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Little things can make a big difference. See what we’re talking about with these paint-related tidbits of advice:

  1. We found this recipe for home-made chalk paint, which will save you a bit of money, on (chalk paint only refers to the beautiful matt look and is not to be confused with chalkboard paint): Dissolve 1 cup plaster of Paris in a bit of water and mix it into three cups of water-based paint. Stir occasionally while using.
  2. This recipe, on the other hand, is for home-made chalkboard paint and has a gritty finish for writing or drawing with chalk: Add two tablespoons of non-sanded grout to one cup of paint and stir well. Stir occasionally while working.
  3. Paint smell? Place bowls containing vanilla essence in the room.
  4. Sidestep the hassle of cleaning a paint roller tray by covering the tray in tin foil, cling wrap or even a simple plastic bag.
  1. Afraid that paint might drip or splatter onto the windows? Press wet newspaper against the windowpanes. The paper will stick, won’t dry before you’re done painting and is super easy to remove afterwards.
  2. A simple but helpful tip from Plascon: Paint walls from right to left if you’re right-handed (left to right if you’re left-handed) so that you never place your free hand on a wet wall.
  3. In general, longer pile (“thick fabric”) rollers are good for painting rough surfaces while shorter pile is better for smoother surfaces. But do check with your in-store sales assistant.
  4. To choose a “good” paint roller, run your hand over it in the store. If fibres or lint come off, steer clear. Also steer clear if you see loose pieces of fabric at the ends, or a seam somewhere along the roller.
  5. Always sand something down in a circular motion to ensure the most adhesive surface for fresh paint.
  1. Sugar soap or warm water with dishwashing liquid are both easy and safe to use for cleaning walls, regardless of the type of paint on them. Sugar soap is also a safe all-purpose cleaner for carpets, tiles, baths and toilets after your DIY project has left a bit of a mess.
  2. Did you know that you can make your own mold or mildew cleaner (if you don’t want to buy available store-bought versions)? Plascon’s DIY gurus say to mix four litres of hot water with half a cup chlorine-based bleach and a third cup laundry detergent. Use the solution and a sponge with an abrasive side to scrub the area before applying a coat of good quality bathroom & kitchen paint with anti-fungal properties.
  3. Don’t know what to do with leftover paint? Donate it to a school or charity who might be able to put it to good use.
  4. When covering skirtings, door frames and other trim with painter’s masking tape to achieve clean joining lines with the wall, use a scraper to press down the tape edges as this will prevent “bleeding”.
  1. An interesting tip we’ve come across on Buzzfeed: Tap nails into the bottom of light-weight furniture’s legs to raise them off the ground for easy painting from top to bottom.
  2. Furniture screws you don’t want to paint over? Cover them with a bit of Vaseline.
  3. Cover awkward fittings like toilets with cling wrap to avoid accidental paint stains.
  4. To prevent the lid from sticking to the can, put a sheet of plastic in between them before closing.
  5. The best way to prevent paint stains on door handles or hinges is to remove them before painting. A quick cheat, however, is to cover them tightly and neatly in tin foil instead.
  6. A roller extension speeds up the painting and makes those hard-to-reach places a little less hard-to-reach.
  7. Planning to use your paint roller the next morning? Pop it into a plastic bag and then into a Pringles can, tightly sealed away. Placing the bag-covered roller (or brush), sealed with a tight rubber band around the handle, can also be held in the fridge for long-lasting wetness.