Professional Tips

Use the best materials and equipment you can afford

It’s not a myth to say that you get what you pay for. Buying cheap painting implements will produce a cheap looking finish. In particular, it’s worth investing in some good quality brushes.

Always buy a reputable paint brands. There may be cheaper paint on offer but they will probably not cover so well and the colour may not last.

If you are painting the walls and ceilings then invest in an extending roller pole rather than using a ladder. It’s much faster and less strain on your back and arms.

Powder filler enables you to mix up the exact amount at the consistency required. It’s also less likely to go off, particularly if you keep it airtight.

Always work top to bottom

Begin with the ceiling and then move onto the walls. Always start from the top to the bottom. If you go from bottom to top, splashes are likely land on your newly panted surfaces – –not ideal!

One coat usually isn’’t enough so we recommended that you have a cup of tea, while you wait for the first coat to dry. You’ll know that it needs another coat if it looks patchy or you can still see the previous coat underneath. Make sure that the previous coat(s) are dry before you apply the next one as it will affect the final finish.

Most importantly, make sure you enjoy your decorating – tune into a sing-along station on the radio or find a good play listen too. Decorating shouldn’t be a chore it should be fun!

Moving into a new house, why not throw a painting party. You provide the painting materials, food and drink whilst your friends provide the labour. Alternatively, give Holloway Painting & Decorating a call for a fast, competitive quote!

10 tips for a professional finish to your woodwork

For professional looking painted woodwork, good surface preparation and good brushing technique are essential.

Many people still rely solely on oil-based paints because they dry slowly and allow brush marks to flatten out. But you can achieve similar results with high quality latex paint. Today’s formulations cover and brush out well. You won’t have the strong odor of oil-based products either. Latex also offers the advantage of fast drying and an easy soap and water cleanup.

Latex paint is available in a range of finishes, from matt to high gloss. Because you want your wood trim to wear well, we recommend eggshell or semi-gloss. The downside to a gloss finish is that every bump and scratch can show through. Therefore, good prep work is critical.

  1. Remove any loose or cracked paint with a stiff putty knife. Work in various directions to get underneath the loose paint.
  2. Fill nicks and gouges with wood filler using a flexible metal or plastic putty knife.
  3. Pick up a dab of filler with the knife and apply it to the gouges. Hold the putty knife at an angle and press and smooth the filler into the scraped area. Leave the filler slightly higher than the surrounding surface.
  4. Sand the painted surface with 100 or 120-grit sandpaper or a medium sanding sponge. Make sure to eliminate all ridges. Then finish with a 180-grit sandpaper or a fine sanding sponge. Spot-prime the filler and any bare wood.
  5. For a really fine finish, hold a utility light close to the surface, and circle any imperfections with a pencil. Fill, sand and spot-prime these areas. Finally, lightly sand the entire surface with the 180-grit paper to ensure that the new paint will stick.
  6. Apply a small bead of painter’s caulk to any cracks between the woodwork and the wall.
  7. Smooth the caulk with a damp rag wrapped around your finger. Wipe the edges to remove any ridges of caulk.
  8. Dip the brush bristles 3cm to 6cm into the paint to load the brush. Lightly tap (don’t wipe) the tip of the brush against the sides of the pail to remove excess paint.
  9. For vertical areas, such as doors and wood paneling, start at the top of you woodwork with the loaded brush and stroke down toward the middle. When the brush begins to drag, stop and reload.
  10. To smooth off, hold the brush at a right angle to the top of the wet paint and lightly stroke down the whole length of the door or board. Hold the brush almost perpendicular to the surface for this stroke. Don’t worry about any visible fine brush strokes. These will disappear as the paint dries.

If this sounds too much like hard work then why not give Holloway Painting & Decorating a call for a fast, competitive quote!


Smooth walls – it’s all in the preparation

Here at Holloway Painting & Decorating we probably spend as much time preparing your walls as we do painting them. It may seem obvious but it is often the preparation that makes the difference between an average DIY job and that much sort-after professional finish. Just follow these simple steps below and you’ll be painting your walls like a pro.

First clean the surfaces your are going to paint. If they are particularly grubby then buy some Sugar Soap from your local DIY store. This will help remove the grim.

Next, fill in any cracks and holes with a good quality filler. You can buy ready mixed filler or you can buy it in power form. We’d recommend using the powder because it keeps longer, it has a finer finish and you can mix the right amount to the exact consistency. Stiffer for large cracks and holes. Wetter for smaller holes and for smooth finishes. Remember to always reseal any unused sachets of filler powder as they will take up moister from the air and start to set quicker next time you use it.

Once the filler has gone off, start to rub the walls down with sandpaper. We’d suggest using 120 or 150-grit sandpaper using only light-to-moderate pressure. A very important tip is to close the door(s) of the room where you’re working, so the dust doesn’t go throughout the rest of the house. Always remember to wear a mask so you don’t in hail any dust.

Once you’ve finished sanding you are ready to paint, but before you do, you’ll need to ensure your surfaces are dust free otherwise all of your hard work will be for nothing.

Lastly, always buy the best materials you can afford, especially paint brushes. Buying cheap paint is often a false economy too as many more coats are usually required. Give your paint the recommended time to dry between coats otherwise laying second or third coats over paint that hasn’t dried thoroughly will affect the quality of your finish!

Not enough time or inclination, why not give Holloway Painting & Decorating a call for a fast, competitive quote!

The wallpaper hanging check list

There is a myriad of advice available on the web purporting to be the best way to hang wallpaper. In the end it comes down to practice, patience and discovering your own technique. Rather than try and produce the definitive ‘how-to’ guide, we have created a check list to help you avoid those fundamental mistakes.

Firstly, for the novice, you will probably find vinyl wallpaper easier to hang. Vinyls are more forgiving if over-soaked or over handled. Whilst other wallpaper materials, being slightly less durable, requires a little more care. If in doubt give Holloway Painting & Decorating a call for a fast, competitive quote!

  1. Preparation
    Finish all of your painting before hanging your wallpaper.
  2. Move the furniture and lay out dust sheets or a floor protector.
  3. Get your tools together. Make sure your scissors/shears are sharp and free from old paste, this will dull the blades which results in tearing. Stanley blades may need changing if you are papering large areas.
  4. Check wallpaper batch numbers are all the same. Ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Strip old wallpaper but be careful not to damage walls or lined surfaces.
  6. Make sure all walls are sound, clean and dry. Fill any cracks and seal porous surfaces where appropriate. Use a lining paper on poor or uneven walls. Let the lining paper dry before you start to paper.
  7. Papering
    Decide where your focal point is in the room. For bold patterns start from the centre of say the chimney breast. For plain or small patterns, start behind a door.
  8. Before you cut, measure carefully, “measure twice cut once”. Always check that you have ‘drop’ to match the pattern before cutting your next length.
  9. Use the recommended paste and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Leave wallpaper to soak for the recommended time.
  10. Draw a straight line for your first drop using a plumb line or long spirit level.
  11. When hanging paper, take your time. Fold the paper carefully to carry to the wall. Position the paper so you have enough ‘trim’ margin above and below. Smooth the paper with a brush. Mark the trim lines by stippling into the ceiling and skirting edges.  Peal back and remove surplus paper from top and bottom using your shears. Carefully wipe away any paste from the ceiling and skirting boards with a wet sponge. Wash sponge frequently. Gently but firmly brush away any air blisters.
  12. Corners
    Never wrap a full width wallpaper round an inside corner. Always do it in two pieces.
  13. First, cut the paper drop so that it is 25mm wider than the required width. Stipple the wallpaper into the room corner using your pasting brush to mark the trim line. Peal back and trim off excess paper.
  14. Next, measure and mark a new vertical line on the adjoining wall using your plumb line. The line distance from the corner should be less that the roll width ensuring you have at least 25mm overlap in the corner to allow for trimming. Hang using the plumbed line as your guide. Stipple the wallpaper into the room corner using your pasting brush to mark the trim line. Peal back and trim off excess paper. Clean of any excess paste using your sponge.
  15. For external corners, follow the same technique, allowing a wrap-round of at least 50mm.
  16. Sockets and light fixtures
    Wall sockets and lighting fixtures. Turn off the electricity supply. Smooth the paper carefully around sockets and switches. Press the wallpaper firmly around the edge of the fitting, lightly mark the outline and trim away the surplus.
  17. Alternatively, from the centre of the socket of fixture, cut a cross in the wallpaper so the socket/fixture can just pass through the hole. Trim the excess paper allowing for a 5mm overlap so that the socket/fixture can be unscrewed slightly and the wallpaper tucked  behind before re-tightening. ENSURE THE POWER IS OFF!
  18. Ceilings
    Always do the ceilings before the walls. If possible get someone else to assist you. Use a ladder or platform. Do not overstretch. As with walls, mark a straight line to use as a guide. to start.


Painting your front door

First, remove all of the door furniture (handles, locks, letter box, house numbers etc) Next, fill any dents or holes with a good quality wood filler. Let the filler dry completely before you start to rub it down. Ensure the surface of the door is dust free. You can use a TAC cloth to remove any dust from the door prior to your painting.

Applying an undercoat will improve the final finish and provide a good surface on which to apply the topcoat(s). It may be necessary to apply two coats to adequately cover the primer or wood colour.

Before you apply your top coat you might want to key up your surface with a 120-150 grit  sandpaper. Be gentle as any heavy scratches might show. More than one layer of gloss may be necessary to give a smooth high quality finish.

Not confident you can get the professional look, then why not give Holloway Painting & Decorating a call for a fast, competitive quote!

Here at Holloway Painting & Decorating Ltd. we like to share our knowledge and expertise where possible. Left are a number of questions we have been asked. We hope our answers may help you when you embark on your next painting and decorating project. Alternatively, you can always give Holloway Painting & Decorating a ring. We’ll be happy to give you a quote!

Best regards Ted