Featured walls give a room a central focal point, which naturally draws the eye to a particular attribute, that you may wish to showcase. If your considering adding a featured wall to a room, you may be interested in the article below which details how to paint a featured wall

As a professional painter, I have found that most rooms that showcase a featured wall follow a particular set of rules

  • Open spaces tend to work best
  • A minimum of 60% of the remaining room area is painted in a lighter colour
  • Dark, strong contrasting colors are generally used for feature walls
  • Featured walls are never at the back of a room

Paint Featured Wall First Or Last?

When redecorating a room, you may ponder at what stage you should paint the featured wall. Let me explain the correct order to paint a room with a feature wall.

First and foremost as with any room, paint the ceiling first, next is the woodwork. I explain in more detail in a previous article, paint walls or trim first why I paint woodwork before walls.

Paint the remaining walls to completion and leave the featured wall. If the plaster on the featured wall is in poor condition, it will need to be filled, sanded and primed. This process would happen in conjunction with the other walls in the room.

The final coats of paint on a feature wall are always left to the last. Below I break down how to prepare a featured wall before painting.

Painters tip: Plaster that has been patched, has loose paint or extensive filling, should be primed. I highly recommend Zinsser Bullseye 123 Primer Sealer (water based).

How To Prepare A Wall For Painting

Featured walls demand attention, they long to be stared upon. For that reason, straight lines and flawless walls are paramount. How then do you paint a wall with razor sharp lines and a perfect paint finish.

Below I break down the tools used and the method I use to paint a featured wall.

1) Lay down Dust Sheets to protect the floor and furnishings. Tape off the previously painted skirting boards using Scotchblue Masking Tape.

2) Sand the entire wall using a Hand Sander with 120 Grade Sandpaper, this will remove any discrepancies and even out the texture on the wall.

3) Next fill any scrapes, gouges or holes using Toupret Interior Filler. Pour some of the powdered filler into a Flexible Mixing Pot, add water and mix to a smooth consistency using a 1.5 inch Filling Knife. The filler once mixed should stick to your filling knife when turned upside down.

Painters tip: Use an led light, held upwards, tight to the wall to highlight holes, scrapes and gouges that you may have missed.

4) Wait until the filler is dry, you will notice a change in color as it dries, once fully dry. Sand using your hand sander with 120 grade sandpaper.

Hoover up any dust created from sanding and wipe down the wall using a damp cloth to remove any remaining dust prior to painting.

Related article: Which Decorators Filler Is Best

How To Paint A Featured Wall

Preparing a featured wall prior to painting

How To Paint A Featured Wall Edges

Cutting in for most novice painters is a daunting process, so how then can you paint straight lines at the wall edges. You will need an 2.5 Inch Angular Paint Brush and delicate masking tape.

I have in the past used Scotch Delicate Masking Tape to tape the edges of walls, which can be very successful if you follow the tips below.

Delicate masking tape is specifically designed to be used on newly painted surfaces.

Even though you are using delicate masking tape. I personally wouldn’t attempt to apply the tape to the edges of freshly painted walls, until a minimum of 48 hours has passed.

Paint goes through a curing process when drying, which increase the adhesion and hardness of the paint.

If your considering painting a straight line at the wall edge, freehand. I highly recommend Purdy’s Angular Trim Brush for cutting in.

How To Cut In Paint Edges With A Brush

  • Dip your brush into the paint and tap each side of the paint scuttle to remove excess paint
  • Place the brush onto the wall 1/2 inch away from the wall edge
  • Gradually move the brush down and in towards the edge
  • Once the bristles reach the edge, drag downwards with an even amount of pressure.

After you have cut in all the wall edges with a brush, use a Mini Roller Frame and Microfibre Short Pile Roller Sleeve to back roll the edges. This helps to keep a uniformed texture on the wall, thus avoiding brush marks.

How To Paint A Featured Wall

Now that you have cut in and back rolled all edges, it’s time to roller the wall. You will need the following painters tools below.

1) Adjustable Paint Roller frame 
2) Extension Pole 2 – 4ft
3) Paint Scuttle 15 Litres
4) Microfibre Roller 12 Inch

Painters tip: Dampen the roller sleeve with water before use, as this helps the roller to absorb paint.

How To Roll A Wall Without Streaks

When rolling a wall it is important to remember to use long fluid strokes. Start in the middle and roll to the top, then all the way to the bottom. Ensure that you overlap the cut in areas, top, bottom and at the sides. Overlap each section you roll by about 6 inches.

Use an even amount of pressure when applying the paint, apply to much and the edge of the roller will leave a line (streak). To remove streaks, take your roller and place directly over the line. Roll the wall again using less pressure to remove the lines.

Leave the wall to dry and repeat the process, cut in all edges and roller the wall, (second coat). Beware that streaks can occur when the previous coat of paint isn’t fully dry.

Once your second coat of paint is dry, remove the masking tape from the wall edges and skirting board. Your featured wall is now ready to be admired.

How To Paint A Featured Wall

Featured wall examples

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This blog is a personally written and edited by me (Andrew Firth). For questions about this blog, please contact andrew@clearcutpainting.co.uk

Some posts contain Amazon affiliate links. I may earn a small commission when those links are clicked on and a product is purchased. There is no additional cost to you.

How to paint kitchen cabinets like a pro, transform your tired, dated kitchen with my step by step guide on hand painting kitchen cabinets the right way. A Professional, brushless finish, requires, patience, good paint and the right tools. The following method applies to (laminate, veneer, wood & mdf) kitchen cabinets.

Can You Paint Cabinets Without Removing Doors?

Step 1: You may be tempted to leave the kitchen cabinets and door faces in place while painting. Don’t, you must remove them, it’s a simple step that only takes a few minutes. Most cabinet doors are hung using Concealed Hinges, rather than removing the hinge, instead, detach the door by removing the screws fixed to the door.

Always remember to label the door after removing. I label each door at the hinge recess, (1, 2, 3, 4, etc,) using a marker. Place the corresponding number on the inside of the cupboard using a strip of masking tape, next to the hinge. This will ensure all doors are re-fitted in the same position as before.

Hand Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Keep all screws that you remove safe, a simple sealable freezer bag is a great place to store any fittings.

Related: Painting a Door Without Brush Marks

What Is The Best Way To Clean Grease Off Kitchen Cabinets?

Step 2: Kitchens are havens for grease build up, greasy, oily surfaces are impossible to paint! Failing to remove any grease or oil from surfaces will result in the paint failing to adhere to the surface.

I cannot stress enough the importance of thoroughly cleaning all surfaces that you wish to paint. So how do I remove stubborn grease from kitchen cabinets?

Zinsser Professional Degreaser Stain Remover, a simple but effective spray. Disperse the product over the surface, leave to soak for a couple of minutes and wipe clean, No scrubbing required.

Repeat the process until clean, a good indicator is to use a clean paper towel. Once the towel is clean after wiping down the cabinet or drawer, the surface is free from grease.

Prepare The Area For Painting

Step 3: Before you commence any painting, it is a good idea to prepare an area that you can use for drying. Even a small kitchen can have as many as  4 – 6 cabinets and 3 – 6 drawer fronts. Once painted, they will need to be a placed in dust free area to fully dry.

In the past I have either opted for painting all cabinets and drawer fronts using a customers spare room. Alternatively if space is limited, I would remove the cabinets and drawers and paint them at my workshop.

You maybe already be wondering when painted, where do you rest the doors and drawers. Most people don’t own a professional drying rack, so a great tip is to use, paint tins or blocks of wood. These will act as mini platforms keeping the cabinets and drawers off the floor while they dry.

Sanding Kitchen Cabinets For Painting

Step 4: Now that the cabinets are clean and free from oil, grease and dirt. The next step in the process is to abrade (score) the surface using sandpaper. Sanding causes small micro abrasions helping the paint stick to the surface.

Through experience I have found rather than using traditional sandpaper in sheet or role format. Instead I use Foam Sanding Blocks, why, they mold to the contours of the cabinet doors and drawers. Available in various grades, (100, 120, 150, 180 etc), the smaller the number, the coarser the granularity, the higher the number the finer sanding effect.

Start by using 100 Grade Foam Sanding Block, sand each surface thoroughly ensuring not to miss any sections. Then using a clean damp cloth remove any dust and leave to dry.

Filling Gaps In Kitchen Cabinets

Step 5: The last stage of preparation before painting is to fill any noticeable gouges, holes or gaps. Maybe you have decided to change the style of hardware on the cabinet doors, these will require new holes drilled, leaving the old holes to be filled.

Slight gaps in cabinet molding can become very noticeable once painted, so must also be filled. I use a combination of Toupret Wood Filler and Painters Caulk to fill any unsightly holes or gaps.

Related: How to fills gaps with caulk

Once any holes are filled, leave to dry, rub down with your 100 grade foam sanding block and wipe away any dust with a damp cloth.

Priming Kitchen Cabinets

Step 6: Now that have we cleaned, filled and sanded all cabinet and drawer faces, it’s time to apply paint. Your first coat of paint is a primer coat, skip this step and your heading for disaster. A good primer will ensure that your top coats of paint adhere to the surface ensuring a long lasting finish.

My go to primer to ensure maximum adhesion is Zinsser BIN Shellac Primer Sealer. Shellac based primers are the most durable and provide the best adhesion, ideal for painting kitchen cabinets or furniture.

Another great benefit of shellac primers is there ability to cover stubborn stains, (water, smoke, tar, felt tip, crayon).

Related: How to paint over water stains

You can apply the primer using a brush or roller, I use both, a Two Inch Angular Brush for molding and corners, then a 4 Inch Microfibre Roller Sleeve for the faces and edges.

Zinsser BIN (primer) is an unusual type of paint to apply, milky in color and a little watery. You will notice when you apply the paint using a brush, per dip, coverage is poor. This is due to the natural grip the paint has to the surface, it doesn’t travel far.

WARNING: Place dust sheets down before painting, zinsser primer is difficult to remove and requires a strong thinner to remove any spilt paint. I recommend Zinsser Brush Cleaner and Restorer, or alternatively alcohol will also work.

Hand Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Don’t be concerned about an even uniformed coverage, especially when using a brush. The object is simply to cover any bare wood with the primer. I would recommend using a brush and roller combined, for ease of use.

Once you have one side painted wait until touch dry, then flip and repeat on the other side.

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How Many Coats Of Primer On Cabinets

Ideally for a professional finish, I am going to recommend two coats of primer before applying your top coats of paint. Zinsser BIN is touch dry in 15 mins and recoatable in 45 mins under normal drying conditions.

Once fully dry, rub down all kitchen cabinets and drawer fronts using 120 Grade Foam Sanding Block. You should notice a significant difference after sanding. Remember to remove all traces of dust using a Painters Dusting Brush and damp cloth.

How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Step 7: The last step to hand painting kitchen cabinets, the final coats of paint. Below I have recommended the best paint for kitchen cabinets. I have personally used both paint brands for painting kitchens and furniture.

Both paint brands give a beautiful, hardwearing, semi matt finish (eggshell). Below I have included paint tips to achieving a professional brushless finish on kitchen cabinets.

How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Painted using Tikkurila Empire Furniture Paint (eggshell)

Tips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets

1) Hand painting kitchen cabinets is intricate work, I would recommend that your mini roller sleeve is new, especially for the final coats of paint. Your brush should be clean and of good quality, an inferior brush will only leave prominent brush marks through the paint.

2) Pour the paint into a Mini Paint Scuttle, which can be used with both brush and mini roller.

3) Try to set up a workstation for placing the cabinet & drawer fronts onto while painting with 360 degree access. Professional kitchen painters use a turntable, also referred to as a Lazy Susan. This allows the painter to maintain the same position while rotating the item to be painted.

4) There is a sequence to painting a kitchen or drawer face. Start by painting the edge using your 4 Inch Microfiber Roller. Then use your Angular Brush to paint any molding, paying particular attention to the corners. Finish the remaining panels using the microfibre smooth roller.

When laying off paint, the amount of pressure applied through the brush plays an important role. The less pressure, the less of an impression the bristles will make in the paint.

Follow the steps above and you can transform your old kitchen cabinets (laminate, veneer, wood, mdf) with paint. The same steps should be followed when painting, trim, kickboards, cooker hoods, architrave in your kitchen.

Additional Articles you may be interested in: 


This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me (Andrew Firth). For questions about this blog, please contact andrew@clearcutpainting.co.uk

Some posts contain Amazon affiliate links. I may earn a small commission when those links are clicked on and a product is purchased. There is no additional costs to you.

Ever wondered how to paint skirting boards like a pro. The good news is that it’s a relatively simple process if you follow the method below.

In just 5 steps I will teach you how to achieve a beautiful finish on skirting boards. Bonus, the tips and tricks you will learn below apply when painting other areas of woodwork.

Not sure if your should paint skirting boards or walls first, I answer the question below.

1) Preparing The Area

Move any furniture that is in your way into the centre of the room. Use painters masking tape to tape off your floor (wood, laminate, vinyl, tiles, carpet) before painting.

Cutting in the bottom of the skirting is easy once the floor is taped.

Tip: I highly recommend Scotchblue Masking Tape, easy to apply, easy to remove, stops paint bleeding through onto the surface (floor) below.

2) Clean the skirting boards

Most skirting boards due to their location, next to the floor are dirty, covered in dust, hair and grime. To clean the boards use either a simple solution of washing detergent and warm water or a degreaser.

Tip: Zinsser Professional Degreaser Stain Remover is excellent at removing grease and grime. A light spray, wait 30 seconds and then wipe clean.

Sanding skirting boards before removing the grime, will only push the dirt into the grain of the wood.

3) How To Sand Skirting Boards

Do I need to sand skirting boards before painting, YES. There are two main reasons for sanding, 1) Skirting boards that are years old have most probably been neglected, rough, covered in grit that has been painted over. This needs to be removed prior to painting.

2) The second reason for sanding is to degloss the surface in preparation for the new paint. Gloss paint in particular cannot be painted over without deglossing, (removing the shine) before painting.

What about new, primed skirting boards, do they need sanded, YES. A light sand with a 120 Grade Sanding Block and you will be amazed at how smooth the skirting boards feels after. 

Sanding woodwork causes micro scratches in the substrate, these very fine scratches help your new paint stick to the surface.

Tip: I find that a 120 Grade Sanding Block is perfect for the job, as it moulds to the contours of the skirting. For excessively rough sections, use 120 Grade or 80 Grade Sandpaper to remove more material.

4) Best Filler For Skirting Boards

After sanding, ensure that you remove the dust from the skirting boards using a damp cloth. The next step is to caulk the edge of the skirting where it meets the wall and caulk any gaps at the mitre joints.

Recommended Reading: How To Fill Gaps With Caulk.

Any protruding nails heads should be driven below the surface using a hammer and Nail Punch. Then fill the hole with Toupret Wood Filler, wait until dry and then sand flush with the surface using 120 grade sandpaper.

Primer paint should be used on bare wood, or any surface that has flaky, patchy paint or fresh filler. Priming ensures better adhesion of paint to the surface.

Tip: Zinsser Bullseye Primer Sealer is an excellent water based primer. I always paint a coat of primer on skirting boards, even if they are already primed.

Primer enhances the finish, stabilizes the surface below and blocks stains. Most common painting problems arise from poor preparation and inadequate adhesion to the surface below.

5) How To Paint Skirting Boards

Once the primer is dry, sand with a 120 Grade Sanding Block, then remove the dust with a damp cloth. Apply an undercoat to your skirting boards and leave to dry. Your now ready to apply the finishing coats of paint.

Tip: Johnstones Trade Aqua Undercoat is an excellent water based undercoat.

What type of paint should I use for skirting boards, the choice is yours, (gloss, satin, eggshell). With the advancements in paint technology, an eggshell finish is now as durable as gloss.

My personal choice is an eggshell finish, modern, hard wearing and stylish.

Before applying your final top coat of paint, sand the skirting boards lightly one last time and wipe clean. When painting any type of woodwork, it is extremely important to use a professional paint brush. A good quality brush will not only hold more paint, but greatly reduces brush marks.

Always paint in one direction, long strokes horizontally across the skirting boards. Finish laying off the paint with light brush strokes.

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Paint Skirting Boards Or Walls First

There are mixed opinions on whether to paint skirting boards or walls first. I’m going to form my answer based on a novice painter who is tasked with painting skirting boards.

One of the most difficult parts of painting is cutting in. Trying to create a straight line around the edge of skirting boards is challenging, especially for a novice. It is much easier to remove the constraints and paint without having to worry about getting paint onto the walls.

I follow this method, and here is why, I can apply more paint to the top edge of the skirting board. This seals, bridges the gap and primes the caulk between the skirting boards and wall.

How do I create a straight line when painting the walls? I wait until the skirting boards are dry, (24 hours), then tape the edge of the boards. I use Scotchblue Painters Masking Tape 36mm, this allows the masking tape to hang over the skirting boards creating a paint shield.

You can now roll the walls with having to worry about paint getting onto the skirting boards below. Once finished, remove the tape and you have beautiful straight lines around the room.

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This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me (Andrew Firth). For questions about this blog, please contact andrew@clearcutpainting.co.uk

Some posts contain Amazon affiliate links. I may earn a small commission when those links are clicked on and a product is purchased. There is no additional costs to you.

One of my favourite products used on a daily basis, caulk. Maybe you have never used caulk to fill gaps or smooth out uneven surfaces. Trust me when I say, it’s amazing. Today I’ll explain how to fill gaps with caulk to achieve a professional finish.

What Is Caulk

Caulk is a flexible filler/ sealant used to fill gaps and seal joints. Generally used in building work, PVC installation and decorating. All caulks and sealants come in tubes that are used in conjunction with a Caulking Gun, which dispenses the caulk. Popular sizes of caulking tubes are 290ml and 310ml, both sizes are compatible with most caulking guns.

For the purposes of filling gaps with caulk, I am going to refer mostly to using decorators caulk. The principles and techniques I explain will transfer over when using other silicone or sealant based products.

Best Exterior Filler For Masonry

How To Fill Gaps With Caulk

1) Before you start to use your caulk, cut the tip (nozzle) at a slight angle. When dispensing the caulk you will naturally hold the gun at an angle. By holding the gun at a similar angle to the nozzle assists with flow and even distribution of caulk across the surface.

How To Fill Gaps With Caulk

2) Ensure that the surface your filling is free from dust and dirt. Remove any loose paint or debre with sandpaper prior to caulking the gap.

3) Load the caulking tube into your caulking gun by pulling back the plunger arm. Press the trigger until the caulk starts to come out of the nozzle. Press the trigger release lever to stop the caulk flowing, your gun is now primed ready for use.

4) Place the tip of the nozzle against the surface next to the gap you wish to fill. Press the trigger, as the caulk dispenses move the caulking gun in a smooth, flowing action across the surface. The goal is to distribute an even bead of caulk across the gap.

5) The final step is to smooth the caulk, dampen the tip of your finger and run it across the bead of caulk. This helps to push the caulk into the gap and distribute the caulk evenly across the gap.

Tip: Use a damp cloth to wipe off any surplus caulk left on the surface.

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How To Fill Big Gaps With Caulk

In most cases fine cracks and gaps can be filled in one go with caulk, but what about big gaps.

The process of filling large gaps with caulk is pretty much the same with two exceptions. When filling a large gap, don’t point the nozzle directly into the gap, instead build up several layers.

Place the first bead of caulk onto one surface (edge of skirting board), then place another layer on top of the first bead until the gap is covered.

Use your finger to smooth and leave until dry. Most caulks will shrink when dry, meaning that you will need to fill the gap again to successfully hide the gap.

Another method of filling large gaps is to use Expanding Spray Foam. Once the spray foam is dry, trim off the excess leaving the spray foam slight shy from the surface. Caulk the remaining gap as normal, the expanding foam will stop the caulk from falling into the gap.

Caulk’s gap filling properties have their limitations. Gaps above 10mm will be difficult to fill with caulk alone.

I use caulk on daily basis to fill the gaps between the skirting boards and wall, around door frames, edges of ceilings and any joinery that is to be painted.

Flexible Gap Filler

Most caulks today are flexible which is favourable when filling gaps. Wooden substrates expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity. Flexible gap fillers move and flex with the substrate, thus avoiding cracking.

Flexible caulk is cheap, waterproof and can be painted once dry.

Tip: Prime newly caulked areas to avoid cracking, especially when painting with emulsion paint. I use Zinsser Bullseye 123 Primer as my go to primer.

If your painting with a latex or oil based paint, you don’t need to prime the caulk first.

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Caulking Tips

1) Keep a damp cloth or paper towel handy for keeping the nozzle clean

2) Hold the caulking gun at the same angle when moving the gun

3) Cut a small angle on the nozzle for fine cracks and small gaps. Trim a larger angle at the nozzle for bigger gaps.

4) Large gaps will need to be caulked again once the first fill is dry

5) Purchase a caulking gun with a non drip feature, (Newborn 930 GTD). This will keep the nozzle clean and free from excess caulk when the trigger is released.

6) Use decorators caulk to smooth out uneven surfaces, for example where the ceiling meets the wall.

How To Paint A Room Like A Professional


This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me (Andrew Firth). For questions about this blog, please contact andrew@clearcutpainting.co.uk

Some posts contain Amazon affiliate links. I may earn a small commission when those links are clicked on and a product is purchased. There is no additional costs to you.

If your considering painting new plaster walls, STOP, take 5 mins and read my article on how to paint newly plastered walls. One of the biggest mistakes DIY enthusiasts make is not sealing new plaster before applying the top coats of paint. This is disastrous and difficult to rectify once the mistake has been made.

Can you paint directly on new plaster, the answer NO

Save yourself valuable time and avoid costly mistakes. Below I explain why you need to seal new plaster, how to mist coat and what products to use.

How Soon Can I Paint New Plaster?

All newly plastered walls require a base coat called a (mist coat), this serves as a primer coat of paint sealing the plaster. Before we can start to prime our walls, we first must ensure that the plaster is dry. If moisture is present the primer coat will not adhere to the new plaster.

Fresh plaster is dark grey / brown in colour, as it dries it turns a light creamy pink. Your new plaster is dry once the entire area is the same colour, (light creamy pink). If there are still dark grey patches evident, wait until they dry before mist coating.

The drying times of new plaster vary depending on temperature and humidity. As a guide new plaster walls can take an average of 2 – 6 days to dry. If in doubt, wait another day or two, I cannot stress this enough. New plaster must be dry before starting to paint.

Painting New Plaster Walls

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Painting New Plaster Walls

The method of painting fresh plaster is relatively simply, just follow the steps below to avoid any issues in the future. Below I explain how to dilute contract emulsion and what painting tools will help get the job done faster.

1) Ensure the plaster is dry before mist coating the walls or ceiling.

2) Use a basic Contract Emulsion Paint, you don’t need special paint for priming new plaster. Do not use vinyl matt emulsion.

Contract matt emulsion is readily available and cheap, once watered down to the correct ratio is perfect for painting new plaster walls.

To successfully mist coat new plaster, contract emulsion must be watered down. The reason you water down the paint is allow the new plaster to absorb the paint sealing the plaster for your top coats of paint.

3) Dilute the Contract Emulsion following the mist coat new plaster ratios below.

4) Apply a mist coat to your new plaster and allow to dry for 24 hours.

Mist Coat Ratios

70% emulsion 30% water
60% emulsion 40% water
50% emulsion 50% water

Why are there several dilution ratios? All three ratios above will work for mist coating new plaster. If for example your painting a room with no furniture, no flooring, a ratio of 50% emulsion and 50% water would suit the environment.

Painting with diluted paint can be messy, so if you can base coat the new plaster without having to add too much water will reduce paint splatter.

I personally use the middle ratio 60% emulsion and 40% water with great success. The brand of paint can also reflect the mist coat ratio as some paints are thicker than others. As a guide, contract emulsion once diluted should run easily of both your roller sleeve and brush.

For smaller plaster repairs or areas where there is significant amount of furniture present. A mist coat ratio of 70% emulsion and 30% water would be adequate.

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How To Dilute Paint With Water

You will need 1) Contract emulsion paint, 2) Large clean bucket, 3) Mixing paddle 4) Electric drill. Pour the contract emulsion into the bucket leaving enough room for the water, then add the correct percentage of water.

Attach the mixing paddle to your electric drill and gradually mix the paint and water together. Start slowly or the paint will splash, mix thoroughly for a min of 2 – 3 mins or until the paint is the same consistency.

If you don’t have a mixing paddle or electric drill, you can use a Paint Mixing Stick or something similar. The end result will be the same, it will just take longer to mix the paint and water together.

Tools For Painting Bare Plaster

Below is a list of painting tools that will make the job of painting new plaster walls a breeze.

One of the most important items from the list above is dust sheets. As I mentioned earlier emulsion paint once diluted is messy, you will need to cover everything you do not wish to get paint on. I use a combination of Heavy Duty Twill Dust Sheets for flooring and furniture. I also use Prodec Super Cling Dust Sheet for worktops, cupboards, units, large appliances.

When painting, I recommend wearing a pair of Safety Glasses to avoid paint splatter from getting into your eyes.

How Many Mist Coats On New Plaster

The number of mist coats depends on the condition of the new plaster. Even though your new walls have been freshly plastered, they may still need a light sand and a fill in places. If this is the case then a second mist coat would be beneficial.

Another factor is the colour of the plaster, if you can still see the original colour (light creamy pink) showing through. Then another mist coat would be advisable.

In most cases I apply the first mist coat to seal the plaster. I then give the plaster a light sand with 120 Grade Sandpaper, fill any areas that need attention and then a final mist coat.

Before attempting to sand or fill newly mist coated plaster, WAIT for 24 hours, giving the paint a chance to cure and harden.

When applying your top coats of paint, wait a further 24 hours to allow your second mist coat to cure. By following the method above will ensure that you do not have any recurring problems with paint peeling in future years.

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This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me (Andrew Firth). For questions about this blog, please contact andrew@clearcutpainting.co.uk

Some posts contain Amazon affiliate links. I may earn a small commission when those links are clicked on and a product is purchased. There is no additional costs to you.

Are you searching for a masonry filler that is 1) Effortless to mix 2) Easy to shape 3) Doesn’t shrink or flash 4) Easy to sand, well your search is over. The best exterior filler for masonry is, Toupret Touprelith F Exterior Masonry Repair Filler.

Available in 1.5kg box, 5kg bag, 15kg bag

Below I discuss why I recommend toupret and how to use it for best results.

Toupret Touprelith Exterior Filler

When looking for a good exterior filler, there are a few properties that make toupret exterior filler stand out from others.

1) Mixability, toupret exterior filler mixes effortlessly, no lumps or specialist equipment required.
2) Shrinkage, Toupret Masonry Filler does not shrink or slump even when filling large, deep holes.
3) Flashing, the term used when the newly painted area appears as a patch or discolouration. Toupret touprelith doesn’t flash and doesn’t require priming before painting.

NOTE: It is not unusual that newly painted patches of filler will take longer to dry. Once dry there should be an even distribution of colour over the area.

4) Sandable, most exterior fillers can be notoriously difficult to sand. The good news is that Toupret Filler is a pleasure to sand, although the filler once dry is hard, you can still sand and shape the filler as required.

Related: Which Decorators Filler Is Best

Mixing Instructions For Toupret Exterior Filler

Below are tips to ensure that your toupret exterior filler is mixed to the correct consistency before application. Take a Mini Paint Scuttle, and add just enough water to cover the bottom of your scuttle. Next add a little powdered exterior filler and using a 3 Inch Flex Jointing Knife mix the filler with the water.

Mixing the filler is fast and easy, use a circular or figure eight motion for 30 – 45 secs and you should have a smooth consistency.

Keep the mixture dry at first, add water gradually, a little water goes along way. It’s very easy to add too much water which ends up with the filler being to runny to work with. By adding the powdered filler in small increments ensures that you don’t waste filler.

The ideal consistency is a medium firmness, if you turn your flex knife upside down, the filler should stick. Once mixed Toupret Touprelith Exterior Filler has a working time of 30 mins. Depending on the temperature and humidity in the air will influence how fast your mixture drys out.

Related: How To Repair Cracks In Ceilings

What Can Masonry Crack Filler Be Used For

As a painter and decorator I use Toupret products on a daily basis. Their powdered exterior filler can be used on a variety of substrates to include: (brick, concrete, cement, breeze block, stone). Please note that you cannot use toupret touprelith exterior filler on sandstone due to the moisture content within the stone. 

If you do need to repair porous substrates like sandstone, then opt for Toupret Murex.

In the past I have used Toupret Touprelith to repair concrete floors, window sills, rendered walls and cracks in masonry. You might be interested in a previous video where I demonstrate how to mix toupret filler and skim brickwork. 

Best Exterior Filler For Masonry Video

How To Use Toupret Exterior Filler

1) Ensure that you have the correct consistency before starting. If the filler is to wet, it will slide off your filling knife, to dry and it can be hard to shape.

2) When applying the filler, I find it helps to work of a larger 6 Inch Flex Filling Knife  or a Plastering Trowel. Then use another 3 inch or 6 inch flex knife to apply the mixed filler to the substrate.

3) If your planning on painting the area being repaired, ensure that the filler is completely dry. When wet toupret is dark grey in colour. As the filler dries it turns light grey, large cracks and holes that have been filled will take longer to dry.

4) When repairing uneven masonry surfaces the use of a wet brush helps to push the filler into the contours of the surface.

5) Sanding the filler once dry, use 80 Grade Sandpaper to remove the excess and then drop down to 120 Grade Sandpaper to finish.

6) If your applying toupret exterior filler in direct sunlight, wet the surface area on which the repair is being made. This stops the substrate sucking the moisture out of the filler to quickly.

7) After 30 mins depending on the drying conditions, your mixture may become to dry. To remedy this, add a little water and remix, then recommence the repair.

8) Wash all tools with water after you have finished.

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This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me (Andrew Firth). For questions about this blog, please contact andrew@clearcutpainting.co.uk.

Some posts contain Amazon affiliate links. I may earn a small commission when those links are clicked on and a product is purchased. There is no additional costs to you.

There are varying methods used when repairing holes in plasterboard, depending on the size of hole will determine the method used. Small to medium sized holes not in excess of 12 cm in diameter can be easily fixed using a plasterboard wall patch. This is the simplest method which utilises a thin metal mesh patch with an adhesive backing.

I have used this method many times when fixing holes in plasterboard. It’s simple, fast and inexpensive, the technique I use differs slightly from the manufacturer’s instructions, here’s why.

Patches covering holes in plasterboard sit on the outer surface, they are not flush. The user must use a technique called feathering when filling and sanding in an attempt to blend the patch into the surrounding area.

Unfortunately what tends to happen is, oversanding exposing the patch, or not sanding enough, leaving a visible bump. For this reason I have adapted the process to avoid feathering the filler.

How To Repair Cracks In Ceilings

Plasterboard Repair Kit

Below are the tools and materials required for repairing holes in plasterboard.

1) Pencil
2) Retractable Stanley Knife
3) Soft Grip Scissors
4) Plasterboard Wall Patch
5) CT1 Construction Adhesive & Sealant
6) Toupret Interior Filler
7) Flexible Mixing Bowl
8) Purdy Flex Knife 3 inch
9) Sandpaper 120 Grade

Repairing Damaged Plasterboard

1) Using a pencil mark a square around the hole. Leave a gap of 10mm from your pencil line to the edge of the hole.

2) Take your stanley knife and score the square line cutting through the plastered surface into the plasterboard.

3) Use your stanley knife to remove the thin layer of plaster from the edge of the hole outwards to the square. This will leave the square 2-3mm shy of the surface.

4) Take your Plasterboard Wall Patch and first remove the self adhesive backing with your scissors, then Measure and cut a piece of the metal mesh to the same dimensions as the square.

5) Using your CT1 Adhesive squeeze a bead around the hole and then place the metal patch over the hole. Press firmly until the adhesive squeezes through the mesh. The patch should sit flush with the surrounding surface.

6) Next, mix a small amount of Toupret Interior Filler in your Flexible Mixing Bowl. Using your 3 Inch Flex Blade skim the hole and remove any excess filler.

7) Sand the filler once dry using 120 Grade Sandpaper. The use of a Rubber Sanding Block or Hand Sander will ensure that patch remains flush with the surrounding surface.

How To Fix A Hole In The Wall Fast

The above method is by far the fastest way of repairing a hole in plasterboard, (10 mins). Waiting for the filler to dry is the most time consuming part of the project. Plasterboard patches are readily available, cheap and easy to use. No waste and No travelling to your local builders merchant for materials.

At times you may find that some plasterboard walls haven’t been skimmed. Instead the joints have been taped, sanded and the walls painted.

This technique is becoming more common in new builds, as its cheap and fast. How then do you fix a hole in plasterboard when the wall hasn’t been skimmed.

Simple, use the exact same method above. Plasterboard sheets are made up of layers and layers of paper glued on top of one another. Instead of cutting through the 2-3 mm of plaster then removing the waste so the patch sits flush with the outer surface.

Use the same technique, only this time cut through the paper layers, remove the excess. Check the patch sits flush, then glue in place. Skim, sand and paint, repairing holes in plasterboard is simple using this modified technique.

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This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me (Andrew Firth). For questions about this blog, please contact andrew@clearcutpainting.co.uk

Some posts contain Amazon affiliate links. I may earn a small commission when those links are clicked on and a product is purchased. There is no additional costs to you.

A popular question asked by many diy enthusiasts, which decorating filler is best? During my time as a painter and decorator I have tested many interior and exterior fillers. Today I am going to discuss one filler that I and most professional decorators use on a daily basis.

Best Interior Decorating Filler

Although there is a wide range of interior fillers designed to repair cracks and holes in plastered walls and ceilings. Most unfortunately in my opinion are inadequate at best. Why you might ask, well, when looking for a really good interior filler there are a few properties that are essential.

1) The powdered filler must mix easily with minimum effort, ensuring a smooth consisting, (no lumps). 2) Workability, the filler must be easy to spread and have a long enough working time that the amount mixed can be used up before starting to dry out. 3) Drying time, the filler must dry fast once applied to the surface  4) The final point is absolutely essential, the filler must be easy to sand without having to use an orbital sander to get the job done.

So which decorating filler is best and meets all of the criteria above. The answer, Toupret Interior Filler is hands down the best decorators filler on the market. I have been using the filler for years and highly recommend it, due to the nature of my profession, I purchase in bulk, 5kg bags.

How To Repair Cracks In Ceilings

How Do You Mix Filler For Walls?

When it comes to actually mixing your filler whether its for interior or exterior surfaces. There is a simple, fast, mess free way of mixing filler. Before you start there are a few items below that will come in very handy, let me explain why.

1) Toupret Interior Filler
2) Flexible Mixing Bowl
3) Flex Filling Knife 1 inch

Toupret interior filler comes in both a powdered and ready mixed format. Toupret Interior Filler (powder) comes in a 2kg box, 5kg bag and 10kg bag, while the Toupret Ready Mixed Filler comes in a 330 gram tube or 1.5 kg tub. The only downside of the ready mixed version, is that drying times are double that of the powdered version.

Mixing the powder filler is really easy, using a flexible mixing bowl pour some filler into the bowl. Add a little water to the powder and using your 1 Inch Flex Knife mix the filler until you achieve a smooth consistency.

The ideal consistency is smooth, creamy with medium firmness. The filler should stick to your flex knife when turned upside down.

Top 16 Essential Painting Tools

How To Use A Powdered Filler

Once you have mixed your filler to the correct consistency. The next step is to apply the filler to your walls and ceiling, filling any (cracks, voids, gouges, holes). The easiest method that I have found is to use two flex knifes, Purdy Flex Filling Knife 3 inch and a Purdy Flex Filling Knife 6 inch.

I use the larger knife to hold the mixed filler and the smaller 3 inch flex knife to work with. Always squeeze the filler into the crevice or hole ensuring the area is completely filled. Then wipe of any access with your flex knife, deep cracks and holes will need a second fill as it’s very difficult to successfully fill large holes and cracks in one pass.

At times when skimming over larger areas, switch or plug sockets for example. I will use the large 6 inch flex knife as the larger blade stays in contact with outer surface of the wall surrounding the hole, when removing excess filler.

Please note: there are limitations to filling large, deep holes with Toupret Interior Filler. Although the data sheet indicates that there are no limitations to the depth that can be filled. Realistically if your attempting to fill a large void left by a double plug socket that has now been removed.

It would be unrealistic and a waste of filler to attempt to fill a hole of this size and depth. Instead, use any of the two products below to fill 95% of the hole.

1) Ronseal Smooth Finish Big Hole filler
2) Cementone General Purpose Mortar Grey

Ensure that the masonry repair filler remains 3-5 mm shy from the surface. Once dry, skim the remaining 3 -5 mm with Toupret Interior Filler.

How To Paint A Room Like A Professional

Toupret Filler Review

If you type the phrase “which decorating filler is best” into google, you’ll be amazed by the number of results 61,300,000 to be precise. I hope that I have clarified the question, most professional decorators swear by Toupret products and for good reason.

Their interior filler has many benefits which make it the choice of many professional tradesmen. Below are some additional benefits that you may not be aware off.

1) Toupret interior filler doesn’t flash and doesn’t need primed before painting. Flashing is when light reflects against a freshly painted surface to create a shimmering “flashing” effect. This can happen when using an inferior filler, unless primed before painting, the patch of filler will show through once the paint is dry.

Unlike other fillers, you can paint directly over toupret filler without having to prime the fresh patch or patches of filler.

2) Shrinkage, this can also be a common problem with other fillers. As the filler dries, it shrinks meaning that even small holes, cracks will need filled for a second time before painting. Toupret interior filler will not shrink or slump when drying.

3) Toupret interior filler is referred to as a one coat fill. What does this mean, in most cases, cracks, scrapes, gouges and holes can be filled with one coat.


This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me (Andrew Firth). For questions about this blog, please contact andrew@clearcutpainting.co.uk

Some posts contain Amazon affiliate links. I may earn a small commission when those links are clicked on and a product is purchased. There is no additional costs to you.

The compensation received will NEVER influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely mine.

Below are images from a project I completed at the end of last year in Bangor, Co Down, my hometown. I used designer paint brand, Little Greene Paint Mid Lead (intelligent matt emulsion) for walls. Ceiling, Little Greene Loft White (intelligent matt emulsion) and woodwork Little Greene Loft White (intelligent eggshell).

Little Greene Intelligent Matt Emulsion Review

Washable Designer Paint

If your looking for a washable matt emulsion, then look no further, Little Greene Intelligent Matt Emulsion is completely washable. There are alternative washable matt emulsions available on the market from, (Johnstons, Crown, Dulux).

Unfortunately in comparison to Little Greene Intelligent Matt Emulsion, other washable matt paints have been a disappointment. Difficult to apply and require numerous coats of paint due to their poor opacity.

I can’t advocate that Little Greene Intelligent Matt is as hard wearing as its competitors, but feel that in most situations it would stand the test.

For commercial or high traffic areas where durability is essential, Crown Clean Extreme Scrubbable Matt is very hard wearing. You will most likely need to apply an additional coat of paint for complete coverage depending on the previous colour. As its relatively inexpensive in comparison to other brands, it’s worth considering.

Should I Paint Walls or Trim First 

Little Greene Grey Colour Card

As with fashion, paint colours also trend, grey has been without doubt the most requested colour for interiors in 2019. Little Greene have a colour card dedicated to the colour grey, (capsule collection) consisting of 28 shades.

Request A Colour Card

I mentioned in an earlier article the importance of not choosing your paint colours from a card or colour board. Looking at a small sample of colour is not a true reflection of how an entire wall or room will look when painted. I always recommend purchasing several sample pots which can be purchased directly from Little Greene’s website or at your local stockist.

Sample pots cost £4.60 each and are only available in absolute matt. Considering the cost of designer paint, sample pots are essential, ensuring you make the right decision.

You should also be aware that light affects colour, rather than making a decision based on a glance at your paint sample. Wait and view the colour at different times of the day, the quality of light will change how you perceive colour.

I thought it worth mentioning in case your a fan of Farrow and Ball. If you ask your local stockist of Little Greene Paint, they should be able to mix F&B colours with Little Greene Paint. I have done this in the past with great success.

I have nothing against Farrow and Ball, some of their colors are beautiful, but I do prefer Little Greene Paint.

Little Greene Paint Mid Lead with Loft White

little greene paint mid lead

Hire a Painter North Down

Interested in booking a professional painter. Please get in touch providing a brief outline of the work required with an approximate time for completion. Contact Andrew, Email: andrew@clearcutpainting.co.uk, Mobile: 07419998922

Please note that I price jobs based on the amount of time to complete, my current day rate is £125. The only additional costs to the customer are the finish coats of paint. I provide primers, undercoats and miscellaneous items (filler, masking tape, caulk).

Clear Cut Painting now offers dustless sanding using a random orbital sander and dust extractor. If your plaster is pitted, scored, dinged or badly scraped, in most cases the plaster can be restored without having the walls skimmed.

Ever find yourself conflicted, staring into the room wondering where to start. Should I paint walls or trim first? what is the best order to paint a room.

You could of course just hire the services of a professional painter. Before you do, let me explain how I paint a room and achieve professional consistent results day in and day out.

What About The Ceiling?

I’m assuming that we have painted the ceiling first, if the answer is NO, then we need to first finish painting the ceiling. Walls and trim are always the final areas of a room to be painted.

Painting ceilings can be messy work depending on the condition of the ceiling. Due to the potential mess, ceilings must be painted first. Thus avoiding any dust, dirt and paint spray from the roller sleeve sticking to the walls or trim below.

How To Repair Cracks In Ceilings

Now to answer the question above, should I “Paint Walls or Trim First”. While others may not share my opinion, I always paint the trim first, then the walls, but WHY?

Cutting in trim is a lot more difficult than cutting in walls. By following my method below I guarantee professional results with super clean lines.

1)  First prepare the walls filling any dinges, scrapes and holes in the plaster. I recommended Toupret Interior Filler, easy to mix, easy to sand, drys in 30 minutes.

2) While the filler is drying, it’s time to caulk the trim using Decorators Caulk. I always caulk the entire edge of the baseboards and surrounds of door frames hiding any gaps. Larger gaps wider than 3 mm will need caulked again as I find the caulk tends to sink into the gap.

Newborn 930-GTD Drip-Free Caulking Gun

Painters Tips: Smooth out the caulk using a damp cloth, wet the end of your finger, then run your finger over the caulk. Remove any excess using your cloth ensuring even distribution.

3) Sand walls thoroughly using a Pole Sander attached to an Extension Pole. For the woodwork use a Foam Sanding block, they are flexible and easily mold to fit the contours of the trim. I use 120 Grade Sandpaper for the walls and 120 grade foam blocks for the woodwork.

If you need to fill nail holes, mitre joints or knots on woodwork, I recommend using Toupret Ready Mixed Filler.

paint walls or trim first

4) Once the walls and woodwork have been prepared, it’s time to focus on painting all trim before starting to paint the walls. Previously painted woodwork must be undercoated before top coats. Newly installed trim must be primed unless it has been primed during the manufacture process.

Zinsser Bullseye 123 Primer Sealer

Don’t worry about getting paint on the wall when painting the trim. As I mentioned earlier it’s much easier to cut the walls to the trim after. Plus, you can lay a thicker coat of paint on the top edge of trim sealing the caulking between trim and walls. Ensure that all trim is given two top coats with a light sand between each coat.

5) Wait 24 hours before taping off any trim, I use 38mm Scotchblue Painter Masking Tape for baseboards. The extra wide tape helps to act as a paint shield stopping any paint spray from the roller sleeve.

paint walls or trim first

6) To achieve a professional finish on walls requires a few essential painter tools 1) Hamilton Microfibre Sleeve 12 Inch 2) Purdy Fibreglass Extension Pole  3) Adjustable Roller Frame 4) Purdy 2.5 inch Angular Trim Brush 5) Mini Roller & Frame.

The tools above are what I use on daily basis, hamilton roller sleeves are cheap, leave a beautiful smooth finish and are easy to clean. When cutting in around trim using your purdy angular brush, it is good practice to back roll using your 4 inch mini roller.

Back rolling is the term used in the paint industry to describe the process of dry rolling the freshly painted surface with a short to medium nap, immediately following the application of paint onto walls or ceilings. Back rolling freshly cut in paint removes brush marks, this helps to give an even texture over the entire wall. 

Painter Tip: Cut in one wall at a time, then roll the wall, this helps to keep a wet edge and avoid lapping.

Once your finished painting the walls simply remove the masking tape from the trim, touch up if necessary and your finished.

Paint Walls or Trim First

Painting the trim first is definitely much faster than trying to paint the trim at the end. One key benefit to painting trim first, is the ability to tape off baseboards before painting the walls.

Generally the only area I tape of is baseboards as I find it difficult to see unless your down on your knees with your eyes level with the Baseboards when cutting in.

As for the remaining trim, I paint freehand, if you’re inexperienced at cutting in. I would recommend the Purdy 2.5 inch Angular Trim Brush, makes cutting in a breeze.

paint walls or trim first

When I’m in the US on holiday, I always make a point of calling into a Sherwin Williams paint store and purchasing half a dozen brushes.

Top 16 Essential Painter Tools 

Should I Paint The Walls Before Installing Baseboards

If your having a new wood, laminate or tiled floor installed, it is common practice to remove the baseboards. A common question I get asked is should I paint the walls before installing the baseboards.

The answer is NO, always install the baseboards (skirting) before painting. This allows you or a professional painter to fill and caulk the baseboards. As I explain above, there are many professional painters who follow the same method as myself and paint trim first before walls.

It’s my opinion that method above delivers superior results when painting a room professionally.

How To Paint A Room Like A Professional

Painters Tips: 

  • Leave decorators caulk for 1 hour before painting
  • Allow trim to cure for a minimum of 24 hours before applying painters masking tape
  • For cutting in walls use an angular professional nylon paint brush
  • Use scotchblue painter tape, cheap masking tape will tear (remove) fresh paint

amazon prime free trial

Hire a Professional Painter

If you happen to reside in the North Down area (Bangor, Newtownards, Holywood) and are looking to hire the services of a professional painter. Please don’t hesitate to contact me, Email: Andrew


This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me (Andrew Firth). For questions about this blog, please contact andrew@clearcutpainting.co.uk.

Some posts contain Amazon affiliate links. I may earn a small commission when those links are clicked on and a product is purchased. There is no additional costs to you.