Paint expert debunks common decorating ‘myths’

Angel Adoree shares her tips for painting walls

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There are many misconceptions when it comes to painting and decorating, with a lot of people having ideas about what they think is correct or what can and cannot be done. From painting your rooms all the same colour to not being able to paint in the cold, these “myths” can result in “great confusion”. Michael Rolland, DIY expert at The Paint Shed, has shared some of the most common myths people should be aware of.

1. You don’t need a primer

The expert explained: “Some people believe that they can save a lot of time and effort by not using paint primer and instead using multiple coats of paint. 

“However, doing this could lead to the paint peeling and wearing further down the line. Priming is an incredibly important step to getting a professional finish, it helps the paint stick to the walls, enhancing the shine and blocking future stains. 

“Paint primer will keep what you painted looking better for longer, saving you time and effort in the long run.”

Make sure to spend the extra amount of time priming any surface before painting it to give it a smooth finish.

2. Small rooms should not be painted dark colours

The expert said this misconception comes from the idea that dark colours in a small room will make it appear much smaller.

However, dark colours don’t always lead to small, dark spaces and can actually be a great idea for poorly lit rooms and smaller rooms.

Michael noted: “Combined with the right textures and finishes, opting for dark paint in a small room can often create a cosy, calm space with a moody undertone.”

3. Paint never goes off

The DIY pro continued: “The majority of the time you will end up with spare paint at the end of a DIY project. A lot of people will put the lid back on the paint can and store it either in the garage, shed or loft. It’s important to remember that all paint does eventually go bad. 

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“Open paint can last around five years on average if properly stored and sealed, however, most brands will recommend using the paint within six months of purchase to avoid any deterioration in the paint quality.”

4. You can’t paint in the cold

Painting in cold weather is trickier than other types of painting projects, with many manufacturers recommending the area is at least 10C.

Michael said: “Painting when it is cold can cause various effects on the paint and its application. For example, water-based paints or those labelled as ‘latex’ can freeze at lower temperatures. 

“This shouldn’t, however, stop you from painting in colder temperatures, with a well-heated home there should be no issues, just make sure the temperature stays between 10C to 30C.

“You can also stop the issue of freezing by adding a freeze-resistant paint additive to the paint to help. No matter the temperature outside, it’s crucial you keep the room you are painting well-ventilated. 

“This includes opening windows and doors or purchasing a fan. This will limit the lingering smell and allow the paint to dry faster.”

5. You can paint over mould

Unfortunately, mould isn’t something which can just be painted over and forgotten about as it will not actually resolve the issue itself.

The mould will regrow working its way through the walls and ceiling, eating through the coatings of paint and Britons will be left back in the same situation.

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Michael added: “Mould will continue to grow unless properly treated and eventually reappear, bringing the same problems as before. 

“Rather than hiding the mould problem by painting over it, you need to ultimately work out and fix what is causing it. If simply left untreated and covered up with paint, the mould will regrow working its way through the walls and ceilings, eating through the coatings of paint and you will be left back in the same situation as before. Only once the surface you are looking to paint on has been made free of the dampness and mould issues, you should apply a new coat of paint without the worry of black mould reappearing due to dampness.”

6. The colour of your walls won’t affect the value of your home

A fresh coat of paint inside and outside the home can go a long way to impress prospective buyers viewing a home. However, Michael said that certain colours may cause buyers to put in a lower offer, and others would put them off altogether.

Research done by The Paint Shed found that four in 10 Britons would offer less for a home they were interested in based on the colour scheme.

The expert said: “When asked how much less they would offer the seller of the property due to an undesirable colour scheme, nearly nine in 10 UK residents would reduce their offer by between £1,000 to £5,000, and 11 percent would offer between £6,000 to £10,000 less. More surprisingly, however, are the three in 100 that would offer over £20,000 less just because of a lick of paint.”

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