Frequently asked questions and video guides

These quick tips and video guides deal with the most common queries, for more specific advice simply choose the step of the decorating process you need help with from the menu above.

Quick tips

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.

Is there a right order to painting a room?

Generally when painting a room it is advisable to start at the top of the room and work down. The following is a typical sequence:

  1. Ceiling - Apply two full coats. Dulux Magic White is ideal for this purpose.
  2. Walls - Apply two full coats of your chosen Dulux emulsion, working away from natural light.
  3. Doors & skirting boards - Start with the windows to give them a full day to dry before closing them in the evening. Next paint the door & doorframe followed by the skirting.
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

Video guides

How to create freehand stripes

This hand painted stripe feature looks great as a focal point in a room.

Play video
How to hand paint decoration on your walls

Simple hand painted decoration on your walls can capture the tradition of global folk art, a popular interiors trend for 2014.

Play video
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Expert help

Our team of professional interior designers will help you with all aspects of a design, including.

  • Full design schemes with colours and furniture
  • Inspiration and advice
  • Sourcing and buying materials
  • Full project managemnt
Dulux Design Service