Consumer Advice

Consumer Advice

Painting Techniques

Following these tips will help you achieve the quality paint job you are after. When you have finished, you will have the rewarding experience of stepping back and admiring your handy work.

When to paint

The temperature of your house affects the performance of paint. The wall temperature must be above 10C throughout the painting process. You should generally avoid painting in extremely hot or cold conditions.

If it looks like rain, remember the painter’s rule; if you wouldn’t hang the washing out or wash the car, don’t paint! Nothing is more disappointing than seeing your work ruined!

Using acrylics in hot weather

Because most acrylics are touch dry in twenty minutes at 25 degrees and 50% humidity, the hottest weather in the summer months will accelerate this drying process. To slow down the drying rate, Dulux Hot Weather Thinner may be added to the paint at the rate of 50ml per litre. A good tip for painting in summer is not to paint in direct sunlight or onto a hot surface. Try to follow the shade where possible. You can add up to approx 5% water. Also using 2 brushes — keeping one in a bucket of water and alternating them, stops them drying out.

Choosing enamels or acrylics for exterior use

We would generally recommend the use of acrylics in exterior situations. As enamels age they become very brittle and chalky and therefore have a tendency to crack and flake off the surface. On the other hand, acrylics retain their colour better, do not chalk to any great extent and do not get brittle, giving a longer lasting, more durable paint finish.

The greater flexibility and UV protection of Dulux Weathershield is the preferred option. Dulux guarantees Weathershield for as long as you live in your house. That’s the Dulux Promise.

Moving and Removing

If you haven’t already done so, take down curtains, mirrors and pictures. Move lightweight furniture out of the room. Cover remaining furniture with plastic sheets or drop cloths and tape plastic around pendant light fittings. Or if painting outside tie back plants so you have clear access to the areas to be painted.


Painting will be faster and cleaner if you mask first. Remove masking tape or papers before the paint is too dry as removal later can lift and break the dry paint leaving a cracked and jagged edge.

The Painting Sequence

Start at the top and work down, this means beginning with the ceiling. Paint away from the light source so you are not painting in shadow. Next paint the walls, then the doors and windows, followed by the skirting and the trim.

Weatherboards are painted in two stages. Paint the underside of the board first then paint the face. Paint several boards at a time then move your ladder over and continue along the rest of the wall.

Mixing is Vital

Before applying paint; make sure you stir it well according to the instructions on the can. Always ‘box’ your paint; i.e. if you are using more than one can, tip the contents of each into a larger container, like a large plastic bucket, and stir thoroughly. You can then pour it directly into your painting pot, or refill the original tins for future use.


Before use, moisten the brush in water if you are about to use a water-based paint, or turps if you are about to use an oil-based paint. Make sure you remove excess liquid before painting.

Fill the brush by dipping in up to half the length of the bristles.

Tap it gently against the side of the can: don’t wipe the brush hard against the lip. The bristles should flex only slightly as you brush — don’t over press — let the paint flow from the brush.

If you are painting a large area by brush, apply paint to an area about 50 cm X 50 cm, then brush the paint in horizontal strokes to even the paint out and finish off with light vertical strokes all in one direction.

If you are using a brush and roller, paint the edges of the area first. Painting window frames, skirtings, doors and mouldings are worth doing carefully to get the best results. Always work in sections and paint up to a natural break before stopping. Start at the top and work down, painting with light even strokes, working back into the wet edge.

Never try to paint over an area that is partially dried, as the brush will leave marks in the surface. If you see a run in the wet paint, paint over it as soon as possible with light even strokes.


To use a roller you’ll need a tray, frame, roller cover and possibly an extension pole. Make sure you have the right roller for the job. Generally speaking, 6-8mm nap covers are used for gloss and semi gloss paints, 10-12mm nap covers for low sheen and flat paints on walls and 20-32mm nap covers for most paints on rough surfaces like concrete or textured walls.

Fit the roller to the frame. Pour paint into the reservoir at the end of the roller tray. Do not overfill. Dip the roller lightly into the paint, then roll it gently backwards and forwards on the ramp to evenly distribute the paint on the roller cover. Slowly roll the paint onto the surface in a series of close zig-zag strokes. When the paint starts to run, re-roll the area with parallel strokes to even the spread.

Never leave a paint-covered roller exposed to the air for any length of time. Wrap it in plastic cling wrap when you take a short break, and make sure to clean it completely after use.

Paint Application Pads

Application pads can be used for cutting in where there are lots of edges to paint around. Simply load the pad with paint using a paintbrush. Place it on the wall, checking the guide wheels are clean, run the wheels along the architrave, skirting or corner.

Cleaning Up

If you are planning to continue the work 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. 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. 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 placed in household waste. The can, once emptied, can be placed in household recycling bins. 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 to dry, and then dispose with your normal household waste collection. For the disposal of larger quantities of paint, contact your local council.

Leave a Reply