Is Matt Or Silk The Best Paint Product For Walls?

Interior wall paints come in a range of finishes, but if colours represent an important criterion when choosing the paint product, the finish is often overlooked. But the truth is that the finish can make or break the end result.

The finish refers both to how shiny a paint dries on the wall and to its texture. Some paints are smooth, others are rough. Some paints are matt, others are shiny.

The most popular interior paint finishes are smooth matt and smooth silk. They provide different effects in different rooms, and you should use both in your home. Therefore, both matt and silk are great products and you should just choose the most adequate for the room you’re decorating.

Understanding Matt And Silk Paint Products

Wall and ceiling paints come in four sheen finishes that vary from matt or dull to high-sheen or shiny. Only a few people know that mid- and high-sheen wall paints are not intended for domestic use. These products are usually formulated to use in high-traffic areas in public spaces such as schools, offices, or industrial kitchens. Mid-sheen or high-sheen paints are too shiny to add value to a residential space.

The two interior wall paints intended for residential use are the flat paints, which are matt or ultra-matt, and the low-sheen paints, a range of products comprising eggshell, silk and satin finishes.

Eggshell and satin are two finishes often found in speciality paints, such as bathroom or kitchen products. And this creates the confusion between matt and silk. After all, you’re left with just a few rooms and no idea on which finish to choose. Before finding out when you should use matt and when to use silk, let’s run through the differences between them.

Matt paint is defined by experts as dull. It doesn’t shine at all and dries to a smooth, velvety finish that hides surface imperfections. The downside is that the velvety surface is porous and gets stained easily. You can opt for washable matt paint, but it will still need more maintenance than silk.

Silk paint dries to a smooth low-sheen finish that provides a graceful glow. This paint is elegant and easy to maintain, but its slightly shiny surface may highlight some surface imperfections.

When To Use Matt Paint?

Matt paint is one of the most popular interior paints. It dries to a contemporary yet elegant look that blends in all interior styles. This paint is the easiest to touch up and add a new richness to the colour. Hiding minor surface imperfections, the paint looks at its best in the foyer and living room, in a formal dining room, in the master bedroom or in the guest’s bedroom.

As a rule of thumb, use matt paint in all the areas of your home where you could receive guests.

Walls aside, matt paint is the only one that should be used on ceilings unless you want to stare at blotches, glares and brush strokes.

Washable matt is ideal to use in any areas that may get dirty; however, this paint doesn’t dry to a velvety finish.

When To Use Silk Paint?

Silk paint is sophisticated and elegant. It is less porous than matt paint and it doesn’t get soiled as fast. The mysterious glow makes the paint appropriate to use in the kid’s bedroom and in the hallway, but the family room can also benefit from a slight glow.

Because it is harder to achieve a flawless look with silk paint, we recommend using this product in those areas that are usually hidden from the guests’ eyes but that get soiled easier.

On a downside, the silk finish is harder to touch up because new brush marks will show on the surface.

Matt Vs. Silk Paint: Which Is Best?

Getting back to our original question, there isn’t a universal answer. Both paints are excellent and ultimately, it all depends on your purpose.

Matt paint is the best if you want to achieve a professional, flawless look with a DIY approach. You don’t have to be an expert to paint with a matt product. Thanks to the absolute lack of shine, the paint hides minor surface imperfections including fine cracks and small holes.

Matt paint is usually self-levelling, which means you won’t even have to worry about brush strokes. Neutral colours are adequate to use in all interior styles while dramatic shades are ideal to use on a feature wall or to create a focal point around the fireplace.

The latest trends focus on the use of darker colour such as slate grey and chalk black. Both hues look amazing in a spacious open-plan living area.

Silk paint, on the other hand, is best if you want the environment to be practical yet stylish. The soft glow adds elegance and the smooth surface is very easy to clean. Almost all silk paints are washable and you can wipe them clean with a soft sponge.

Silk paint is also ideal to use on a feature wall if you want to add finishing touches with glitter glaze or additives.

However, don’t expect to achieve a flawless result unless you’re an expert. Silk paint highlights imperfections and you will either have to see them regularly or learn how to prepare the surface properly. And while silk paint looks amazing on walls, it is a less inspired choice for the ceiling.

When it comes to costs, both matt and silk emulsions have similar prices, so this won’t help you decide which paint is the best.

Our advice? Just choose the finish you like. Both paints come with advantages and drawbacks so it’s impossible to state which one is the best.

How To Use Paint Thinner To Clean Brushes

Applying the last stroke of paint on a surface doesn’t mark the end of your painting job. Cleaning the brushes is also an important task. Most DIYers hate this stage, but an improper storage of the paintbrushes can irreversibly damage your tools.

Solvent-based paint products are the most difficult to clean and the best product to use for this task is a high-quality paint thinner, also known as white spirit.

You will need a few clean jars, sufficient paint thinner, water, mild detergent, a microfiber cloth and old newspapers.

Step 1

Pour a sufficient quantity of paint thinner in a clean jar; place the brush in the jar and make sure all bristles are immersed in the white spirit.

Remove as much paint as you can by stirring the thinner with the brush but avoid crushing the bristles against the bottom of the jar – the excessive pressure could deform the bristles and damage the tool. Stir vigorously for about one minute.

Step 2

Pour clean thinner in the second jar and move the brush from the first jar to the second. Again, use a sufficient quantity of thinner to make sure the bristles are fully covered in liquid. Don’t dispose of the thinner in the first jar but let it sit.

Repeat the procedure to get rid of any paint residues, stirring the brush vigorously for about a minute.

Step 3

Take the brush out of the jar and tap it on a clean microfiber cloth. Make some soapy water from lukewarm water and mild detergent and place the brush in it. Use your hands to get rid of the paint residues; simply squeeze the bristles between your thumb and forefinger from the base to the tip.

When all the paint has come out, rinse the brush in running lukewarm water and tap the bristles on a clean microfiber cloth to remove excess water.

Wrap the brush in an old newspaper sheet without pressing the bristles and store the brush horizontally in a drawer.

Our expert tips

Cleaning your brushes with paint thinner is uncomplicated, but the products involved in this operation are toxic. Use adequate protective equipment and clean the tools in a ventilated environment, preferably outdoors.

If you have to reuse the brush in a short time, for example, to apply a second coat of paint, you can temporarily leave the brush in a jar filled with paint thinner. However, if you have to wait for more than 24 hours, clean the brush and store it until further use.

To save money and protect the environment, don’t dispose of the paint thinner used to clean the brushes. Leave the jars aside for a couple of hours until the paint residues have precipitated on the bottom. Use a strain and carefully pour the clean thinner back in its original container.

Dispose of the paint residues in an appropriate manner to avoid damaging the environment.

What Is The Best Quality Paint Brand?

Every decoration job, no matter how big or small, requires the best paint products on the market. But choosing the best paint from the variety of products is often overwhelming.

Having tested and rated many paint products over the last decade, we not only got to know the brands but time and experience also taught us which brands to trust and which to avoid. Now, we want to share this knowledge with you.

The truth is that there are many trustworthy paint brands in the UK. Selecting our favourite top five wasn’t easy, but we based our choices on the diversity of the products, the reliability of the brand, affordability and durability.

The list below comprises the brands that most inspired us over the time, listed in no particular order.

Annie Sloan

Annie Sloan is more than a quality paint brand, she is one of the most respected paint experts in the world. Annie Sloan has revolutionised the paint market in 1990 when she launched her own brand and product, the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

While Sloan didn’t come up with anything new, she brought to attention a product used in the ancient times but forgotten by the modern world. The thick chalk paint by Annie Sloan stands out due to its exceptional durability and to the inspiring selection of colours.

Chalk paint aside, the Annie Sloan brand also produces a selection of high-quality interior wall paints in a colour range that matches the chalk paint.

Other high-quality products worth mentioning are the stencils, brushes and fabrics intended to transform the interior design into art.

What sets Annie Sloan paints apart is the long-lasting finish and the selection of colours. The manufacturer proposes a limited range of shades that impress with their brightness. Undoubtedly, one of the chicest interior paints to consider.


Blackfriar’s history began over 100 years ago with a small selection of paint products and today, the manufacturer is renowned for its wood stains and varnishes, although it also produces a small range of paints for interior and exterior metal, masonry and decorative wall paints.

The professional range of paint products also includes a selection of sealers and primers, lacquers and solar reflective paints.

Regardless of the type of paint you need, Blackfriar paints stand out thanks to their impressive resistance and durability.

One slight drawback of the brand is the reduced number of colours. The choices are limited, and the brand focuses more on quality than aesthetics. The products we liked best are the wood varnishes for interior and exterior use. The metal and aluminium ranges are also exceptional while the professional range is ideal for both commercial and domestic use.

The British company is based in County Durham and sells its products globally.


Crown is one of those paint brands renowned all over the world, and over the years we’ve tested the vast majority of their products.

The brand distinguishes itself with a wide range of standard emulsion and speciality paints for interior walls and ceilings. The Crown Trade brand comprises superior quality paints for professional use, but we can state that the standard Crown products are better than many others on the market.

Wood and metal surfaces also benefit from Crown’s products. In fact, the manufacturer produces a selection of gloss and sheen paints for interior and exterior wood and metal.

Feature interior wall paints comprise a selection of metallic and textured products in addition to the traditional dramatic colours. Their selection of emulsion paints also includes breathable and washable products formulated for high-traffic areas.

Crown’s history began in the late 1850s and for a brief period, it was part of the Akzo Nobel group. In June 2011 the company was acquired by the Danish Hempel Group and today produces paints and related products under the brand names Crown, Crown Trade, Sadolin and Sandtex.


Dulux is an omnipresent name on the UK’s paint products market. The company is part of the Akzo Nobel group and it manufactures wall emulsions, acrylic paints, varnishes and related products under several brand names.

The feature that counter-distinguishes Dulux from all other brands is the generous colour choice. Most products can count on a colour range of 80 shades or above.

One of the most popular products is Dulux Weathershield, an outstanding masonry paint available in a selection of colours and a range of finishes. Just as Crown, Dulux also sells professional paints and painting products under the Dulux Trade brand, and under this name the company also proposes a range of tint-able interior and exterior paints.

Our favourite products manufactured under the standard Dulux brand are the breathable interior paints for walls and ceilings, but also the feature wall paints available in a wide range of dramatic shades.


Like all the brands mentioned above, Johnstone’s is a brand with a long history on the market. The manufacturer launched its first product in 1890 and established itself as the foremost professional trade paint brand in the UK.

Today, Johnstone’s is still renowned for its trade range but also for its exceptional range of affordable paints for domestic use.

The range of products proposed by Johnstone’s includes a selection of wall and ceiling emulsions, speciality paints, wood and metal paints and wood care products, exterior paints, and related products.

Our favourite range is Johnstone’s Revival, a limited collection of dramatic shades ideal for interior feature walls. As for the general colour range, the brand impresses with a selection of neutrals and dramatic shades, including a range of cold and warm tonalities that can match all interiors.

In Summary

Choosing a favourite brand is often a matter of preference. Personal experience counts and some of you may claim there are brands better than these. We’re not ones to argue and if your favourite brand is not on this list, add it yourself by commenting on this post. We look forward to hearing from you.

How To Paint A Room In Your Home

Redecorating or simply freshening up the paint in a room brings personal satisfaction and improves the feeling of well-being. From wall preparation to the choice of the colour, painting a room is fun and challenging at the same time.

To ensure the success of your project, learn from our experts the best way to paint a room in your home.

  1. Measure the room

The preliminaries of any painting project involve the measurement of the perimeter to be painted. This is an important step because it will tell how much product you need, saving you the hassle of a last-minute trip to the store because you’ve run out of paint.

When measuring the walls, experts suggest calculating the windows and doors too. Obviously, you won’t paint them with wall and ceiling emulsion but you’ll need some extra paint to use for the finishing touches.

Therefore, measure:

  • The height and width of each wall;
  • The length and width of the floor, which corresponds to the length and width of the ceiling;
  • The height and width of any awkward corners.

Write all measurements on paper and calculate the total square metres of your room.

  1. Shop Materials and Tools

With the square metres properly defined, it’s time to buy all the necessary materials and tools. The most important purchase is the paint.

Invest in a quality product suitable for the environment you want to paint. For instance, breathable but non-washable emulsion may be suitable for a bedroom but less ideal for a hallway. We also recommend investing in speciality paint for the kitchen, bathroom and other high-traffic or high-condensation areas.

You may also need a primer, depending on the condition of the walls.

Regarding your tools, invest in quality brushes and rollers. A paint sprayer is ideal for a faster application and a flawless result, but more often than not, the mess is not worth the hassle.

Other things you’ll need are drop cloths, sandpaper, caulk, a putty knife, a caulking gun, masking tape and protective equipment. A stepladder or roller extension are two other things you will need.

  1. Prepare the Room 

A thorough preparation of the area is key to the success of the project. Not only will it save you time and effort but it can protect your belongings from permanent damage.

The first step is to remove all small objects, wall art, small furniture and other decorations from the room. Move any large furniture to the middle of the room and cover it with plastic drop cloths.

Cover the floor with fabric drop cloth and tape the window frames and door jambs with masking tape.

Define a corner in the room to keep all painting accessories and make sure all areas not to be painted are covered either with drop cloths or with masking tape.

If you’re lucky and the room is empty, simply spread drop cloths on the floor and tape the windows and door frames.

  1. Repair and Prime the Walls

With the room prepared, and any decorators dressed in protective equipment, it’s time to start the surface preparation. This step is essential even if the walls are in good condition.

First, inspect the walls and look for cracks or holes to repair. Remove any flaking or peeling paint and fill any holes or cracks with caulk. Sand the surface to level it and to improve adherence, then remove all dust with a vacuum cleaner.

Check the surface again, making sure there are no greasy or oily residues on the surface. If there are, wash the walls with degreaser and let them dry.

Priming is essential on bare or severely damaged walls. A substantial colour change from darker to lighter may also require priming.

Use a quality primer and apply it to the wall as instructed by the manufacturer. Wait for at least 24 hours before applying the paint.

  1. Paint Your Room

Everything is now settled for this step, so let the fun begin. Take out the paint, paintbrushes and rollers and start painting from the most difficult points, such as the corners and edges between the walls or between the wall and the ceiling.

Use a brush for this step and paint the wall behind the radiator, any edges between the wall and fixed wall-mounted cabinets, the contours of the door and window and the contours of the ceiling and any wall fixtures.

To keep the environment clean and prevent drips, only dip the brush halfway into the tin of paint and remove the excess product by wiping it on the edge of the tin.

Once all difficult points have been painted, switch to a roller and cover the rest of the surface in a criss-cross pattern. Apply a slight pressure on the roller to achieve a smooth, professional result and continue to paint until the whole surface is covered.

Most wall and ceiling emulsions require at least two coats. To ensure flawless results, leave the first coat to dry as instructed – ideally for 24 hours – before applying the second coat, following the same pattern.

Let the paint dry to the touch and check the results. If the outcome is satisfactory, remove the masking tape and leave the walls to cure for 24 hours before touching. In the meantime, you can dispose of the drop cloths and store all tools and leftover materials.

When the walls are hard-dry, clean the room and replace all objects in their original position. Now, sit back and relax, enjoying the spoils of your work.


You Will Need


  • Paint
  • Primer
  • Caulk
  • Sandpaper
  • Masking tape
  • Drop cloths


  • Paintbrushes
  • Rollers
  • Roller tray
  • Caulking gun
  • Putty knife
  • Stepladder

How To Get Paint Out Of Your Carpet

An improperly laid drop cloth and drippy paint are all it takes to stain your carpet. Ideally, you should remove the paint immediately. But what should you do if you only notice the stain when the paint is already dry?

There are specific paint stain removers out there but if you don’t have one to hand, there are alternative methods you can use. There are various ways to get the paint out of your carpet, depending on the nature of the paint and how old the stain is.

How To Get Acrylic Paint Out Of Your Carpet

Acrylic paint is one of the most popular paints for wood and metal. It is often used on window frames and interior doors, radiators, stair rails and general woodwork. You can remove acrylic paint stains with nail polish remover. Here’s how.

You Will Need:

  • Nail polish remover
  • Paper tissues
  • Glycerine
  • Mild detergent
  • Water
  • Sponge
  • Clean cloth

If the stain is fresh, lay paper tissues over the stain to absorb as much paint as possible. Don’t rub the tissues on the carpet, just gently lay them over the stain.

Pour some glycerine on a tissue and gently dab the tissue over the paint. Pour some nail polish remover on a clean tissue and gently dab it over the paint to dissolve it. Then, make some soapy water by mixing a mild detergent with lukewarm water.

Use a sponge to wash the paint away, then use a clean dry cloth to dry the carpet.

If the paint is dry, use fine coarse sanding paper to remove as much paint as you can; dissolve the paint residues with acetone or nail polish remover and wash with soapy water.

How To Get Latex Paint Out Of Your Carpet

Latex is a water-based paint that should be easy to get out of the carpet but vinyl paints usually leave stubborn stains on fabrics.

However, if the paint is fresh, soapy water is usually enough to remove the paint. As above, lay clean paper tissues over the paint to prevent it from diffusing. Soak a sponge in soapy water and dab the stain gently to remove it.

Rinse with clean water and dry the carpet with a clean cloth.

If the paint is dry, use sandpaper to remove as much paint as you can, then follow the steps above to get rid of what’s left of the stain.

Latex, acrylic and all water-based paints can also be removed with a mix of water and vinegar. Just soak a cloth in vinegar and gently dab the paint to remove it. Once you’ve removed all the paint, rinse the carpet with soapy water.

How To Get Oil-Based Paint Out Of Your Carpet

Oil-based paints are the hardest to get out of a carpet and the operation is usually successful if the paint is still fresh. Dry paint is near impossible to remove at home without damaging the carpet and you may have to ask for professional help.

If the paint is still fresh, you can try to clean it with solvent; however, this is a delicate operation and you can damage the carpet with such a product.

You Will Need:

  • White spirit
  • Mild detergent
  • Water
  • Sponges
  • Dry cloth

Mix water with detergent to make some soapy water and soak a sponge into it. Pour a small quantity of solvent on another sponge and dab the paint with the solvent for a few seconds. Rinse immediately with soapy water dabbing the spot. Avoid rubbing to prevent further damage.

Dab with solvent and soapy water until all paint is dissolved, and the carpet is clean. At this point, wash the carpet with soapy water, rinse with warm water and remove excess water with a dry cloth.

As mentioned above, getting dry oil-based paint out of your carpet is near impossible, but if you have a pressure steam cleaner, you can pass a jet of hot steam over the stain and try to remove it with tweezers. Ask for professional advice if the stain is stubborn.

Final Tips To Get Paint Out Of Your Carpet

Regardless of the nature of the paint, if you have tried the methods above and they didn’t work, ask for professional help. Nail polish remover, vinegar and white spirit can all potentially damage your carpet, provoking discoloration.

A stain remover available commercially could help. Just follow the indications on the product’s package to remove the stain.

Before trying to remove the stain with any of the methods above, test the reaction on a hidden corner. In some cases, removing the stain can cause more damage than the stain itself.

The solutions above are intended as emergency remedies for small drips. Don’t try them if you have spilled a whole can of paint on the carpet. The best remedy, in this case, is to contact a professional agency immediately.

When trying to remove paint stains of any nature, avoid rubbing the stain. Rubbing will only help the paint penetrate deeper into the carpet’s fibres, increasing the damage. Also, as soon as you notice a fresh stain, try to absorb it with paper tissues before cleaning what’s left.

If you have an expensive carpet, remove it from the room before starting to paint. Fitted carpets may be covered by your home insurance – check the policy and see if you can claim any reimbursement for the damage if you can’t get the paint out of it.

How To Paint Any Furniture At Home

A new layer of paint can revive the look and feel of your old furniture. Painting furniture at home is easy and fun, regardless of the type of furniture you want to paint.

The main difference between redecoration projects are the products deemed suitable for the material you’re painting. However, you’ll have to roughly follow the same steps. This guide aims to show you how to paint any furniture at home. Then, just follow the same simple steps using suitable products.

How To Paint Furniture At Home – Tools And Materials


  • Specific furniture paint (i.e. wood, MDF, laminate, metal, etc.)
  • Specific primer
  • Sealer
  • Mild detergent
  • Degreaser
  • Sponge
  • Drop cloths
  • Painter’s tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint stripper


  • Paintbrushes
  • Small roller
  • Roller tray
  • Scraper
  • Sander

Step 1 – Remove Old Paint (Optional)

Removing old paint may or may not be necessary depending on the type of furniture you’re painting. Removing old varnish from wood or metal furniture may be beneficial, especially if the old paint is flaking or peeling.

Skip this step for engineered materials, such as laminate or MDF, or for natural wood furniture.

Depending on the thickness of the paint, you can either sand off old paint manually or with a sander – or remove it with stripper. A heat gun may also remove the paint efficiently if the old paint is thick.

If the furniture has drawers or doors, dismantle them and follow the same steps to treat each piece; this will guarantee better results.

Step 2 – Clean The Surface

This step is essential for all painting jobs. Grease and oily stains prevent new paint from sticking to the surface while dust may be visible under the paint. Painting a dusty surface may also result in premature peeling or flaking of the new paint.

To make sure the surface is thoroughly cleaned, the first step is to remove dust with a dry cloth. Inspect the surface and identify any stains. Scrub them off with mild detergent or degreaser, then rinse the surface with clean water.

If there are no stains and the surface is in a good condition, just wipe it clean with a damp cloth and let it dry before proceeding.

Step 3 – Sand The Surface

It doesn’t make much sense to clean the surface before sanding, but sanding a clean surface prevents the infiltration of grease into the deeper layers of the material.

Sanding’s purpose is to increase adherence; on wood furniture it also smoothens the surface – an essential step towards a professional finish.

After sanding, remove dust with a vacuum cleaner and wipe the surface with a dry cloth to remove all residues.

Step 4 – Prime The Surface

Priming is an essential step when painting furniture at home. This product has a double functionality. On one hand, its water-repellent properties create an impermeable film on the surface, protecting it for a longer time.

On the other hand, priming improves adherence and covering power.

Before applying the product, cover any areas not to be painted with painter’s tape and lay drop cloths on the floor to prevent dripping.

The application method may change from one product to another. The best thing is to follow the instructions that come with the product. Respect all indications regarding drying and curing times as well as the instructions regarding the application method and the recommended number of coats.

Step 5 – Paint The Surface

Once the primer is dry, paint the furniture with an adequate product. Because the application method may change, follow once again the instructions delivered with the product.

According to the experts, the best way to paint furniture is with a paint sprayer. If you can work in a well-ventilated area, this method is by far the best. In an enclosed space, apply the paint with a brush or roller. Spray paint is a great alternative to all other methods.

At this point you can decide if it is necessary to apply a second coat or if you want to create a distressed look.

To create a distressed look, apply two coats of paint in contrasting colours and slightly sand the topcoat after the paint has dried.

Leave the paint to dry and cure as indicated by the manufacturer before continuing with the last step.

Step 6 – Seal The Surface (Optional)

Sealing the paint with transparent varnish is optional, but this step will prolong the lifespan of your new furniture.

Furniture sealers come in various formulations to use on different materials. Again, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer regarding application and dry time. Wait for an additional 24 hours after the topcoat is dry before handling the object.

Step 7 – Enjoy Your Furniture

Remove all painter’s tape and assemble the furniture if you have dismantled any pieces. Decorate your interior with the newly painted furniture and enjoy your new look!

How Much Will It Cost You To Paint A Room?

Painting a room is the easiest and cheapest way to give a new lease of life to your home. But if you’re on a restricted budget, it’s difficult not to ask yourself how much it will cost to paint a room.

Hiring a professional painter seems the best solution – and in a certain way it is. However, painting the room yourself can cut costs and save you some cash. Here are the average costs to help you decide whether to hire a pro or give DIY a chance.

How Much Will It Cost To Paint A Room By Yourself?

Painting a room requires investment in materials and tools – and this means more than paint and brushes. Surface preparation products, protective equipment and cleansers have a major impact on the total cost of the project.

Below, there is a breakdown of the materials typically needed for an average project:

  • Wall and ceiling paint (coverage 12m²/litre on average)
  • Wall primer (coverage 13m²/litre on average)
  • Caulk
  • Sandpaper
  • Drop cloths
  • Brushes
  • Rollers
  • Roller trays
  • Masking tape
  • Putty knife
  • Caulking gun
  • Stepladder
  • Protective equipment

The average costs of the products above vary widely and depend on their quality, but also on the surface you have to cover. In broad terms, you can expect to pay anywhere between £100 and £200 for materials.

Obviously, if you’re painting the room yourself, you already know the average cost. But how much does it cost to hire a professional?

How Much Will It Cost To Hire A Professional?

Hiring a professional painter cuts the cost of some materials but adds labour costs and VAT. A professional painter may have his own brushes and rollers, and maybe some equipment. You’ll still have to pay for the paint, primer and other materials.

A professional decorator charges £200 on average but the average cost of material drops to about £120. Counting VAT and extra-expenses, the average cost of the project rises to approximately £400. This is almost double than you’d expect if painting the room yourself.

How To Cut Painting Costs

Although it costs almost double, we recommend hiring a professional to help you with your project. The professional work will pay off in the long run, minimising maintenance costs. Thanks to a professional treatment of the surfaces, the result will also last longer.

And there are ways to cut some costs and make your bill more affordable.

  1. Measure the room yourself. Professional decorators usually charge a separate fee for this service, but measuring a room is not rocket science. Do it yourself and include these details in your query when asking for a quote. Knowing the size of the room will also allow you to source and buy the paint at a better price.
    Typically, a litre of primer or sealer costs around £4 per litre and the paint costs around £6 per litre. But searching in advance means you can find real bargains and get these products at as little as £2/litre.
  2. Buy quality paint. We did just suggest saving money on it, but don’t compromise on quality. Poor quality paint won’t embellish your walls for a long time and it can start peeling or flaking just weeks after application.
    There are numerous renowned brands who manufacture affordable quality paints. Although there are exceptions, big names are almost always a guarantee.
  3. Choose a neutral colour palette. We all like feature walls and bright colours, but trends come and go. When you’re painting on a budget, the best thing is to choose a neutral colour scheme. Of course, you can paint the room in any shade you like but we wouldn’t recommend choosing a colour you’ve never tried before.
    If you don’t like it, you’ll probably want to repaint the walls in a more appropriate shade.
  4. Help as much as you can. A good part of the redecoration cost is charged for the surface preparation. Try to cut off these costs by preparing the walls as much as you can. For instance, remove old wallpaper yourself, or scrape off the flaking and peeling paint. Sand the wall and clean the surface. And don’t forget to ask the painter in advance what he’ll charge you for. For instance, some painters won’t mind fixing minor wall damage but others will charge you extra.
  5. Schedule the redecoration in the right season. Yes, the British weather is temperamental and no, we don’t suggest painting your room in winter. But you can schedule the redecoration in spring or autumn to bring down costs. Statistics show that most homeowners paint their interiors in summer, and this means professional services cost more during this period.

When asking for a quote, don’t forget to mention the size of the room and condition of the walls. Also mention that you already have the paint and ask exactly what extra costs you’ll have to sustain. This way, you’ll know exactly how much it will cost you to paint your room.

What Is The Best Gloss Paint That Doesn’t Go Yellow?

Used by many homeowners on woodwork or metal, gloss paint is one of the most popular paint products in the UK. You can often spot it on window frames and interior doors, on stair rails and even on furniture or decorative objects.

Gloss paint comes in a range of colours but white is the most popular. This traditional hue blends with either classic or contemporary interiors but it has a major drawback – it usually turns yellow over time.

Yellowed gloss paint has an unappealing shade and with a huge number of homeowners complaining about the outcome, most brands are focusing their efforts into creating non-yellowing gloss paints.

To help you deal with this issue, our experts have disclosed a few tips on choosing the best gloss paint that doesn’t go yellow. Check them below.

What Causes Gloss Paint To Go Yellow?

Gloss paint is nowadays available in water-based and oil-based formulas but until recently, this product only came in oil-based variants.

As we all know way too well, oil-based paint is toxic due to the solvents included in the formula. The quantity of solvents is expressed by the organic volatile compounds (or VOC) value displayed on the product’s package.

Because VOCs are harmful to both people and the environment, a UE normative in effect since 2010 foresees the gradual reduction of the volatile organic compounds in oil-based paint products, including the popular gloss paint.

The reduction of solvent in the paint, however, caused manufacturers to replace it with something else, namely with drying oil. This substitution was meant to keep the paint liquid in the tin but apparently, nobody bothered to check how this change will impact the quality of the paint.

The result is that most paints renowned for their long-lasting results have started to disappoint, turning yellow after a few months or, in some cases, a few weeks after application.

This issue has affected all paint manufacturers, including many of the established brands. To address this problematic situation, most brands are now proposing water-based alternatives that dry to a gloss finish.

Water-Based Vs. Oil-Based Gloss Paint 

Gloss paints can be partially or totally covering and are composed of a binder, pigments and a diluent.

The acrylic paint often used to paint furniture in shabby chic style, is a mineral product made of lime and water that dries to a range of finishes from matt to high-sheen. Acrylic paint is characterised by an excellent breathability, an outstanding covering power and a remarkable fungicidal action that makes it perfect to use in particularly humid environments.

Gloss acrylic paint often comes as spray paint. It’s easy to use and it dries quickly.

Natural or synthetic resin paints, often called solvent-based or oil-based paints, are the alternative to acrylic. They also comprise three components, a film-forming substance composed of resins, oils, and a range of other synthetic compounds, pigments and solvents.

Oil-based paints are designed to create an elastic protective film on the surfaces and the solvent has the role to make the product thin enough to allow the application. The evaporation of the solvent results in the formation of the protective film.

The main difference between one product and the other is the formula. Water-based paints are non-toxic and environmentally friendly, whereas oil-based products are toxic and harmful for the environment.

As they lack oils in their composition, acrylic paints don’t go yellow over time. That being said, some people still prefer oil-based paint due to its resistance and durability.

Which Is The Best Gloss Paint That Doesn’t Go Yellow?

As highlighted above, the only gloss paint that doesn’t turn yellow is acrylic paint. There are many brands to choose from but in broad lines, acrylic paint has a poorer resistance than its solvent-based counterpart.

How To Prevent Gloss Paint From Turning Yellowing

Due to its superior resistance, many homeowners would rather invest in oil-based paint and live with the horrendous yellow shades than invest in acrylic paint. If you also prefer oil-based formulas, here are some tips and tricks to prevent your gloss paint from turning yellow:

  1. Expose the gloss paint to light. It is a common misconception that sun, or light in general, promotes gloss paint yellowing. In reality, both natural sunlight and artificial light can slow down the process. To prevent yellowing, use oil-based gloss paint only in the rooms that receive a generous amount of light.
  2. Clean the paint with appropriate products. Plain water or a mild detergent is usually sufficient to clean gloss paint. Cleansers containing ammonia, on the other hand, speed the yellowing process.
    If you’re using both latex and oil-based paint in the same project, know that latex paint releases ammonia as it dries, so use latex paint first and let it dry completely before applying the gloss paint.
  3. Choose the painting location wisely. Painting the kitchen or bathroom cabinets in white gloss paint to match their colour with your brilliant white tiles may seem like a good idea but it isn’t. Ceramic tiles and even a latex-painted wall won’t turn yellow in time and they will highlight even the slightest yellowing of the gloss paint.
  4. Environmental factors can also contribute to turning gloss paint yellow. This includes excessive cooking grease and smoke, cigarette smoke and excessive moisture. To maintain the gloss paint as new, fix all humidity issues before applying gloss paint, install and use a kitchen ventilator when cooking and avoid smoking indoors.

In the end, if you’re looking for the best gloss paint that doesn’t go yellow, just invest in a quality acrylic paint. We understand that it’s a matter of preference but know that sooner or later all oil-based products will gain a slightly yellow hint.

10 Top Tips On How To Paint A Ceiling At Home

Painting a ceiling is pure routine for a professional painter. For us mere mortals, it’s an apparently simple yet demanding task that requires special preparation. Physical fatigue and the real difficulty of reaching the surface can challenge even the most experienced DIYer.

Even if the ceiling has the same physical configuration of the adjacent walls and even if the paint used for the job is essentially the same, what changes is the modus operandi, which means defying traditional gravitational laws.

And because mistakes can lead to a poor result, damaged furniture or floors, and a hard-to-clean mess, we asked our experts to share their top tips for painting a ceiling at home. Here’s what we found out.

  1. Check the Surface

At a first glance, your ceiling may seem perfect. But fine cracks and weak stains can’t always be noticed unless you take a closer look. Before soaking your brush into the paint, inspect the general conditions of the ceiling and identify all potential problems.

Humidity, stains and cracks can negatively influence the outcome of your project. The presence of any listed elements requires preliminary treatment with adequate products.

  1. Choose the Colour

Choosing the colour of the ceiling is as important as the painting job itself. Traditional ceilings are characterised by a uniform colour, often white or ivory. Modern interior design, however, has introduced the use of bright or dramatic shades on all surfaces, ceilings included.

There are also some fundamental principles to keep in mind. First, decide whether you want to contrast or complement the colour of the walls. Then, consider the size and exposure of the room.

A black ceiling, for example, may look awkward in a dark environment but can highlight the beauty of a large and bright room. A low room may benefit from the use of cold hues, such as violet, blue and green – which give the impression of a higher ceiling.

On the contrary, warm hues such as yellow and orange can “lower” a very high ceiling.

  1. Pick the Right Tools

The easiest way to paint the ceiling at home is with a quality roller. Equip this tool with an extension stick and you can completely avoid using a stepladder.

The roller also allows the spreading of paint on a large surface in an even layer without too much hassle. But because a roller can’t reach the corners and edges, you’ll also have to invest in a decent set of paintbrushes.

Our experts suggest investing in high-quality rollers and brushes to avoid the hassle of picking up bristles and roller fluff from your newly painted surface.

  1. Wear Protective Equipment

The vast majority of wall and ceiling emulsions available on the market are water-based – and advertisements have told us that water-based paints are non-toxic. What most people don’t know is that this is true only for the dry product.

Wet paint can cause severe skin and eye irritation, it can stain clothes and even damage your washing machine.

Preventing all this is easy with protective equipment. A painter’s suit, mask, gloves and goggles can protect you and your clothing during the job.

  1. Use A Sturdy Stepladder

Reaching the ceiling, either to inspect it or for the finishing touches, require you to climb on a support. The most common support is a stepladder but there are a number of homeowners who use unstable structures made of tables and chairs to reach the high surface.

It’s obvious to say this poses a high risk of injury by fall. And the same risk is posed by a rusted, wobbly, old, or too low stepladder.

If you don’t have a suitable ladder, borrow or buy one. A folding ladder made of aluminium may be the best choice and try make sure the steps are covered with non-slip rubber.

  1. Prepare the Room

The desire to beautify your home can push you to rush things, but this can jeopardise the success of your project. We’re not talking about safety anymore, but about the proper protection of your home environment.

If possible, remove all furniture and decorative objects including any wall art and carpets. Dismantle any ceiling lamps and sconces, or wrap them tightly in plastic drop cloths. Protect the floor and any large furniture with fabric drop cloths.

Drips are unavoidable when painting a ceiling, so make sure everything’s wrapped and covered to prevent damage.

  1. Protect Metal Surfaces with Vaseline

Wrapping the whole room in drop cloths and masking tape is often impossible. But a great trick to protect metal surfaces is by covering them with Vaseline.

Vaseline is hydro-repellent and will keep the paint away from these surfaces. Once you’ve finished the project, just wipe the Vaseline away – a quicker way to clean the room than scrubbing dry paint off the objects.

  1. Soak the Roller in Water

A simple trick to improve results is by soaking the roller in warm water before loading it with paint. This will help the roller to absorb more paint and the result is a smoother finish with less effort.

  1. Start from the Corners

When painting a ceiling, our experts also advise to begin by painting from the corners. Use a high-quality brush, work in small sections at a time and avoid overloading the brush with paint to prevent drips.

Once you’ve painted all corners and edges, switch to the roller to coat the rest of the surface.

  1. Have Patience

Interior decoration works are exciting and we all want to enjoy the results as soon as possible. But wait for the paint to dry before removing the drop cloths. Wet paint may hide imperfections and at this stage, it may be impossible to tell whether your ceiling needs a second coat.

When the paint is dry, inspect the ceiling again. Fix any issues and apply the second coat if needed. If the result is as desired, remove the masking tape and drop cloths, bring the furniture back into the room and enjoy the flawless results of your work.

How To Easily Remove Paint From Wood

Whether you want to restore an old piece of furniture that was preserved in poor condition or to repaint damaged woodwork, you’ll probably need to remove any old paint from the wood before repainting it. The process is uncomplicated but time-consuming.

There are essentially four methods to remove paint from wood: manually with sandpaper, with a chemical paint remover, with a heat gun, or with a sander.

All methods are straightforward and choosing one over another depends on the nature of the object and size of the surface.

How To Remove Paint From Wood With Sandpaper

Sanding is one of the most popular techniques to remove paint from wood. This method is recommended for small objects or surfaces and you will only need sandpaper of varying sizes and a lot of patience.

The initial phase consists of a rough sanding with coarse-grained sandpaper intended to remove the superficial coats of old paint. Strip as much paint as you can, clean the surface from all debris, then switch to a thinner grain sandpaper to remove any remaining paint residues.

Because this method is time-consuming and tiring, we wouldn’t recommend using it on large surfaces. However, this is perhaps the best way to remove paint from wood due to the attention to detail given during the various phases.

How To Remove Paint From Wood With A Chemical Paint Remover

An easy and quick solution to remove paint from wood is with a chemical paint remover, also knows as a stripper. The chemicals in this product are formulated to react with the old varnish or paint, dissolving it. The only downside is that the stripper’s efficiency drops if the layer of paint is thick.

Therefore, if you want to remove several coats of paint, we suggest sanding the surface first to remove the superficial layers, then apply the stripper to dissolve what’s left.

For this method, you’ll need quality paint stripper, a brush, gloves and goggles.

The procedure is very simple. Just spread the stripper on the surface with a brush or spatula. Let it act as instructed and then remove the paint with a scraper.

Because the product is harmful, it is essential to carry on the operation in a well-ventilated space, preferably outdoors. The only strippers that are safe to use in enclosed spaces are the biodegradable ones; however, these are less effective and more expensive than the traditional products.

The chemical paint stripper is not only the easiest and quickest way to remove paint from wood, but it’s also the most economical.

How To Remove Paint From Wood With A Heat Gun

Another effective method but more time-consuming than the paint stripper is to remove paint from wood with a heat gun. The instrument heats air to a very high temperature and releases it onto the paint, causing it to peel from the surface. Then, just use a scraper to remove the paint permanently.

Although effective, this method is dangerous and poses a serious burn hazard. It is therefore essential to wear protective equipment, including adequate gloves.

To remove the paint, allow the instrument to reach its temperature then position the heat gun a few centimetres away from the surface. Wait until you see bubbles, an indicator that the paint has detached itself from the wood.

At this stage, use a scraper to remove the paint, paying attention so as not to get burned. The operation must be quick because the paint may reattach to the wood if it gets cold. Heating the same spot for too long can also damage the surface.

How To Remove Paint From Wood With A Sander

None of the methods described above are effective on large surfaces. If you want to remove paint from large furniture pieces, such as a table or wardrobe, a sander is the most suitable and fastest tool.

Using this machine is easy, but it is important to follow a few rules to guarantee the success of your operation.

First, know that sanding large surfaces with a sander releases millions of dust particles. Old wood paints may contain lead, that’s why it is important to wear a mask, goggles and gloves. It is also important to fix the surface on a solid support to ensure a smooth operation.

Once the surface to be stripped is fixed to the sander’s table, attach coarse-grained sandpaper to the machine and start sanding the surface. After a first roughing step, switch to thin grit sandpaper and continue to sand until you obtain a smooth wood surface.

For the best results, it is important to keep the wood clean and to apply a very slight pressure on the sander. You’ll also have to change the sandpaper quite often.

Once you’ve removed all paint, remove all dust and clean the surface with compressed air, at which point you can then proceed with your redecoration project.

Choosing The Right Method

All four methods described above allow you to easily remove paint from wood. But not all methods are adequate in all situations.

If you have to remove paint from small objects, sanding it manually may be the easiest way. If the paint is thin, then chemical stripper is an ideal alternative. A heat gun delivers exceptional results on narrow surfaces and it also removes thick layers of paint effortlessly.

The sander provides the easiest way to remove paint from large surfaces, but the operation is time-consuming and potentially harmful. Choose wisely!