Learn How To Paint A Room

Learn How To Paint A Room

A great finish depends on how well you prepare the room.

Give yourself a head start by spending the time to prepare the surfaces. Remember that a quality finish also depends on the tools you use and the products you choose.

Hardware and General Paint centres specialise in many different brands of paint and our specialist team will help you choose which brand of paint is right for your project and how much paint you will need. Today we are working with Dulux interior paints.

Dulux, Taubmans, Wattyl, Berger,  Zinsser, Finesse, Pristine, Colourtrend, Norglass, Murabond, Cabot’s, Intergrain, Sikkens, Porters, Jet-Dry, Miss-tints, Selleys, Fuller, Rota-Cota, Unipro, Diggers, 3M, Nortons, Sandpaper, Wagner, Inspirations Paint.


Let’s get started

Which order should you work?

Neutral colours allow you to be more flexible with decor choices

Tips for choosing interior paint colours

It’s not as hard as you may first think. Start with colours that you love. When you work with these colours you quickly eliminate most of the confusion caused by adopting decorating styles. Remember this is your home and you are choosing for yourself and your family-ONLY.

  1. Start with magazines or Pinterest for inspiration and make a mood board of your favourite images.
  2. Pick a colour from your favourite linen, artwork or flower. Decide if you will create a strong feature with this colour or if you will choose a complementary wall colour
  3. Neutral colours make a great base allowing you to be more creative with feature decor items
  4. If landscapes are your inspiration, take a walk in your garden
  5. Have a look at Paint brand websites as they have pages of inspirations and pre-set colour schemes that take all the hard work of making a decision.

Here are a few links;


How to prepare a room for painting

Mask all edges before you paint the room


  1. Clear out your room to make space for you to work easily.
  2. Remove blinds, curtains, mirrors, pictures, remove lightweight furniture out, cover remaining furniture, remove as much as you can and cover the rest.
  3. Remove any cobwebs and dust from windows sills and architraves above doors and windows. Tape up door handles lights, power-points and switches to ensure the paint does not splatter onto the surfaces.

How to prepare interior surfaces

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success”
– Alexander Graham Bell

Paint is not usually forgiving of lumps and bumps in surfaces and often highlights imperfections in surfaces so the time you spend in preparing will be your reward in the end.

When preparing your room for repainting look for these issues;

Mould – no matter the season mould can be present on household walls and ceilings

Previously painted surfaces – inspect the surface, if it is in good condition it will generally require little preparation

Remove any wallpaper or decals – Hire a wallpaper steaming machine or a wallpaper removal solution. These will often leave a sticky residue so ensure scrape and remove with warm water.

Water Stains – After ensuring the source of the stain has been fixed apply a quality bleed seal over the stain.

Dents and holes – Every wall will have a story of life! You will need to fill and repair these before covering with the new colour.

Dark Colours – These can take some effort to cover especially if covered with a light colour. A tinted undercoat will help block out the dark shades. The Hardware & General team will be able to asses your colours and advise

Once your walls are checked and repaired completely wash all surfaces with a sugar soap solution to remove any grease, dirt, debris to ensure strong adhesion of the paint and give you the best possible finish.

For more details on preparing walls to read our “How To Prepare For Painting” detailed blog written by Dulux Paints.

Pour a lesser amount into the paint tray to prevent overcoating

How to paint your ceiling

Why are ceilings white?

White ceilings are a legacy of yesteryear where white was a strong reflector of candlelight and the traditional upward-facing central feature lights, creating a spacious feel within rooms built with extremely low ceiling heights.

Today we have endless architectural choices, downlights, high ceilings, skylights, open windows and a wide choice of colours.  Coloured ceilings have long been used in larger buildings. Ceilings have been covered in murals, wallpapers and adorned with mouldings and trims.  What do do with your ceiling is your choice.

Here is how Dulux recommends you get started on your ceiling.


All good projects begin with good preparation. So clear your area, lay down a drop sheet, then grab yourself a ladder, brush, tape, roller and extension pole and tray.

TIP: Setting floodlights up below will make seeing where you’ve already painted easier.

  1. Begin by cleaning your ceiling. Remove cobwebs with a clean broom and wash the area with Selleys Original Sugar Soap. It’s true, no one enjoys cleaning but missing this step could lead to trouble later on.
  2. Tape around cornices, edges and any downlights.
  3. TIP: Dulux Ceiling White is a flat white ceiling paint with excellent hiding power.
  4. Just like a vertical wall, begin by cutting-in where the roller won’t reach. Using a brush, paint around downlights and edges to create a border.
  5. TIP: Cut-in small areas at a time to ensure when you eventually paint with a roller it’s still wet and will blend smoothly.
  6. Once you’ve loaded your roller evenly, begin in one corner and move fluidly in a parallel motion. For best results, work in 1 metre sections painting across and then down. Roll as far into the previously brushed sections as possible.
  7. Now that you’ve finished a large section of your ceiling, and while it’s still damp, you can begin laying-off the paint. This is a crucial step in achieving a smooth and consistent finish.
  8. Using an unloaded roller begin in the top left corner of your ceiling and gently pull towards you in a straight line with no pressure. A lightness of touch will prevent new brush strokes from forming. Repeat this action and slightly overlap your last movement so your roller rubs away the line created by the previous stroke.
  9. If your ceiling requires two coats, simply wait 2 hours for your first coat to dry then begin at step 4 and re-cut your ceiling.
  10. And you’re done! Simply clean up using responsible paint disposal methods and enjoy your beautiful new walls.

How to paint your walls



  1. Clear the area of any furniture to give yourself ample working space.
  2. Lay down a drop sheet and clean your walls with sugar soap. You may be tempted to skip this step, however, a clean surface is your best insurance against a ruined paint job.Tip: Now you’re ready to paint! Choose an interior paint that suits your needs. Dulux Wash&Wear® Low Sheen is Australia’s favourite washable paint because of its leading performance that keeps walls looking freshly painted for longer.
  3. Mask your trim for cutting-in. Cutting-in is a technique whereby you paint with a brush or application pad, the areas that can’t be reached with a roller.
  4. Load your brush by dipping it into the paint roughly half the length of the bristles. Tap the brush on the side of the paint pot to remove the excess. Start brushing a few centimetres from the corner or edge. As you move the brush, you will establish the line of the edge of the paint. Drag the brush into the edge so that the line on the paint follows the edging.
  5. Tip: One of the most important tips when cutting-in is to not paint too far ahead. You’ll need to maintain a wet edge so your roller can blend into the brushed paint. If your cut-in paint dries you’ll end up with two coats and what’s called ‘picture framing’ where you can see a distinction between the cut-in and rolled sections.
  6. Now you’re ready to roll out the wall. To load your roller push it forward on the tray then lift it to see if it spins evenly. If your roller is unbalanced, it’s because the paint isn’t evenly applied, so continue rolling it over the tray with full rotations to spread the paint evenly.
  7. Start from where you cut in and roll across the wall. For best results, roll as far into the brushed area as possible.
  8. Tip: Paint in a ‘W’ motion. This will ensure an even distribution across your wall.
  9. After you have covered a section of the wall, it’s time to lay-off to get a smooth finish. This is arguably the most important step in rolling a wall and should be done when you’ve painted a section roughly 3-4 meters. Laying-off your wall means giving it a smooth consistent finish and hiding those streaky brush strokes. Simply place your unloaded roller at the top left corner of your wall. Ensure the handle side of your roller is to the right. Then with almost zero pressure roll straight down your wall until you reach the bottom. Remove your roller, return to the top, and slightly overlap where you just rolled so that each panel rubs away the line from the previous lay-off.
  10. And you’re done! Simply clean up using Dulux Envirosolutions® Waste Hardener and enjoy your beautiful new walls.


How to paint trims

Work quickly to avoid streaks in paint finish



  1. As tempting as removing your door immediately is, don’t. Take a look at how much room is between your door and the frame when it’s closed. If it’s a tight fit you may need to sand the edges to allow for extra coats of paint. It’s a little trick that can go a long way.
    Now that’s done you can begin removing your handles and anything outstanding such as coat hooks. Using a couple of door stops, wedge the door securely while you remove the hinges.
  2. TIP: Leave one screw on each hinge to support the weight of the door and make removal safer.Once the door is off its hinges, lay it flat across a pair of sawhorses, chairs or even a table. Wash the surface thoroughly with Selleys® Original Sugar Soap before painting.
  3. If your door has already been painted with enamel, give a light sand until the shine has become dull. Wipe off the dust, and then you can then use Dulux 1 Step® Primer Sealer Undercoat to undercoat the door before applying a topcoat.
  4. Stir your Dulux Aquanamel® to ensure even colour throughout the paint can. Using a synthetic brush, paint the mullions first, main panels second, then the rails, followed by the styles and finally the edges. In simpler terms, start with the shortest panels, and work towards the longest panels. When the door is dry, flip it over and repeat the process.
  5. TIP: Work quickly to prevent the paint from drying and creating streaks.Before applying a second coat, give your door a light sand with 360 grit sandpaper, and then thoroughly wipe down the surface.
  6. And you’re done! Simply clean up using responsible paint disposal methods and enjoy your new look.


How to clean up paint

Cleaning up afterwards


If you are planning to continue your painting project the next day, just keep the paint, brush and/or roller in the paint tray and cover with foil or cling wrap. The next morning, run the brush or roller over a newspaper a few times and it will be ready to use.

After the job is completed wash the rollers and brushes and paint tray with water for water-based paints or mineral turps for solvent-based paints.

TIP: Do not use a spinning tool to clean brushes, as this will make your brush flare.

Wrap the clean brushes and rollers with newspaper and secure with a rubber band. Store the brushes flat or hang them on hooks.

Excess paint can be stored in the can.


Disposing of unwanted paint

Dispose of unwanted paint using paint hardener

Never dispose of unwanted paint by pouring it down household or stormwater drains.

Water-based paints can be treated with Dulux Envirosolutions® Waste Paint Hardener. This product turns the liquid paint into a solid mass, which can then be disposed of responsibly.

Unwanted solvent-based paints can be disposed of by pouring the excess onto an absorbent material such as kitty litter, cardboard or shredded paper. Allow drying before disposing of. The can, once emptied, can be placed in household recycling bins.


Disposing of large quantities of paint

For the disposal of larger quantities of paint, contact your local council.
Paintback® is an industry initiative to divert architectural and decorative waste paint from landfill by depositing unwanted paint to the local collection points. The scheme enables the collection and treatment of waste paint and waste packaging through participating sites around Australia. For more information on responsible paint disposal, visit www.paintback.com.au.

Materials List

Preparation Checklist

  • Sugar Soap
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Mould Killer
  • Bleach
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Drop Sheet
  • Extension pole
  • Sandpaper & sanding block
  • Putty filler
  • Spatula
  • Ladder
  • Plastic cover sheets
  • Paint masking tape

Tools & Accessories Checklist

  • Ladder
  • Large roller tray
  • Roller covers to fit the tray
  • Extension pole (same as used for cleaning & sanding)
  • Cutting edge brush
  • Cornice brush
  • Brush for trims – narrow width
  • Plastic edge guard
  • Paint bucket to decant paint into
  • Bag of rags (catch any drips, clean hands, clean up)
  • Cling film to protect brushes between coats

Paint Checklist

For Ceiling

  • Ceiling undercoat
  • Ceiling Topcoat – flat

For Walls

  • Sealer primer for raw plasterboard
  • Undercoat (tinted & non-tinted depending on your colours)
  • Top wall coat – low sheen

For Trims

  • Undercoat (if different to walls – check with an H&G Paint Specialist)
  • Enamel Trim Paint

Clean-Up Checklist

  • Turpentine (if using oil-based paint)
  • Water bucket
  • Roller Cover spinner
  • Paint Hardener
  •  visit www.paintback.com.au

Your Links

Remember to share  a photo
of your before & after the project