Which brushes do I use for which job?

When selecting a brush it is important to consider the following areas: type of bristle; job to be completed & coating to be applied.

There are 2 types of bristle: synthetic and natural.

Synthetic bristles are very hard wearing, lasting up to 5 times as long as natural bristle brushes. As synthetic bristles do not absorb large amounts of water and swell up they do not cause tramlines to appear in the paint. Their structure produces a fine finish on all water-based paints.

Natural bristle has a structure that allows it to take and hold paint within the brush. In addition, the split ends of bristle brushes help to produce a fine finish with traditional solvent paints. However, they do not perform well with water-based paints like Dulux Once, or Quick Drying Satinwood.

Brushes come in many sizes. As a rule of thumb, the larger the area you are painting, the larger the brush that you should use. For walls a 2" or 3" brush is required for cutting in, whilst a 1" or 2" brush will give you more flexibility when painting doors, skirting boards & architraves.

What type of roller do I use?

Rollers are ideal for painting large areas, particularly ceilings. They are quick and easy to use. There are several types of roller to suit different paint jobs: foam, mohair or sheepskin, available in short, medium and long-pile. Your choice of roller really depends upon the sort of paint you are using. A short-pile mohair roller is suitable for applying silk emulsion. A medium-pile sheepskin roller is ideal for applying matt emulsion. Foam rollers are not recommended for normal emulsion paints as their spongy texture creates air bubbles in the paint film which can then burst, leaving a crated, orange peel effect.

How do I paint radiators?

Before painting a radiator it is important to turn it off and allow it to cool down. Rub the surface down with 'wet and dry' abrasive paper and warm water with a little detergent added. Rinse, clean and dry. Any bare areas should be primed with Dulux Metal Primer. This will provide protection from rust and provide excellent adhesion for subsequent coats. You can then paint the radiator with solvent-based paints like Dulux Satinwood or Dulux Non-Drip Gloss. These paints all come in a wide range of colours allowing you to paint the radiator in a matching colour to the walls therefore helping to disguise it.

Once painted you should allow the paint to fully dry before turning the radiator on again. When you do so for the first time you may experience a paint smell - this is normal and will quickly disappear.

How do I paint new plaster?

New plaster should be sealed with Dulux Plaster Sealer when the plaster is completely dry. A plaster Skim will take approximately 2 - 3 weeks to dry, whereas a full plaster will take around 6 months to dry.

I have removed wallpaper from my walls. How do I prepare them for painting?

Having removed wallpaper by scraping, the surface must be thoroughly washed down to remove all old paste and size. While the surface is still damp is the best time to fill all holes before painting. If the area is small then Polycell No Sanding Polyfilla is the ideal solution as it is dry in as little as 15 minutes. However, if the area is larger, use Polycell SmoothOver for Cracked & Damaged Walls. It offers a whole wall solution that covers cracks, dents, gouges, small holes and other problem features in one go, leaving them smooth and ready to paint after rubbing down.

The wall can then be painted with any Dulux emulsion.

How to create freehand stripes

Equipment For this effect you will need a tape measure, paint brushes, a radiator roller, string and some chalk.

Method Measure the height and depth of the stripes at both ends of the wall with a piece of chalk.

Cut a length of string that is the length of the wall and tie a knot at one end.

Load the string by running it over the chalk a couple of times and then stick the knotted end over the mark at one at end of the wall - pull it tight to meet the corresponding mark at the other end and then snap it against the surface to leave a line for you to follow.

Repeat this to get the guidelines for the widths of the stripes and spaces in between.

Load a brush with emulsion and flatten the bristles out in a small roller tray before applying it to the wall.

You get a lovely soft broken line if you hold the brush flat against the wall and drag it along - then you can fill in with more colour if you need it. You can use a roller too for a slightly different effect too.

Once the paint has dried, wipe off the chalk lines with a clean damp cloth.

Here we’ve used Cocoa Blush 2 as a background colour with stripes of Russian Rouge, Inky Tales, Brooklyn Nights 1, Olive Branch and Sea Urchin 1.

The lovely thing about this technique is that you aren’t trying too hard to get a straight line, wobbles are good and they add to the finished effect

Have fun experimenting with different colours and widths of band to make the stripes unique to you and your home.

Hand Painting - Folk Art techniques

“Folk art is an important element of the new Colour Futures Urban Folk trend and with a few simple hand painting techniques you can quickly transform the walls, floor and furniture.” Marianne Shillingford, Dulux Creative Director

Equipment All you need is a few tester pots, an artist’s one stroke paint brush, some chalk, a tailors pounce wheel and a roll of brown paper.

Method Measure a length of brown paper and use this to work out your design in chalk. You can rub off the mistakes with a clean dry cloth.

Have something to copy to make it easier but try not to think too hard about the shapes, each mark you make should be fluid and simple.

For big designs on the wall, allow your arm to relax while drawing the shapes - imagine you’re writing your name in the dark with a sparkler on bonfire night.

Place the finished design on a piece of cardboard or the carpet and use a tailor’s pounce wheel to trace over the lines. When you have finished, gently rub away the raised edges of the perforations on the back of the paper with fine sandpaper.

Use a climbers’ chalk bag or make your own with an old sock and a few sticks of chalk (put the chalk in the sock, tie a knot at the top of the sock and bash with your shoe until the chalk is crushed).

Replace the design on the surface you are going to paint and rub the chalk bag over the surface.

The chalk dust filters through the holes and the design is transferred perfectly. You can use the template again and again too. If some of the lines are too faint go over them lightly again with the stick of chalk.