Have you ever wondered if painting your walls is something that you could do yourself even without much experience? The truth is that painting will never be too much trouble for anyone as long as they understand what paint they use and what the previous paint on the wall is. Of course, choosing the right brush and instruments is essential as well but nothing can substitute the good understanding of the type of paint you use. So if you are willing to make the step and “do it yourself” get ready to read a few articles about the different kinds of paint (and the internet has a pretty good variety of those articles). Then do some research on the market for the brand of paint you wish to purchase. Keep in mind of course that even the best painter cannot do much with a bad paint. Nobody likes uneven color on the walls, and thin, almost transparent paint which looks more like milk rather than wall paint.
Let’s assume that you are getting ready to paint your interior walls. The two main types of paint that you will encounter, as you probably already know, are oil and latex (emulsion) paint. Each of them has its positives and negatives. Oil-based paint is preferred for exteriors rather than interiors and mainly when the walls underneath have already been painted once with an oil-based paint. It requires additional work to prepare an oil-based painted wall for emulsion paint but that’s not something to be discussed in this article. So if you are decorating your walls on the inside you are most probably using water-based emulsion paint. This kind of paint provides a large range of colours and can give you a matt or a silky covering, depending on your personal preferences.
So you have your water-based emulsion paint ready with the great color you wish to transform your home in. You first step will be cleaning the walls. Make sure there is no dust as that could damage your new paintwork. Some people suggest using a good detergent and water. I have had great results at home with just cleaning off all the dust with slightly wet broom or a piece of cloth. Then you take a look at the backside of your new paint. There are some general instructions on the back of the can. Some of them will say that you should add 10% of clean water into the paint, some of them won’t mention anything about adding water. Consider the previous paint on the walls. If it is slaked lime paint or any other absorbent type of paint you could still apply emulsion paint on top of it. There is however one trick to make your color is even. I usually repeat every wall I have painted at least twice. There are some one-coat paints that are good enough but for a slaked lime paint the trick is to make the first coat with a paint in which you have added a considerable amount of water (70 or less % paint and 30 or more % water). To the absorbent type of paint this will act as a good base and you don’t have to spend more money on an under tint. Then, the second coat could do with a thicker paint. If the paint underneath is already an emulsion paint you can still add some water on the first round. Not as much as you would usually do with the absorbent paints but it is still a good way to ensure the color at the end matches your expectations. To ensure no paint peeling or anything unpleasant can happen you can always do a sample on the wall before starting your paint work.