Painting - The Adult Bible


When you buy a new home, it may require a lick of paint, or you may just fancy sprucing your place up a bit. There are a wide range of paint types, and it’s important to know which to use depending on the surface and purpose. Here’s a basic guide to painting to get you started.

For repainting a room, you need two different types of paint.

  • One type of paint for the walls and ceiling
  • One for the woodwork (that’s anything in the room that is fixed in place and made of wood)

Wall paint:

Paint for walls is usually called emulsion.

It has a water base so you can dilute it with water if it is too thick.

This also means you can wash everything at the end of the job in water .

Woodwork paint:

Paint for woodwork is different. It is destined to be tougher… if you think about it, the woodwork has to take quite a few knocks. It will always be marked on the tin as wood work (interior or exterior).

Wood work paint can be confusing to choose as you will have to decide if you want oil based or water based acrylic wood paint.

The oil based paint means you will need to buy white spirit to thin the paint and wash out brushes when you’re finished. Water alone will not clean the oil paint from your brushes. But water based acrylic wood work paint can be thinned with water and you can clean up with water.


All or nearly all paints in the DIY isle will come with a choice of finishes.

This is talking about the scale of shine on the finished paintwork, do you want the finish to look shiny or non-shiny? You will need to decide weather you want flat matt, eggshell, satin or gloss.


  1. Choose the colour
  2. Choose the tin size you need to cover all areas
  3. Choose the sheen you want

Tips for when you’re painting:

  • Make sure you cover all surfaces that you don’t want to paint or get splatters on, i.e. furniture, carpets and/or light switches (you can buy dust-sheets from any DIY store)
  • Have a window in the room open so you don’t inhale too much of the fumes, and to allow the paint to dry quicker
  • If you’re painting woodwork, make sure holes are filled in, and rough surfaces are sanded down (you can buy sand paper from any DIY store)
  • A roller is best for large surfaces, and an extended roller will be easier to use if you’re painting the ceiling

For further painting tips head to the Wickes website here.

If you’ve just moved home and need to know how to put up curtains, change a lightbulb etc. head to our DIY page for the know how.