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Interior Project Guide

Choosing Paint

Choosing Paint


A prepcoat is any coat of paint applied to your substrate to prepare for the application of the topcoat. Primers, sealers and undercoats are all prepcoats.  When painting a new surface, the prepcoat is actually the most important step of a panting project!


A primer is the first coat of paint applied to the substrate. A primer has many purposes, including:
- Blocking out stains and tannins
- Stops rust occurring on a metal surface
- Smooths out imperfections on a rough surface
- Creates a barrier to stop moisture travelling from the substrate to the topcoat
- Some primers contain properties that assist to prevent mould and fungus from developing


A sealer is a special type of primer designed to be used with, or in place of, a primer. A sealer prevents the topcoat from soaking into the substrate, and to a degree, can create a water-resistant layer between the substrate and topcoat.


An undercoat is used after a primer. It is used to fill any minor imperfections to create a smooth, even-coloured surface ready for the application of the topcoat. An undercoat also assists to lighten a surface when changing from a dark to a pale colour.


Typically, today you can buy a multi-in-one prepcoat product that saves time, money and confusion! Berger's Acrylic Sealer Undercoat is great for interior surfaces and compatible with both water-based and oil-based paint. Dulux 1 Step™ Acrylic Primer Sealer & Undercoat are great options for both interior and exterior projects.


There are prepcoats that are designed for specific uses and areas. Dulux PRECISION Stain & Mould Blocker is a water based prepcoat that is a suitable for covering a range of oil based stains and is ideal for kitchens, bathrooms and laundries as it has been specially formulated to inhibit mould and mildew growth. Dulux PRECISION Maximum Adhesion Primer is a great primer for tricky surfaces - glass, tiles, laminate, glossy enamels, etc.


When we talk about oil or water based paint, we are referring to the solvent used in the paint, which is the liquid component of the paint that evaporates as the paint dries.


As the name suggests, the solvent used in a water-based paint is almost all water. Water-based paints are also referred to as acrylic paints.


Oil-based paints use a mineral turpentine as the solvent in the makeup of the paint. They are often referred to as enamel paints which is technically incorrect.


An enamel paint refers to any paint that produces a hard and glossy finish. Previously, all enamel paints were oil-based however modern technology has allowed for water-based enamels to be created. Dulux’s Aquanamel has soared in popularity due to its low odour, non-yellowing, chip-resistant finish that is easier to clean up as able to be washed up in water (unlike traditional oil-based enamels).

Sheen Levels:


Also known as ultra-flat, flat paint has little or no shine and is used on ceilings. It is generally not suitable for broad walls as there is no washability in flat paint.


Matt broad wall paints have little to no shine and are ideal for making imperfections less obvious. Matt wall paints reduce the issues of glancing light in open plan areas, however due to the lower washability aren’t suitable for high traffic areas.


Eggshell falls between matt and low sheen. It is fully washable with a very subtle sheen level. The almost matt finish that softens reflected light and glare.

Low Sheen

Australia's favourite sheen level! Suitable for medium to high traffic areas (such as hallways and living rooms) due to the high washability with a lower level of shine. Low sheen paints are also ideal for masking imperfections on the walls.

Semi Gloss

Generally used in ‘wet rooms’ (kitchen, bathroom, laundry) as the paint is more resistant, providing an easy to clean surface. The higher sheen level will show more imperfections on the wall.


Gloss paints are mainly used on doors, trim, architraves, etc. Although gloss paints are not generally used on main walls, it is used if a shiny or glossy finish is desired. The gloss paint will show all imperfections, so it is important to prepare the surface correctly, and repair any dents, divots, holes, etc.

High Gloss

High gloss is an oil-based enamel that is used only on doors and trims. High gloss is the glossiest sheen level you can get.



When painting the interior of your home, it's important to choose a paint with good washability that will allow you to wipe away marks and dirt from high-traffic areas. We recommend Dulux Wash&Wear and Berger Everlast for keeping your walls in top shape.


Specialty topcoats have been created to perform better in certain situations. Dulux Wash&Wear +PLUS Kitchen&Bathroom is developed specifically for damp and humid environments such as kitchens, bathrooms and laundries, and is fortified with a powerful mould-inhibitor.  Dulux Wash&Wear +PLUS Anti-Bac is a washable paint that has been developed to resist the growth of bacteria and mould on walls, which may trigger asthma and allergy symptoms.

Doors & Trims:

Oil Based

Traditional oil-based paints are popular for use on trims, doors and windows due to the hard wearing finish. Dulux’s Super Enamel in Gloss, Semi-Gloss or High Gloss and Berger’s Doors & Trim Oil Based both achieve a beautiful smooth finish.

Water Based

Water-based enamels have increased in popularity due to its low odour, non-yellowing, chip-resistant finish that is easier to clean up as able to be washed up in water. Dulux’s Aquanamel and Berger’s Door & Trim Water Based are our recommendation!



Ceiling paint is designed to provide a flat finish to minimise reflection, and excellent hiding power to reduce the appearance of surface imperfections. Dulux Ceiling White and Berger Ceiling are excellent choices for providing a perfect finish.


Like broad walls, wet areas like kitchens, bathrooms and laundries will need a specialised paint for the ceiling to withstand the excess steam and moisture, and inhibit the mould that is more likely to develop. Ceiling White +PLUS Kitchen&Bathroom is formulated with Mouldshield protection. It is has superior opacity to provide excellent hiding power, making it perfect for the whole home.

HOW MUCH PAINT DO I NEED (Paint Calculator)

Determining how much paint you should buy for your next paint project will save you money and minimise wastage.

As a rule, when painting any surface you will need two coat coverage for top coats with a spread rate of 16 square metres per litre and one coat coverage for preparation products with a spread rate of 12 square metres per litre. The coverage rates will vary depending on surface being coated and the particular product you are using. 

For example, a 4m (wide) x 4m (long) x 3m (high) bedroom equals 48sqm.

  • For two coats of top coat you’ll need 6L of paint
    • 48sqm x 2 coats = 96sqm / 16sqm per litre = 6L
  • For one coat of undercoat you’ll need 3L of paint
    • 48sqm x 1 coats = 48sqm / 12sqm per litre = 3L

Take out doors and windows from the calculations to get the exact amount of paint required.

Before starting any project, we always recommend speaking to our expert paint staff about your project first.


Wallpaper offers the ability to update your interior scheme with colour, texture and pattern and can play a crucial role in the overarching design scheme of a room. Wallpaper can be used in any room, on walls, ceilings, even in book shelves - it’s versatile enough to have either the main lead, the ‘showstopper’ centrepiece, a supporting role in creating ambience and tone, or both.

Why choose wallpaper?

Wallpaper offers a choice of colour, texture and pattern that will add a level of luxury and point of difference to your interior scheme. But there are some practical advantages to using wallpaper too.

If you have uneven or cracked walls, a textured wallpaper will cover up imperfections making them look good as new. Wallpaper is typically very durable, making it easy to clean.

Modern wallpaper is easy to apply and removes, making it easy to change the look and feel of a room as your styles, tastes and trends evolve.

Testing Wallpaper?

Wallpaper books are available at your local Inspirations Paint wallpaper stockists, so you will be able to have a look at the colour and feel the texture before committing to buy.

Pattern or Texture?

When looking to manipulate small spaces such as hallways, powder rooms or study nooks, horizontally striped wallpaper or patterns that have strong horizontal lines will help make spaces appear wider. Vertical stripes will create a sense of height.

When it comes to the bedroom, establish a sense of calm using textured wallpaper with dark tones – from brooding greys to midnight blue, envelop yourself in a room where ‘r & r’ comes easy. Grass cloth wallpaper is the perfect choice to add a layer of luxe.

Create the latest industrial faux trend in your own home with wallpaper that captures the illusion of timber, brickwork, metal or concrete. Glam up your home with metallic wallpaper that shimmers and refracts light. Or create an elegantly subdued interior using warm, burnished and lustrous metallics. Add a layer of luxury, visual richness and depth with textures and grass cloth, or dress up your little one’s space with designs that capture the imagination. With thousands of patterns to choose from you will be sure to find the best wallpaper for your home here.

Wallpaper Roll Estimator

It is hard to estimate how much wallpaper you will need, as it will depend on the width and height of your walls, how many walls you are wanting to paper and the width of the roll. It is recommended to over-estimate rather than under estimate as you will be guaranteed to get wallpaper printed in the same batch run. If you find yourself short and need to order extra, you may find the colour slightly different as it may have been printed in a different batch.