Professional decorators spend longer on prep than on painting itself, and it shows in the finished result. Paint won’t adhere properly to surfaces that are dirty, damp, dusty or oily, so do a thorough check on your room before you start work, moving furniture away from the walls and dealing with any trouble spots. This could mean sanding flaky areas, sealing any damp patches or simply a good vacuuming and washing down, so no dirt gets into your new paint.
At this stage, it’s a good idea to lightly sand down woodwork using 320-grit sandpaper. Then wipe with a damp cloth, followed by a dry one. This creates a key for new paint and ensures a clean, smooth finish.
Prime all surfaces before you start painting. Primers prevent issues like dragging and blistered paint, helping the top coat adhere evenly. Unlike the paint itself, they’re meant to be worked into the surface – if need be, ours can be thinned with water so it penetrates better.
Lastly, don’t paint straight onto newly plastered walls. These need sealing first with thinned-down PVA glue and an undercoat, as plaster’s very porous.