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Interior Project Guide

Your ultimate guide to interior projects

We love paint projects like a Labrador loves a chop. And no matter how big or small your next project is, we want to arm you with the best tools, tips and tricks to ensure your DIY project goes smoothly.

Whether it be a full room makeover or upcycling some well-loved furniture, an interior paint project will give you home a new lease on life - so check out the below guide to help you with your next interior project.


Preparation is key! Ensuring your surface is properly prepared will prevent paint problems from popping up in the future.

Unpainted Surfaces:

No two unpainted surfaces are the same – different surfaces need different preparation to allow for the best end result. Plus, the appropriate prepcoat and topcoat will also differ depending on the surface. These processes are suitable for unpainted (bare) surfaces.


  1. Lightly sand the final coat of plaster with 180 to 360 grip sandpaper to create a smooth, flat surface.
  2. Wipe sanded surface with damp rag to remove any dust particles.
  3. Apply one coat of acrylic sealer undercoat to the surface. It’s important to apply the prepcoat as soon as the plasterboard joints are set so moisture can’t penetrate the joints.
  4. For a premium finish, lightly sand the prepcoat with 180-360 grit sandpaper. This step is optional, but will improve the overall finish of the paint job.
  5. Wipe away any dust particles with a damp rag.
  6. Apply two coats of acrylic topcoat to the surface.
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Note - When mortar (the “glue” between bricks) has been used between the bricks on a new brick surface, it requires 4 - 6 weeks to properly cure before applying any sort of paint.

  1. Thoroughly clean the surface with sugar soap and a wire brush. Clean the solution off with a wet cloth.
  2. After the surface is dried, brush the surface down with a hard bristled brush to remove dust particles.
  3. Apply one coat of non-alkyd masonry primer.
  4. Apply two coats of acrylic top coat.
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Hard Set Plaster

Hard Set Plaster

Newly applied hard set plaster needs to be left for roughly 12 weeks to cure before applying any coats of paint.

  1. Fill any imperfections with an interior filler
  2. Sand the surface smooth with 180-240 grit sandpaper. Brush down to remove excess dust.
  3. Apply one coat of quality sealer binder.
  4. Apply two coats of acrylic top coat.
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Bare Timber

Bare Timber
  1. Sand the surface with a 120-240 grit sandpaper.
  2. If there are any nails present, punch them to 3mm below the surface.
  3. Fill nail holes, cracks and any imperfections with a filler.
  4. Wipe down surface with a cloth to remove all dust particles.
  5. Timber is naturally very porous and has a tendency to absorb a lot of moisture, and also contain tannins and natural oils which can leach through to the topcoat if the surface is not primed properly. Therefore, use one coat of quality stain-blocking primer sealer undercoat on your surface.
  6. Apply two coats of acrylic or oil based enamel.
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Pre-primed timber

Pre-primed timber
  1. Lightly sand the surface with 120 to 240 grip sandpaper to remove any loose and chalky pre-primed finish.
  2. If there are any nails present, punch them to 3mm below the surface.
  3. Fill nail holes, cracks and any imperfections with a filler.
  4. Wipe down surface with a cloth to remove all dust particles.
  5. Apply one coat of primer sealer undercoat to the surface.
  6. Apply two coats of acrylic or oil-based topcoat to the surface.
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Pre-primed doors

Pre-primed doors
  1. Sand the surface with 180 to 240 grit sandpaper to remove any loose and chalky pre-primed finish.
  2. Wipe down the surface with a damp cloth to wipe away any residual dust particles.
  3. Apply one coat of Dulux Precision Max Adhesion Strength Primer to the door.
  4. Apply two coats of top coat to the surface. Both oil-based and water-based top coats are suitable to use on pre-primed doors, however a water-based paint is recommended in exterior settings.
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  1. Clean the surface with a scourer and Sugar Soap to remove any grease from the surface.
  2. Sand with 180 grit sandpaper until the surface is dull or matte, with no shine or gloss.
  3. Wipe down the surface with a damp cloth to wipe away any remaining dust particles.
  4. Apply one coat of high-adhesion prepcoat.
  5.  Apply two coats of hard-wearing acrylic enamel top coat.
  6. Let the surface to cure for a few days prior to use.
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Particle Board

Particle Board
  1. Sand with 180-240 grit sandpaper.
  2. If there are any nails present, punch them to 3mm below the surface and fill with a filler
  3. Wipe down the surface with a damp cloth to wipe away any remaining dust particles.
  4. Apply one coat of high-adhesion undercoat.
  5. For an expert finish, apply two coats of prepcoat to the edges of the particle board for better long-term performance and better moisture resistance.
  6. Apply two coats of hard-wearing acrylic or oil-based enamel top coat.
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Glass and Ceramic Tiles

Glass and Ceramic Tiles

These steps are not suitable for walk-on surfaces, and are only recommended for hard and glossy surfaces.

  1. Clean with sugar soap and a scourer.
  2. Wipe down the surface with a damp cloth to wipe away any remaining cleaning residue.
  3. Apply one coat of Dulux Precision Max Adhesion Strength Primer to the tiles.
  4. Apply two coats of hard-wearing acrylic or oil-based enamel top coat.
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Pre-painted Surface Testing:

Prior to repainting a currently painted surface, you should perform a few checks or tests to ensure the existing coating and surface is suitable to be painted over. Painting over an unsound surface can cause more problems in the future, so it’s better to take the time to perform these easy checks to ensure your project can be complete without hiccups, and will last without problems.


To determine the degree of chalking, rub your finger or a dark cloth over the surface. Dampen the area and scrub with Sugar Soap. Clean off and dry, and then repeat the process to ensure all chalking has been removed.

Cross-Hatch Adhesion test:

Check the condition of the previous coating of paint to ensure it’s in good condition. If the current coating is not in good condition, the new coating may not adhere to the surface and will cause future paint problems. Check the condition of your surface by following these steps:

  1. Use a sharp blade to cut an X into the existing paint coatings.
  2. Place a piece of sticky tape over the X and press down firmly.
  3. Quickly peel the tape off the surface.
  4. Repeat the process in different areas of the surface to check the entire surface.

If flakes of paint are stuck to the sticky tape, or have flaked away from the test surface, the current coating is not suitable to be painted over. The existing paint should be removed by sanding or stripping the surface back and treating the area as a new, unpainted surface.

If there is no paint on the tape, and no paint has been removed from the test areas, your surface is suitable for repainting.

Contaminant Clean:

Contaminants will sit on the surface of the substrate and previous coating, and the residue of these contaminants can affect the adhesion of the new paint. Contaminants can include dirt, dust, salt, oil, grease, mould, surface moisture and residual cleaning products.

To ensure the surface is free from any residue;

  1. Clean the surface with Selley’s Sugar Soap to remove all contaminants
  2. Thoroughly wipe the surface down after the Sugar Soap with a water-soaked rag free of any chemicals to wipe away any traces of the Sugar Soap. As it is a cleaning product, the residue of the sugar soap can also affect the adhesion of any coats.
  3. Ensure the surface is completely dry before beginning the painting process.

Lead Testing:

Before 1970, paint used on the interiors and exteriors of houses contained high levels of lead. White lead was used as the main white pigment in house paint, therefore will be found in pretty much all paint. Recognising the major health impacts that lead paints caused, in 1970 Australia limited the amount of lead able to be in paint to 1%, and in 1997 further reduced that amount to 0.1%.

Therefore, when painting in an older house, it’s important to test to see if there is any lead present in the paint. This is particularly important if your surface is flaking or chalking.

Lead tests can be purchased from Inspirations Paint, and are easy to conduct. Follow the instructions on the packaging of your Lead Test Kit to determine if there is lead present.

Previous Paint / Metho Test:

It’s important to know whether oil-based or water-based (acrylic) paint was used on the existing surface. Knowing the type of paint used will determine what type of paint and processes need to be followed when repainting.

  1. Apply methylated spirits to a clean rag so the rag is moist
  2. Rub the painted surface with the metho-soaked rag
  3. Check the surface and rag to see what effect the metho has had

If the paint on the surface has slightly dissolved, or the paint has rubbed off onto the rag, the coating used is water-based (acrylic).

If there has been no effect on the painted surface, and there is no paint on the rag, the surface has been painted with an oil-based paint.


Unsound Surfaces: Diagnosing Surface Problems

Surface issues on a pre-painted surface are often caused by poor preparation. Poor preparation can result in different problems all requiring different fixes and solutions.



Mould is a fungus that grows when moisture is present, generally forming a dark stain on painted and bare surfaces. It commonly grows in areas where there is moisture present, or little to no sunlight or fresh air/poor ventilation.

It’s important to tackle mould as soon as possible due to the negative health impacts it can have if left unattended. You should also always use appropriate protection equipment when removing mould.

If dealing with minor surface mould, simply spray a product like 30 Seconds Mould Off, leave until the solution seeps into the surface and wipe away with a damp rag. Repeat if necessary. If the surface mould have left a stain on the surface and you choose to repaint, ensure you use a mould and stain blocking prepcoat to assist in the prevention of mould growth. A suitable topcoat that has mould and bacteria resistant properties should be used.

If your mould problem is more extreme than surface mould, or the mould is recurring after removal, it is likely that the problem is occurring due to excess moisture effecting the structure of the building. Prior to removing and repainting the mould, seek the advice of a professional to ensure there is no structural damage and embark on suitable waterproofing methods.

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Efflorescence is a layer of crusty white mineral salt that appears on masonry substrates (i.e. brick, render, concrete, etc.) that appears when excess moisture causes the minerals leach out of the surface.  If the efflorescence is caused by residual moisture, the efflorescence will naturally disappear as the surface cures. If this does not happen, the moisture is coming from an external source that requires attention.

If efflorescence is occurring on a bare surface, brush down the substrate with a stiff brush to remove the leached minerals, followed by sponging the surface with a 5% white vinegar & 95% water mixture. It is not recommended to coat the surface until the substrate is fully dried, and the source of the moisture leak has been attended to.

If repairing an efflorescence-damaged surface that is currently painted, the paint will need to be completely removed by mechanical or chemical stripping, and prepare the surface as you would a bare surface. Paint should not be reapplied until the surface is clean, dry, free from mould and algae, and any area where excess water is affective the surface is repaired.

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Wrinkling is a rough, crinkled paint surface that develops on a painted surface. Causes for wrinkling include a coating of paint being too thick, applying the second coat of paint too quickly, poor surface preparation, not painting in ideal conditions or the surface was expose to moisture too early.

If you have a painted surface that has started to wrinkle, you will need to remove the existing coatings by scraping or sanding the surface and reapply the paint. In order to prevent wrinkling from occurring again, ensure you thoroughly prepare the surface, paint in ideal weather conditions and follow the advised dry, recoat and cure times (allow extra dry time if the weather conditions are not ideal).

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Cracking & Flaking

Cracking & Flaking

Cracking is the splitting of dried, brittle paint. It can effect one or more coats of paint, including the prepcoat. If left unattended, cracked paint can eventually lead to flaking paint.

Causes for cracking paint can include the surface not being correctly prepared, incorrect prepcoat or no prepcoat at all being used, the prepcoat was exposed to the weather, the wrong topcoat was used, the topcoat was applied incorrectly or the coatings were exposed to high humidity or moisture during the application or drying process. Sometimes, the paint will crack or flake simply because the paint system is old and needs replacing.

To repair cracking or flaking paint, you will need to remove the paint by scraping or sanding. Depending on the size of the affected area, it may be possible to repair only the damaged section. Once the cracking/flaking paint has been removed, apply a quality and suitable prepcoat and topcoat depending on your surface type. Ensure you follow the recommended times for drying, recoating and curing, as well as completing the project in the ideal weather conditions.

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Blistering is when bubbles of gas or moisture form under a coat of paint. This usually happens when a coating has lost adhesion with the previous coat or substrate. 

Blistering can occur when moisture effects a surface. This can happen when moisture has travelled through a surface and cannot escape. This will typically happen with an oil based paint which seals the surface after painting, whereas as water-based paints allow the coating to “breathe” – i.e. less chance of any moisture being trapped. Blistering can also be a result of painting a warm surface in direct sunlight, moisture was present on the surface during painting and not allowing sufficient drying time in between coats.

If blistering becomes a problem, you will need to strip the surface of existing paint, sufficiently dry the surface and repaint with a quality prepcoat and topcoat following the recommended times for drying, recoating and curing, as well as completing the project in the ideal weather conditions.

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Peeling occurs when the paint coat had lost adhesion to the previous coating or surface. Unlike flaking paint which goes brittle, peeling paint retains its cohesion and remains intact. Peeling is commonly cause by a poorly prepared substrate, no prepcoat or the wrong prepcoat was used, the wrong topcoat was used, the topcoat or prepcoat was applied incorrectly, there was moisture present in in the substrate or the surface temperature was too hot.

Peeling paint will need to be completely removed by stripping, sanding or scraping the paint away before recoating with a quality prepcoat and topcoat. Ensure the topcoat and prepcoat are compatible, and that recommended times for drying, recoating and curing, as well as completing the project in the ideal weather conditions are followed.



Alligatoring is the patterned cracking of brittle paint that looks a bit like alligator skin when cracking. Alligatoring starts to happen when the paint loses its flexibility, so therefore is more common in oil-based paints as they are less flexible. This paint problem will also occur if an oil-based paint is used to paint over a water-based paint, there was insufficient drying time between applications, or the coating was applied too thick.

Paint that is starting to “alligator” will need to be stripped, sanded or scraped off before recoating with a suitable topcoat and prepcoat. Ensure the surface is properly prepared, and that the drying times are followed.

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Surfactant Leaching

Surfactant Leaching

Surfactant Leaching is the appearance of watermark-like streaks on a painted surface. It is a paint problem that generally occurs in room where there is a lot of moisture, such as the bathroom or laundry, but can also affect your house exterior due to rain or overnight dew. It occurs when the painted surface is exposed to moisture during the curing process.

Thankfully, surfactant leaching only effects the appearance of your surface and doesn’t cause any damage to the durability of the paint. To remove surfactant leaching, wait until the paint has fully cured and then scrub the surface with sugar soap. If the surfactant leaching has left permanent marks, you can repaint the surface however ensure you leave ample curing time before exposing moisture to the surface.

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Flaking Lead Paint

If you have flaking lead paint, it should be dealt with carefully so any excess paint flakes are not spread around the area and setting into furniture and carpet.

If looking to remove the lead paint as a DIY project, we recommend using a product like Dumond Peel Away Heavy Duty Paint Remover to safely strip the lead paint away. If opting to complete the task yourself, make sure the appropriate safety equipment is worn at all times, and the instructions on the manufacturer’s label are followed to a tee.


Get a professional and long-lasting finish with

Acrylic based

  1. Scrub the surface down with Sugar Soap to remove any stains, dirt or grease.
  2. Lightly sand the surface with 180 – 240 grit sandpaper, wiping away excess dust particles.
  3. For walls, apply two coats of acrylic topcoat. For doors and trims, apply two coats of acrylic enamel topcoat.

Oil based

  1. Scrub the surface down with Sugar Soap to remove any stains, dirt or grease.
  2. Lightly sand the surface with 180 – 240 grit sandpaper, wiping away excess dust particles.
  3. Apply one coat of acrylic or oil-based primer sealer undercoat.
  4. For walls, apply two coats of acrylic or oil-based topcoat. For doors and trims, apply two coats of acrylic or oil-based enamel topcoat

Stained / clear timber coat

  1. If the surface has a stain or clear coat, scrub the surface down with Sugar Soap to remove any stains or dirt.
  2. Lightly sand the surface with 80-120 or 180–240 grit sandpaper, wiping away excess dust particles.
  3. Apply one coat of acrylic or oil-based primer sealer undercoat.
  4. For walls, apply two coats of acrylic or oil-based topcoat. For doors and trims, apply two coats of acrylic or oil-based enamel topcoat

Lead paint

Surfaces painted with lead paint should only be painted over if there are no disturbances to the topcoat (i.e chalking, flaking, peeling, etc.). If the topcoat is damaged, it will need to be stripped prior to painting.

  1. Scrub the surface down with Sugar Soap to remove any grease or dirt.
  2. Apply one coat of acrylic or oil-based sealer.
  3. For walls, apply two coats of acrylic or oil-based topcoat. For doors and trims, apply two coats of acrylic or oil-based enamel topcoat


Choosing colour is probably the most exciting part of a home makeover... but with so many hues and shades, where do you begin? Here, we break down how a colour can make you feel, and give some tips and trips to choosing between the many different shades of whites and greays.

hue groups:

See how your colour choices can effect the feeling your space creates.



Red represents energy, power and passion. It’s also been found to stimulate appetite so it’s a common choice for dining rooms and kitchen splashbacks.

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Orange creates warmth and a sense of joy, and is often used as an accent colour.

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Yellow has different effects depending on how much is used. Generally, yellow is a happy and uplifting colour but when overused it can be distracting and overwhelming.

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Green conveys a sense of renewal and growth, and blends easily with any room.

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Blue is generally a peaceful colour. Light blue can make a room appear bright and refreshing, while a deep blue creates a sense of pride and dignity.

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Purple and Violet

Purple and Violet

Purple and Violet combines the calm of blue and the energy of red. Violet is often used in bedrooms to communicate an air of serenity and tranquillity.

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Brown and Beige

Brown and Beige

Brown and beige colours evoke strength and reliability. The earthy tone is best suited to rooms like a bedroom or lounge room where a feeling of comfort and safety is desired.

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Neutral colours include shades of white, taupe and grey. Neutral colours are the easiest colours to use as they blend with most settings and furniture. Neutral colours can also be stylish and dramatic.

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Black is a bold colour choice that oozes sophistication and elegance.  Black is a great choice for feature walls when wanting to make a statement.

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Choosing the right white:

Choosing the right white is not as easy as it sounds! Your furnishings, lighting, and style of home will all play a role in choosing the right white for you space.

Cool Whites

Cool whites have a subtle grey, beige or blue undertone. They are a popular choice in modern and contemporary homes and spaces, and when wanting to achieve a minimalist look.

Dulux’s most popular cool whites: Vivid White, White on White, Lexicon, Lexicon Quarter.

Cool Whites

Warm Whites

Warm whites create a cosy feel to a room, popular with traditional and country style homes. The subtle peach, yellow and pink undertones help create an earthy, organic and natural boho feel.

Dulux’s most popular warm whites: Natural White, Antique White U.S.A, Whisper White, Hog Bristle Quarter.

Warm Whites


Natural and artificial lighting can have an impact on how the final colour is seen to the eye. Houses with less natural light are better suited to warmer whites to create a warmer feel, whereas cool white are better suited to houses with more natural light.

Nowadays, lights are available in warm light, cool lights, frosted lights, original lights – the possibilities are endless! Your choice of light globe can change the way your colour choice looks. A cool globe in a warm white room will not look as warm.

Choosing the right GREY:

Grey is the second most popular colour choice amongst Aussies completing a DIY project, but can be a tricky colour to work with. Choosing the right shade of grey is important to make sure it pairs well with existing flooring and furnishings.

Cool Greys

Cool greys are a great choice when you want to make a room seem large and more spacious. The choice of a cool grey tone adds character to a room while creating a clean, crisp feel.  The blue undertone of a cool grey pairs well with navy, teal and turquoise to create a modern and stylish room.

Popular cool greys: Dulux Grey Pail, Dulux Water Worn, Dulux Miller Mood

Warm Greys

Warm Greys

Warm greys are a beautiful soft and serene choice. The yellow undertones of a warm grey create a warm, cosy and inviting vibe to a room. A warm grey adds warmth and light to a room that contains minimal natural light, and works well with a subtle neutral palette.

Popular warm greys: Dulux Hildegard, Dulux Silkwort, Dulux Silver Tea Set

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Deep/Dark Greys

Deep, dark greys like charcoals are the perfect choice for creating a dramatic statement in a room. A popular choice for a feature wall, a dark grey tone creates a sophisticated feel to a room. Pairing well with bright colours, the dark tone of the grey helps the bright and bold colour pop that little bit more!

Popular deep greys: Dulux Ticking, Dulux Wayward Grey, Dulux Maximus

Light/Soft Greys

Light/Soft Greys

Lighter and softer greys are becoming an increasingly popular choice as the staple colour throughout a home. Offering an alternative to whites, soft silvery hues create a subtle and calming feel to a room. Lighter greys pair well with pastel colours to create a fresh, light vibe.

Popular soft greys: Dulux Highgate, Dulux Paramount Design, Dulux Sky Painting

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If you aren't wanting to stick to a single colour selection, selecting a colour scheme can give your room more character and depth.


Monochromatic colour schemes include different shades of colours from one hue group. For example:

- main wall section: Dulux’s Sky Eyes
- bottom wall section: Dulux’s Ship's Offocer
- ceiling: Dulux’s Oceanic



An Achromatic colour scheme is often incorrectly referred to as a monochromatic colour scheme. Achromatic schemes are created from black, white and grey tones.


Complimentary colour schemes are schemes that are made from clashing colours - they are opposite each other on the colour wheel. Complimentary colour schemes are often used when trying to create a retro colour scheme, or used in bright commercial spaces.

interior style types:

< Insert blurb about interior design styles here >


Modern design takes in clean, crisp lines and simple colour palettes. Modern designs incorporate simple elements which feature metals and glass, creating a sleek look.


Contemporary design styles aren’t strict to one style, borrowing elements from other design styles. Contemporary is a fluid style that is constantly evolving to suit the current trends. It contains round and soft neutral palettes.


Minimalist is a style type that’s popularity is just ever-growing! Simplicity is the key to a minimalist theme, incorporating only furnishings that are functional and essential. Design and colour palettes are simple and neutral.


Industrial is very trendy. Think converted warehouse, lofts, high ceilings, exposed beams. The industrial look is very much raw and unfinished, with exposed brick and steel, distressed wood and timber. Abstract art and bright pops of colour complement the industrial feel.



Scandinavian styling celebrates the simplicity of life. Simple and understated, Sacndi style uses functional furniture mainly in white colour tones infused with wooden elements, aluminium and steel. Natural lighting completes the Scandi look.

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Traditional design styles are classic in style and typically feature dark wood, rich colour palettes and lots of textures. Traditionally designed rooms are often furnished with elaborate furniture, velvet and silk textures, and often over-accessorised.



Bohemian style is very carefree and spirited with almost no rules. Think layered textures, rich patterns and prints, vibrant and bold colours. Taking inspiration from international styles from India and Morocco, the boho style is eclectic and bright.

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Rustic styling is often the look that is desired for farmhouse settings, incorporating natural and weathered finishes, stone, wood and leather. Rustic style brings the outside warmth in, paired with neutral modern furniture and lots of plants and vases.


Shabby-chic is a style type that is often compared to boho. It is a timeless look that is vintage-inspired but tends to have soft, feminine touches with ornate distresses statement furniture pieces. Shabby-chic utilises warm colour tones.

Hollywood Glam

Hollywood Glam is luxurious, dramatic and opulent in styling – almost over the top. Typically featuring an achromatic colour scheme, Hollywood Glam is accented with plush velvet furnishings and interchangeable bold pops of the latest on-trend colour to keep the room always one step ahead.


Coastal, or Hampton’s style, is all about bringing those light and airy beach vibes inside.  Similar to the Scandi style, Coastal decorated rooms heavily feature whites and beige colour schemes with distressed, raw and natural wooden elements.

Art Deco

Art Deco

Art Deco captures the glamour and luxury of the Roaring 20’s, and was developed onwards. Colour palettes are strong and bold, animal prints and geometric shapes are prominent and the décor was very decadent and polished, with lots of mirrored and gold accents.

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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.

general prepcoat

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.

specialty prepcoat

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.

Choosing Accessories

So you’ve chosen your colour, and your paint is sorted – but selecting the right accessories to apply your products will ensure a smooth and professional finish.


Choosing the right paint brush for your project is just as important as choosing the right paint.  While it may be tempting to save a few dollars by buying a cheaper brush, a quality brush holds more paint, makes paint application smoother and reduces paint splattering, resulting in a professional looking finish.

Choosing the brush type and size will depend on where the brush will be used. You will probably find you will need a few different brushes in order to complete your paint project.

wall brushes

Wall brushes are the most standard and common type of brush. Typically available in square and oval brush shapes, they are suited to general broad wall painting. Wall brushes are designed to hold more paint due to the thicker bristles or filaments which creates a longer, smoother brush stroke.

CUTTER brushes

Cutter brushes are designed for use on trims, and for ‘cutting in’ before roller painting. They are specially made for door and window frames, and ceiling, wall and corner sections. They generally have less filament than wall brushes as there isn’t a need to hold as much paint in the brush, while the long handle helps to control the stroke. There are several alternative shapes in these long handle brushes.
Sash Cutter - a full bodied cutting in brush ideally suited for the application of water based paints.
Oval Cutter - the oval shape gives greater control and accuracy on the edges of the brush, and holds more paint in the centre.
Angle Cutter - is basically the same as the sash cutter however the top of the brush is made at an angle rather than straight across. The head of the brush and the ferrule are both made at an angle so that the tips of the filament or bristle are retained. This angle assists the user to be able to cut to a sharper more accurate area.
Lining Fitch - thin and with stiff bristles to get into those hard to reach places. Also great for acheiving a straight line.

Brush Widths

The size or width of the brush will also need to be considered when planning your paint project.
25mm: For small jobs & touch-up work such as chairs & timber trim.
38mm: Suitable for furniture, small panels, window frames, trellis, mouldings, shutters and downpipes.
50mm: For small to medium size work such as doors, screens, table tops, railings and cabinets.
63mm: Fitting for outdoor furniture, cupboards, gutters, eaves and doors.
75mm: For medium to large areas such as fence posts and rails, floor boards, steps, skirtings and fascias.
100mm: For all large areas. Most suitable for walls, floors, ceilings, roofs, fences.


roller covers

Just like with paint brushes, choosing the right roller cover is an important step in the DIY project. Roller covers are made from different material types, each designed for certain surfaces, finishes and paint types.
Lambskin roller covers are naturally more absorbent, which means they can hold and release paint more efficiently. Lambskin roller covers are recommended on concrete and render surfaces.
Microfibre roller covers are generally used on ceilings and walls. Microfibre covers tend to have good pick-up and transfer of paint with minimal shedding.
Polyester covers are a lower quality of roller cover. They are best suited to interior walls, ceilings and rendered surfaces.
Foam rollers are best used on doors and trims as they are ideal for achieving high gloss finishes.
Mohair rollers are ideal for applying oil based and water based gloss and semi-gloss paints.
Textured roller covers are designed for application of specialty finishes e.g. fine cover texture, etc.


A “nap” is a term that refers to the height of the fleece on a roller cover. The larger the nap, the more paint that the roller cover can hold.

4-6mm nap height is best used for gloss paints.
10-12mm nap height is best suited when applying matt, low sheen, undercoats to walls and ceilings
15-30mm nap height is most suitable for concrete surfaces and rendered walls.

Roller Accessories

A roller frame allows the roller cover to roll paint onto the substrate smoothly.

Using an extension pole gets a more even finish as the extension pole allows for longer brushstrokes to be used. Extension poles are commonly used when painting the walls or ceiling.

drop sheets:

Drop sheets, or drop cloths, are a protective covering used in a renovation or DIY project to protect furnishings, floorings and other objects from paint splatterings and dust. They are also a great tool used to restrict renovation messes to the DIY area, and make for an easier clean up once the project is completed.


Canvas drop sheets are an absorbent cloth that holds any spilt paint, and are available in a range of sizes. The absorbency of the canvas means the paint soaks into the drop cloth rather than pooling onto the surface, allowing for an easy clean-up and a slip-free painting area. Canvas drop sheets are incredibly durable, withstanding lots of wear-and-tear, and can be reused several times.


Plastic drop sheets are light-weight, cost effective and waterproof (unless they sustain damages, e.g. rips or punctures). Plastic drop sheets are only designed for one or two uses before being disposed.


Fillers are used when there are cracks, holes or imperfections in the substrate which need to be filled to ensure there is a smooth final surface.

powder fillers

Powder fillers need to be mixed with water in order to apply to the surface. Powder fillers are a cost effective filler available for both interior and exterior substrates.

lightweight fillers

There are ready-mixed fillers that are suitable for small to medium sized cracks and holes. Lightweight fillers are convenient and easy to use.

ready-mixed fillers

Ready mixed fillers are a convenient option that is easy to apply. Ready-mixed fillers harden by evaporation, so it is likely to shrink during the drying process. When used on deep/large cracks and holes, it can take a long time to fully set.

caulk fillers

Filler products are available in caulking tubes that allows for an easy application. Fillers that come in a caulking tube are generally made of flexible acrylic that dries as a smooth, plastic-like finish. They are generally used when filling gaps between skirting boards, door frames and architraves. A caulking gun is needed for application.


Abrasives are used to smooth the surface prior to painting. Sandpaper comes in different ‘grits’ (i.e. – coarseness). The lower the grit, the coarser the sandpaper is.
Abrasives are often available as: cork block, sandpaper roll, pads, sheets, pole sander.



Tapes are used to protect the surface from stray paint and spray, and helps to achieve a perfect line. Professional painter’s tapes are rated in days, which indicated how long the tape can be left on the surface without leaving any residue. High quality tapes also prevent edge bleed.  It is never recommended to use standard masking tape for your paint project as it often leaves a sticky residue and does not prevent bleed.




How To Paint


Now that the fun parts over, its time to pack up the projectm ensuring that you clean and store your accessories properly, so they can be used for your next project!


Tired of wasting money replacing your stiff and unusable paint brushes? You can simply wash and clean them so they perform better and last longer.

after use on water based paint

Removing water-based paint from paint brushes is easy as long as you clean them immediately after use. Plunge the paint brush bristles into a bucket of clean warm water. Work them around the bucket and most of the paint build-up will be removed.

The next step is to grab a wire brush and thoroughly comb out remaining paint from bristles. Discard used water and clean out bucket. Repeat washing in the bucket until all paint is removed. If you cannot completely clean use some mineral turpentine and then thoroughly rinse in warm water and soap to remove all of the turps. Dry the paint brush by shaking out the water then replace the paint brush into its cover or a plastic bag and hang so that the bristles are not touching anything otherwise the bristles can become bent & out of shape.


after use on OIL based paint

Slightly different products will need to be used if you’re using oil-based paint to help get rid of any excess paint left on your brush, you will need mineral turpentine to remove the existing paint by pouring roughly 5cm of mineral turpentine into a clean bucket and work them around loosening the remaining paint. Now if paint still remains comb the bristles with a wire brush, dip the bristles into the turpentine again and swish, repeat this process two more times if needs be. Wash the paint brush in warm water and soap, dry the paint brush by shaking out the water then replace the paint brush into its covers or a plastic bag and hang so that the bristles are not touching anything so that they’re not damaged or bent whist drying


  • Keep your water-based and oil-based brushes separate.
  • Clean after every use, neglecting to clean will cause the paint to harden and displace the brush hairs.
  • Wear old clothing when painting and cleaning brushes.
  • Always hang your brushes when drying.


Cleaning paint rollers will allow you to reuse these valuable tools instead of throwing them away, which is good for both the environment and your wallet. Cleaning techniques will differ depending on whether you use water-based or oil-based paint.

Removing water-based paint from rollers is easy as long as you clean them immediately after use. Plunge the roller cover into a bucket of clean warm water. Work them around the bucket and most of the paint build-up will be removed.

If you’re using oil-based paints you will need to use a mineral turpentine to clean the roller which is also known as Turps.

The first step is to clean the excess paint from your roller using a wire roller cleaner, which you clip in from the top of the roller and drag in a downwards motion pushing the excess paint back into the tin, you may need to do this several times to remove as much paint as you can.

The next step is to run your roller across a couple of sheets of newspaper to remove any further paint. Next using a Rota Cota Roller Cleaner pop your roller into the roller sleeve which fits straight in and clips into place. Once you’ve done that you’ll need to grab a hose and and connect it to the other end and place it over a bucket, once you turn on your tap you want the water to gently flow through into a bucket until the water coming out the end is running clear. After turning off the tap & disconnecting the hose you should actually leave the bucket of water for a while, perhaps overnight until the sediment settles. That way you’ll be able to pour out the excess water which will be sitting at the top allowing you to scrap out the remaining sediment onto a couple of sheets of newspaper and throw it in the bin.

Now that your roller is clean, the next step is to dry it by removing the roller from its handle and placing it on a roller dryer which is a system used to quickly rotate the roller by moving the handle up & down creating a spinning motion. Place the roller in a well-ventilated area to dry and try to let it hang freely to avoid indenting the brush it dries. Store the roller after it has dried completely.

hints & TIPS

  • Keep your water-based and oil-based rollers separate.
  • Clean after every use, neglecting to clean will cause the paint to harden and make the rollers difficult to reuse.
  • Wear old clothing when painting and cleaning brushes.
  • Always hang your brushes when drying.

CLEANING & storing drop sheets:

If cleaned and stored correctly, dropcloths can be reused for different projects, saving you money.

Plastic Drop sheets

While designed for one or two uses, plastic drop sheets can be reused a handful of times however it is important to be mindful of a few important care steps to prevent damages:
  • Make sure any spilt paint that in on the drop sheet is completely dry before folding up to store. If the paint is not properly dried, it will stick and potentially rip when being pulled apart for use next time.
  • Plastic drop sheets are lightweight and easy to store, but make sure it is stored away from any potential hazards in the garage or shed – nails, hammers, scissors, etc – anything that can cause a hole or puncture.

Canvas Drop sheets

Canvas drop sheets are designed to be used multiple times and are easily cared for:

  • Canvas drop sheets do not need to be washed. Simply let them dry, fold them up and store away for next time.
  • If you do decide you would like to clean your drop sheets, simply hose down after use and let air dry (we recommend hanging over to clothes line to allow for easy hosing and quick and easy drying!)
  • STORAGE HINT: if possible, store your canvas drop sheet in a garbage bag in your shed or garage.  This will prevent the drop sheet from collecting dust during storage.

Disposing of Paint:

The main thing you want to avoid is tipping any unwanted paint down the drain or into your garbage bin as the potentially hazardous chemicals can cause damage to the surrounding waterways and wildlife. Using the environmental principles of reduce, reuse, recycle there are lots of ways you can alleviate environmental impacts.

  • Give your remaining paint to a neighbour or colleague, or donate to a school, charity or community group.
  • A cost effective and handy way to dispose of leftover paint is to line a container with newspaper and fill it with biodegradable cat litter. Pour small quantities of any unwanted paint directly over the litter. Wait for the litter to absorb the paint, then wrap up the cat litter and toss it into your household bin.

  • Another alternative is to find out when your next local Household Chemical CleanOut day, or to find your nearest Community Recycling Centre by visiting the following link to check dates and locations:


Store your leftover paint to use for future touch ups. Leftover paint will last longer if the tin is tightly sealed. To reseal a can of paint so that it is airtight, wipe the rim of the can clean, replace the lid, place a block of wood over the top and tap it down with a hammer. Then quickly turn the can upside down to form an airtight seal which will help prevent skinning.

To keep left-over paint, scrape any paint off the underside of the lid of the can before closing firmly and storing in a dry, cool area. There are touch up kits available which use plastic containers to store small amounts of paint which can then be applied directly from the container with an applicator. Both Uni-Pro and Wagner touch-up kits can be ordered and purchased from your local Inspirations store.