Discover the dos and don'ts of how to decorate, to keep you on track towards your design goals.
Whether it’s a clashing colour choice, a lumpy paint finish or a sofa that’s too big for the living room, taking the wrong turn while decorating is as easy as taking the wrong exit on a roundabout. It’s time to load up your decorating GPS with interior design tips to keep you on the straight and narrow towards success. You’ll learn about decorating mistakes to avoid and easy things to try for brilliant results.
First up, let’s start with the top 10 dos and don’ts of painting to ensure that the foundation of your design is rock solid.
1. Forget to prep your walls
It’s very tempting to skip this crucial first step, whether it’s to save time or because you think your walls look fine to paint over. But, it’s often hard to see dirt, dust, scratches and cracks, until they rear their ugly heads through your new paint. Before you do anything, give your walls a good clean with warm, soapy water, fix any cracks or holes with filler and wait until the surface is totally dry before painting.
2. Paint directly out of the can
As colours can vary slightly from can to can, it pays to decant paint into a smaller container to mix it before you start painting. In terms of how to decorate while making the least amount of mess, this tip might just save your sanity. Imagine accidentally knocking over a 10 litre can of paint? Enough said.
3. Load your brush up with too much paint
It seems like a good idea to load your brush up with as much paint as possible. However, it’s one of the biggest decorating mistakes to avoid. With a brush, this results in a lumpy finish, so make sure the paint doesn’t come down the bristles further than halfway. Too much paint on a roller will only result in pesky drips. Lightly spread paint around the head by rolling it up and down on the tray until it’s saturated, but not dripping.
4. Paint directly over damaged wallpaper
It's possible to paint over wallpaper if it’s in prime condition, smooth and clear of debris. However, if it’s heavily textured, loose, ripped, damp or mouldy, painting over it will only cause bigger issues in the future. It’s also even more difficult to remove once you’ve done so. Sorry, a bit of extra muscle power is required to strip it, but you’ll be glad you did.
5. Paint in low light
Whether you're rushing to get the job done just as the sun goes down or it’s dark and stormy outside, it’s always better to wait for bright, natural light to paint your rooms. Painting in dim or harsh artificial lighting can easily result in patches and imperfections that only show up in glaring natural light.
6. Use the right paint finish
The right paint finish for different surfaces and specific results is the key to a perfect result. For example, mid-sheen and gloss finishes reflect light, while Dulux Easycare Bathroom and Dulux Easycare Kitchen offer moisture and stain resistant qualities
7. Cut in the edges
Before you start painting the walls, cut in the edges with a one or two-inch brush. This means first painting the areas that are too tight for rollers, like the ceiling line, corners and trim.
8. Paint from top to bottom
From preparation to painting, work from the top of your room down, for best results. Start with the ceiling and the architrave. Then, paint your walls from the top down with your roller. Finish the job with woodwork and skirting.
9. Paint for best coverage
If you’re flinging your roller around willy nilly, you might not achieve the best coverage. Instead, apply your paint in a ‘W’ shape on the wall. Go over the ‘W’ with an ‘M’ shape to fill in the gaps, then reload your roller and move onto the next section in the same way.
10. Seal paint-filled roller heads
Are you painting in the same colour over a couple of days? Save yourself time and paint by sealing your paint-filled roller heads in airtight plastic bags overnight.
Tips on how to decorate a living room
So, you’ve brushed up on the dos and don’ts of painting, but what are the most important interior design tips for decorating the hub or your home? First of all, the sofa is the focal point and the key to comfort, so measure your space correctly and choose one you’re happy sinking into! Play with the furniture layout until it’s both pleasing to the eye and practical in terms of flow. Less is usually more when it comes to accessories. Group them in vignettes on bookcases, console tables or shelves to avoid a cluttered look. Don’t forget to mix and match textures to bring that welcoming vibe.
Tips on how to decorate a bedroom
We basically spend half our lives sleeping or lounging in bed, so it’s important to know how to decorate a bedroom that makes you truly happy! Choose a colour scheme that brings you a deep sense of relaxation and peace, whether that’s a blend of white and cream, soothing blues and greys or dusty pinks. Be careful that your furniture doesn’t overwhelm the space and invest in smart storage options to keep clutter out of sight. Invest in layered lighting for ambience, including reading lamps and dimmable lights. Lastly, enhance a sense of cosiness with plush fabrics for cushions, throws and linens.
Bonus interior design tips
Need extra decorating tips and tricks to put up your designer sleeves? We’re happy to deliver. To choose the best paint colours for your home, test them on the walls first with quick, mess-free Dulux roller testers. Before you start painting, put your feet up and watch our how-to videos on how to paint a ceiling and how to paint a wall. Now, it's time to hop up and whip out that brush - you're all set for a straight road towards your design dreams.