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Dr Dulux: Can You Answer My Burning Questions?

In this article, we lift the lid on our archive to discover the most commonly asked decorating questions and reveal the answers you’ve been waiting for. Our experts have put together the best tips and tricks from our Dulux FAQ collection to help you decorate your home to your taste.


Q: My paint always yellows over time. How can I ensure surfaces stay looking new?

A: Are you having trouble with white paint turning yellow on wood or other surfaces? Yellowing paintwork can often stem from the ageing processes of oil-based paint. Oil-based paints have many advantages, such as resisting scuffing. However, yellowing white shades is a common issue. 

To solve this problem, use a water-based paint like Dulux Quick Dry in a glosssatinwood or eggshell finish. Because water-based paint doesn’t contain alkyd resin, it doesn’t go yellow as it ages, so you can expect colour that lasts. 

Q: I’d love to refresh a few pieces of old furniture. What’s the best paint to buy?

A: Upcycling old furniture? It’s always a good idea to give our furniture a quick refresh every now and then. To do this successfully, you need to choose the right paint for wooden furniture.

For wooden furniture, it’s best to use latex or oil-based paint in a satin or semi-gloss finish. Not only is Dulux Quick Dry Satinwood specifically formulated for woodwork like skirting, doors and windows, but it’s also perfect for wooden furniture. Better still, the paint comes in 750ml tins, meaning you won’t have lots left over.

Q: We’ve got kids and pets, so walls always get messy with hand-and-paw-prints. What paint would you recommend?

A: This is a common problem in many households. For walls that get mucky easily, you need a wipe clean wall paint with a durable formula that means you can easily wipe away any marks. Dulux Easycare Washable & Tough is designed with mess firmly in mind. It features stain-repellent technology that makes spills and marks easy to wipe away without damaging the paint or surface.

Q: What is the correct order to paint a room? 

A: Revamping a room is easy when you know how. Before getting started, make sure all the walls in the room are in good condition – this may require some sanding and filling of any cracks or holes. When it comes to painting, start with the top of the room and work your way down. The general order should be the ceiling, the walls, the windows and doors, and the skirting. Find out more in our guide to what order to paint a room

Q: How do you paint skirting boards without getting paint on the wall? 

A: Painting skirting boards without getting paint on the wall may seem like a tricky business, but there are solutions to this common query. The two main ways you can avoid this problem are:

  • By using masking tape – apply masking tape to areas where the paint is most likely to touch the wall. It’s a good idea to use low-tack masking tape to avoid leaving any residue behind when you’ve finished painting.
  • By using a paint shield – a paint shield is a simple device that protects areas that you don’t want to be hit by overspray. It allows for a surface between the skirting board and the wall.

You can also use the Cutting In technique, which is very effective but takes some getting used to. Find out more here

Q: Do I need to sand walls before painting? 

A: While sanding may not be required for every decorating project, it’s always a good idea to invest time into prepping your walls before you paint. This means that you’ll get a much smoother finish and be more satisfied with the end result.

Any rough spots on the walls need to be sanded down before the walls are painted. To do this, use a sanding block to smooth any uneven surfaces, and then use a cloth to wipe away any dust. Take extra care to sand any walls that have been previously painted on with high-gloss paint.  

Q: Can you paint over dirty walls? 

A: The straightforward answer is yes; you can paint over dirty walls. However, if you decide to do this, you may not receive lasting results, as the sticking ability of the paint will be lessened. For better results, make sure that the walls have been cleaned and prepped before applying a fresh coat of paint.

In general, clean walls take paint better than dirtier ones do. Even if your walls do not look particularly dirty, consider power washing so that all the possible dirt and dust is successfully removed. Make sure to fix any damages on your walls and apply a primer before painting, such as the Dulux Primer & Undercoat for Multi Surfaces

Q: How do you get crisp lines when painting? 

A: Achieving crisp lines when painting doesn’t require a particularly steady hand. Simply grab some painter’s tape and follow these quick, easy steps when painting:

  • Apply the painter’s tape over the parts of the surface that you want to block from paint.
  • Paint over the edges of the tape with the original colour. For example, if you’re creating blue stripes on a white wall, choose the white paint first.
  • Next, proceed to apply your new colour. In this instance, it would be the blue paint for the blue stripes.
  • After that, peel away the painter’s tape, and you’ll be left with crisp, clear lines.

Thinking of redecorating this year? Discover all the inspiration you need with Dulux. Download the Dulux Visualizer app and choose your colour with confidence. 

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