How to prepare and paint a wall

Follow this step-by-step guide to get a professional finish every time you paint a wall

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With the right tools and preparation, you can easily paint your own home to a professional standard. Key to this is buying high quality paint, brushes and rollers, but essentially you need to make sure you do not skip any steps beforehand that could affect the final result.

What you’ll need

  • Frog tape
  • Dust sheets/newspaper
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Small paint tray
  • Cutting-in brush
  • Large paint tray
  • Foam roller


1. Preparation is key, so move your furniture and soft furnishings out of the way before getting started. Cover the floors with dust sheets or newspaper, and protect your woodwork and ceiling by taping along the edges using Frog tape.

2. Sand the walls lightly then fill any holes, leave to dry, and sand again to get a great finish.

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3. Wash the walls with a sugar soap solution before rinsing with cold water and leaving to dry.

Top tip: Remove any mildew before sanding the walls with a solution of one part bleach to three parts water.

4. Prime your walls. If you’re repainting walls in excellent condition or not making a dramatic colour change, priming is not needed but it’s always recommended to achieve professional-looking results. Leave to dry for two-four hours.

5. Open and stir your chosen paint and then pour it into a small tray ready to cut-in around the edges. We’ve chosen an on-trend mustard shade that was colour-matched to our favourite cushion by Valspar at B&Q.

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6. Start by cutting in at the edges with a paint brush, which will help you achieve clean lines at the corners and edges. Click here for a step-by-step guide to cutting in.

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7. Use a roller and tray to paint the walls. Coat the roller in paint and then run back and forward across the textured section of the paint tray to remove excess product. Start with a large V shape, then filling in the space in-between.

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8. Apply two coats, leaving two-four hours between each.

9. Remove your Frog tape while the paint is still wet to make sure you get really neat edges.