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In a neatly decorated room, there are five basketballs hanging on the wall. A guitar is placed in the corner, alongside a study desk and chair. Additionally, there is a small bed with a brown beanbag

Overview

If you’re wondering how to paint a wall like a D.I.Y. pro, you’ve come to the right place. Painting a room can be one of the fastest and most effective ways to breathe life into any room and change the mood instantly. In this handy guide from Bunnings Warehouse, we’ll take you through these easy D.I.Y. steps to brighten up your space in no time!

Safety tip: Always wear the appropriate safety equipment (safety glasses, gloves, and a mask, for example) and always follow the instructions for the product or equipment. Always store products out of the reach of children and pets and always work in a well-ventilated area when working with spray paint.

Steps

1Select the right paint

The first step is choosing the right type of paint. Consider the type of surface you’ll be painting, the finish you’d like and the lighting in the room. Also consider the room's function: High-traffic areas may benefit from durable, washable paints.

A general guide is to use water-based paints for walls and ceilings, and oil or water-based enamel paint for trims, architraves and doors. For ceilings, choose a specialised ceiling-paint, as these are formulated to be low-drip and have a flat finish that doesn’t reflect light. Next, assess the room's lighting as it can affect the colour perception. Grab a few sample pots of colours that you like and paint some small patches on the wall, observing how they look in different lighting conditions throughout the day.

Lastly, factor in your personal preferences and current trends, making sure the chosen colour aligns with your overall aesthetic.

An image depicts a room featuring white walls and ceiling, with brownish flooring and a slider.

2Prepare for painting

Good preparation will help your D.I.Y. painting project go smoother and be more enjoyable. Start by working out how much paint you’ll need by measuring the size of the room. Measure the length (from one end to the other) of all the walls you need to paint then multiply that number by the height of the walls. This will tell you how many square metres you need to paint.

Check the paint coverage rate on the tin and divide the total square metres by this number to work out how many litres you’ll need. Round up to the nearest whole number for a buffer to make sure you have enough paint.

This is the formula: Litres needed = coverage rate per litre / total square metres.

Clear the space by removing any furniture and protect the floors with drop sheets. Repair any wall imperfections (like cracks or holes) using gap filler and sand for a smooth surface. Clean your walls with a sugar soap to remove dirt and grease.

A person's hand is applying green colour painters tape on the edges.]

3Apply an undercoat

Undercoats add a cleaner and more vibrant finish to your paint job, especially if you’re working on new walls, repairing scuffs and marks, or painting over colour or timber.

Use a three-in-one primer, sealer and undercoat. Apply the primer, then stir the undercoat thoroughly. Apply it with a paint brush and begin cutting in (see Step #5). From there, use a roller and begin painting the wall in even strokes. Allow it to dry completely before applying the paint.

A person adorned with a hand tattoo and wearing a beaded bracelet is applying paint to the walls with a paint brush.

4Mix your paint

Mixing your paint will help blend the pigments together and give you a more even colour. Shake the paint tin, then use a paint stirrer to ensure the paint is well-mixed.

When you’re ready to get started, pour your paint into a paint tray or bucket. Check for any settling, and remix periodically during painting to maintain a uniform colour.

A hand with a tattoo is mixing Dulux paint using a brush, while a paint tray is kept on the side.

5Practice cutting in

Cutting in while painting involves using a high-quality angled paint brush to carefully outline edges and corners before using a roller. You’ll want to cut in around power points, switches, doors, window frames, wall edges and cornices.

For best results, dip your paintbrush about half of the bristle length into the paint. Brush the excess paint against the side of the tin to avoid drips. This ensures a controlled and even application, preventing overload and achieving a smoother finish on surfaces. Hold the paint brush at a slight angle and work slowly for precise lines and a professional-looking finish.

A person in a red T-shirt is using a paintbrush with precision, applying paint to the walls with the help of painter's tape.

6Paint the walls

To paint the main surface of your walls, load your paint roller evenly by rolling it into the paint tray, covering the entire roller sleeve. Avoid excess dripping by lightly pressing the roller against the tray's ridges. Start by rolling from top of the wall to the bottom in vertical strokes, or work in an ‘W’ pattern. Work in manageable sections, keeping a wet edge for seamless blending.

An individual in a red T-shirt is rolling up a paint roller on the wall.

7Apply the finishing touches

After the first coat, allow enough drying time before applying a second coat. Once that’s done, remove the painter's tape. To do this, carefully peel it off at a 45-degree angle while the paint is still slightly damp. Pulling the tape slowly and steadily will help you achieve clean, crisp lines without damaging the freshly painted area. Clean your brushes and rollers with water (or appropriate solvents) and dispose of excess paint and materials responsibly. Rolling excess paint onto old newspaper is a good way to do this.

A person adorned with a hand tattoo and wearing a beaded bracelet is peeling off painter's tape.

8Take it to the next level

Now you’ve mastered the basics, try transforming a room with just one colour – watch our video to find out how!

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.