We've all heard the saying “Preparation is everything!” numerous times.  When it comes to painting, the time you spend preparing will have a direct impact on the end result. The professional decorator will tell you that good thorough preparation is the key to achieving a high quality, long lasting finish. Here are ten top tips to ensure you create a lasting feature in your home:

1. Clean the walls or surfaces that you are going to paint. Grease, water or dirt on the surface prevents the paint from making proper contact, which can affect adhesion and finish. We recommend that surfaces are clean and dry before painting

2. When over-coating previously painted surfaces always ensure any loose or flaking paint is removed.

3. Fill any cracks or holes with filler to ensure that your surface will look as smooth as possible when painted.

4. If you are painting woodwork, you may need to lightly sand the surface first to provide a key for the new paint to stick to. Primer may also be needed.

5. Ensure that you take the time to get smooth edges. Using masking tape around woodwork will stop any spills and give you clean lines that don’t rely on just a steady hand!

6. Unscrew light switches and plug points – it’s much easier to paint the wall then screw the fitting back in than it is to paint wobbly lines around them – and much neater!

7. Don’t be tempted to paint without a dust sheet – you will regret it if your carpet or flooring gets painted by mistake.

8. You should always use the same type of paint from primer to finish – either water-based or oil-based. Don’t mix them.

9. Always read the instructions on the back of the tin carefully and heed the drying and overcoating times. Don’t be tempted to put another coat of paint on before the previous one has dried properly – it may lift some of the previous coat off the surface which will only take more time to cover in the long run.

10. If you have pets or kids, it’s a good idea to arrange for someone to look after them while you get down to painting, sticky finger marks or paw prints may not amuse you at the time!