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Ask Dr Dulux: Can You Let Me in on the Secrets of the Pros?

Thinking about decorating your house but don’t know where to begin? Here at Dulux, we know a thing or two about creating a dream home. Our experts have put together a carefully curated list of everything you need to know, from preparing a wall for painting to painting gutters the correct way. Read on to learn about the secrets of the pros.

Top Five Painting Tips

New to painting or need some general advice? We’re here to help with our top five painting tips. 

How to prepare a wall for painting 

Before you begin painting a wall, you need to ensure that it’s prepped and primed correctly. Have you ever wondered how professional painters paint so fast and finish a painting job to an outstanding quality? An adequately prepared wall will take paint much better, and you’ll be much more satisfied with the end result. Typically, professionals will prepare a wall for painting by using the following steps:

  • Scrape any debris off the wall – this involves removing anything that protrudes from the wall, such as paint or other debris. If the wall has texture on it, this will be removed, along with any wallpaper present.
  • Fill nail holes – the painter will fill in any holes and cracks in the wall to make it look as if they never existed.
  • Clean the wall – you’ll get a much better result by painting on a clean wall rather than over a dirty wall. Cleaning the wall removes any traces of dust, debris and grease.
  • Apply primer – you should always prime before painting, as this will create a smooth surface for the paint to glide over.
  • Tape the trim around the room – painters apply special painter’s tape to the trim around the room in order to protect it. 

Tips for painting a wall

Some of the key points to consider when painting a wall include:

  • Achieve a consistent colour throughout the room by mixing cans of paint in a large bucket beforehand.
  • Give yourself ample space to work.
  • Cover all furniture in the room with plastic sheets to protect it from paint splatters.
  • For consistent texture, use a three-in-one roller to roll paint along the edges of the wall instead of using a paintbrush.
  • Sand between coats of paint to achieve an extra-smooth finish.

How to paint masonry

A masonry wall is an outdoor wall built with rocks, stones, cement blocks or concrete blocks. Preparing masonry wall for painting requires pretty much the same steps needed to paint an indoor wall. Fill in any cracks and clean and prime the wall.

Focus on painting the wall from top to bottom, cutting in on the edges to begin with before painting the larger areas. We suggest using at least two coats of paint for a great finish. 

How to clean gutters


If you’re planning on painting gutters, it’s a good idea to clean them beforehand. Make sure you’re dressed in the appropriate clothing for the job, such as long-sleeved shirt and work trousers. Remember to wear a pair of rubber gloves, too.

Use a small, plastic scoop to remove any debris and gunk from the gutters (you can get these from most DIY shops). Make sure you spread a sheet below your gutters to collect all the debris. After you’ve removed the gunk, use a garden hose to flush the gutters and remove any remaining residue. Make sure to repair any sagging metal, too. 

How to paint gutters

Once you’ve made sure your gutters are sparkling clean, it’s time to get down to the painting.

  • Strip off any old paint with a plastic knife and apply paint-stripping chemicals to remove any stubborn paint marks.
  • Sand the gutters with a medium block and rinse afterwards to remove any sand residue.
  • Choose a rust-preventing oil-based primer for the base. You could use a paint sprayer to apply the primer quickly. Allow the primer some time to air dry.
  • Apply a thin layer of oil-based satin paint with a paintbrush or a sprayer. Let the paint dry, then add a second layer. 

Top Tips from the Experts


1.    “Dispense your paint into a paint kettle instead of dipping your brush straight into the tin. It’s easier to handle on a ladder, and it’ll stop the whole can getting contaminated by air or floating dust.”

Steph Howles, Showhomes, Dulux Select Decorator


2.    “Get two jobs done in one go with a vacuum sanding kit – affordable sanding blocks that attach to your hoover and pick up particles as you go, for dust-free surfaces.”

Craig Hainey, Ultimate Decor, Dulux Select Decorator


3.     “Getting a good finish is 80% preparation and 20% perspiration, so remember to give yourself time to prepare, do the job, and clean up after. Even if you only do one wall a day, you’ll get better results.”

Steve Dove, Steve Dove & Co., Dulux Select Decorator 


4.     “If you’re painting the gutter to match your masonry, make sure you clear it out completely to avoid trapping dirt in the paintwork. Cut off the top third of a plastic milk bottle, then use it as a mini shovel to scoop out any debris – quick and easy!”

Des Cass, D Cass & Son Decorators, Dulux Select Decorator


Need help selecting a colour palette for your home? Download the Dulux Visualizer app today and choose your colour with confidence. 

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