take piece of sandpaper (could be grade 120, but if have 180 or 80 its still ok, just be very gentle with grade 80, as you could make some nasty scratches which will need fill up later) and very lighly sand all surfaces.

What you could do if they are cracks or holes there??

Yes, I know that someone could just fill up them with filler, which sounds ok right? Well... not necessary. If you do this – these cracks will appear very soon, as the filler hasn’t got enough place to do its job. Im sure you have a flat screwdriver at home - take it, and please deepen these cracks. Then take a small dry brush and wipe dust from them.
Now (if these cracks are not in connections of plasterboards – they could be not screwed correctly into joists – it will be necessary secure these plasterboards into joists first, be carefull - they could be electric cable or pipe behind!!!), fill up these places with filler and leave correct time to dry.

There are many types of fillers on the market, but for your DIY project, I think the best will be:
- Smaller cracks or holes – Everbuild One Strike Filler around £3.30 for 450ml.

- For large holes and cracks - Everbuild Deep Gap Filler around £5.50 for 1L

Make sure you sand these even after drying! Use sandpaper (80 and 120 grade) to smooth your surface ready for a coat of paint.
First filler is white and very easy to cover with any colour as will blend into surrounding area.
Unfortunately second one has blue-ish colour so you will need use few more coats on these places where you’ll use it.
If you prefer to do this quicker you can use primer:
- Zinsser Bin- shellac based primer, sealer and stain killer at £17.99 for 1L pot.

* Here is a couple links to other suitable primers:

Same primers you could use if you have some stains on the wall or ceiling. More about stains another time.

Alternatively you can use solvent based  White Gloss paint if you have any in storage and the effect will be very similar!
Advantage of Zinsser Bin is, that later you will be able use it as a primer for almost all surfaces (even glass).
After two/three coats you could use other paint and it should stick to it. It will be possible even without sanding (however I suggest before applying primer – sand surface little bit, if is greasy – wash it first).  

Back to filler – when youll fill a crack/hole with filler (if its quite deep – will need few approaches) you will use sandpaper (maybe primer to) and now, after removing dust with dry brush – your wall or ceiling should be ready for painting.

Just quick about stains - if you have them somewhere - use these simple steps:
1. Wash it with sugar soap solution little bit and leave to dry
2. Apply some of primer (above) and wait suggested on the can time
3. Paint with your emulsion paint

I forgot about one thing – secure surface prior to preparing. A proper dust sheet would be perfect, if you have not got one – old towel or other material will do the job. – this is for preparation - when we are dealing just with dust or peeled paint (not when painting).
After you sand walls and potentially fill up cracks/holes, its time to hoover area.
If you are not planning painting skirting boards and door architrave or window sill, its good idea to secure them with masking tape and dust sheets.

You could use cotton dust sheet (like below) 3,5/3,6 m – £6.75 or some old bedding

The trouble with wet paint is (believe me) will soak through these materials and will stain your floor (tiles – that’s maybe….. fine, but wooden floor and carpet… not necessary).
So I would suggest invest few pounds more and buy polybacked cotton dust sheet like below 3,6/2,7m – £10.50.

If you have lots of old bedding or other materials, you could do it other way – use polythene dust sheet (possibly two layers) 3.5/2.6 – £1, and then put your material on top. I believe this should work as well:
What I would suggest – buy small polybacked dust sheet like below (1.8/0.9m – £4.98). You will use it many times, trust me!

Before you will start painting, (if you are not doing woodwork) you can use masking tape on skirting boards (top) along all walls and door architrave, windowsill as well.

There are many types of masking tape, personally I prefer:
- Prodec for most of places 50m –£3

When you’ll need stick tape into painted wall or other delicate surface:
– Yellow FrogTape will be good choice

Same time you will put dust sheets on the floor and furniture which are not possible move out from the room.

Now you’ll just need the brush, roller and roller tray. Possible roller pole too (will make your job quicker)
Roller pole – depend of required high you could choose from websites below:

You can buy insert for them, which will save you some money too. You will find it in same place.
You will need roller sleeve and roller frame. I suggest use 9”. Remember – if you will buy roller pole, make sure that your frame will have thread too (necessary to install it into pole).
Maybe set like below.

Small – 4” frame :
Small sleeves like below:
Behind radiators you could use roller frame with long handle like:
Short pile sleeve like below:

Plus some brushes. I think these set below would be perfect for painting your room. In Toolstation 6.20£, on ebay you could find them for 16.53£ , so it is wort check different places😉:

In my van I always have some polythene dust sheet in 50m roll, which I can cut and use as much as I need it. Its quite handy to have it too (use together with masking tape around doors or radiator)


To ensure you end up with the exact colour you want on your wall, it’s a good idea to mix the paint properly before applying it. You can do this with either a wooden stick/paddle or by using a mixer attachment that you insert into your drill.

What is good start is painting ceiling first. Along walls, don’t worry if your wide brush will touch walls there. EVEN BETTER – as not always there are perfectly straight lines left after plastering, you should paint around 2cm from ceiling all walls too. Possibly you will need apply another coat of white emulsion.

If you don’t want waste time between coats (emulsion should be dry prior second layer), you could start use brush with colour emulsion for painting corners of walls, walls along skirting boards, some difficult to reach with 9” roller places, like behind radiators. It will take some time.

When you finish them, you could apply second coat on the ceiling. Best practice is leave ceiling to completely dry for 12 hrs, so if you could, I suggest do second coat another day. But If its necessary to paint ceiling again same day, leave it as much time as possible.
After finishing the ceiling, you could start painting walls with 9” roller. Please use consistent pressure and move your roller from top to bottom and back with slightly V pattern. But leave around 10cm under ceiling unpainted. Try avoid leaving edges of paint or unpainted places. Remember – even if you are not too happy after first coat, second coat will make you feel better! So don’t give up. Keep continue

When second coat on the ceiling will be dry, then take angled brush and do cutting under ceiling. Maybe it will be good idea leave around 5mm under ceiling (to make straight line). And same time you will pain these 10cm which you left before unpainted. If you want avoid brush lines, you could use small 4” roller with horizontal movement there as well.

When second coat on the ceiling will be dry, then take angled brush and do cutting under ceiling. Maybe it will be good idea leave around 5mm under ceiling (to make straight line). And same time you will pain these 10cm which you left before unpainted. If you want avoid brush lines, you could use small 4” roller with horizontal movement there as well.

Every paint is drying different time, but ValsparV700 will need possibly just few hrs and you will be able apply second coat. So, again start with brush in corners, along skirting boards, architraves and other difficult places, then back to roller and paint all walls.

Important thing – please remove masking tape before paint will dry, it will help you avoid touch ups after it.

And remember – darker colours are more difficult to achieve good effect – possibly will need more coats. And 100% sure – much more attention.
If your stage of your walls are not good enough (uneven etc) there these imperfections will be much more visible if you use darker paint.
When you had dark walls and now going lighter – it will need more coats.
Creamy colours like magnolia are hiding imperfections much better. So choice is yours, your decision what to do.

But independently of option about color, I wish you lots of satisfaction from job which you’ll complete. I believe you can do it.
If you have any question, which I could answer, I’ll be happy to help – just send me a message:) remik@adamhandyman.couk or klick contact below: 

When this crazy time ends and you will decide to let me decorate another room in your house or office, laying a floor, remodell bathroom or do some other job around your house, I’ll be more than happy meet you, talk about details, and do it along your preferences.
If you check out my website, you will find some more info about me and completed projects. You will find ther as well unique, acrylic based  walls decorations, which Im doing as well, including venetian plastering, concrete effect paint and wall sculpture. So, I believe see you a few weeks from now.

Till that time, please stay safe and enjoy your DIY projects