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  • Painting with emulsion – how to get best results?
  • After spending an entire weekend painting the stairs – going from one tint of white to another and needing THREE coats (Dulux silk) I was wondering – is there any nack/technique to get the colour on with less coats? After two coats it was really patchy, and on the third coat I can still see a slight amount of showthrough.

    Is there any secret way to get the colour on better?


    pay a decorator? 😉

    Just paid a decorator to do the front room, kitchen and new extension so didn’t want to spend even more. 🙁


    Cheap paint – the cheaper the better and two or three coats. Having used that posh one-coat stuff I can honestly say that Wilko emulsion 😳 takes less time (and goes on a heck of a lot smoother) than paint costing twice the price, and doesn’t leave horrible brush marks.

    It wasn’t ‘One Coat’ paint – just standard emulsion. And as it was a particular colour, we couldn’t get cheap/alternative (I have heard that Johnstone’s paint is meant to be very good).


    and doesn’t leave horrible brush marks Neither does using a roller – far quicker and far better finish.

    Do you ‘line it off’ ie paint in various directions then finish on a vertical? From my experience one coat stuff never works.

    Premier Icon cynic-al

    Have found Farrow & Ball & Johnstones to cover well & thought Dulux was good.

    I don’t think there’s m,uch in terms of technique you can do to help.

    Do you ‘line it off’ ie paint in various directions then finish on a vertical?

    Yes – roll in all directions and brush into corners.


    I had to paint a room that had been painted very badly, with red paint. I had to get it back to white. Took 6 coats. First 2 were cheapo paint, which was a bit thin, but in order to completely eradicate any trace of the red, I had to apply several thin coats; using one-coat stuff would not have worked. Took 5 days to do that room, including glossing of the wood. Did look good after, though.


    If its not to late to buy some more paint.

    Have you a local Crown trade centre near?

    Try them for a decent trade emulsion, will still need more than one coat to do it properly though.


    Wet & dry and tack any surfaces that you want to gloss for a super smooth finish 😉


    Are you painting on plaster, if so give it a mist coat first of 50% water 50% paint mix or it may just peel off. Then give it one of two more coats depending on paint.

    I find getting the wife to do it is cheap and practical alternitive to paying a decorator, it means she’s not complaining about cleaning, me cocking it up and never having time to herself.
    It also gives me an oppotunity to go out on my bike. 😆

    No – going over another (very similar coloured) paint.

    My wife helped a little, but as she is 35 weeks pregnant with twins I did the vast majority.



    Good luck with the twins.
    I’ve gone past all that and now with the kids growing up.
    Sometimes the children help out with the decorating too but I wouldn’t advise that with the babies… or even when they get older unless you like gloss trampled into your carpets and all the cutting in ruined by a few wayward strokes of an over enthusiastic teenager.
    It’s quite amazing there great at painting their fingernails but not so good on a bigger canvas like a wall.


    I don’t rate Dulux particularly – their oil based paints take forever to dry and the opacity is poor even though the paint is thick and sticky. I have done a lot of decorating over the years. I used some Dulux highly durable washable matt paint recently. This was good stuff however.

    The paint that I find is very good is Johnstones. It’s more of a trade paint, cheap but has excellent opacity. Also quick drying. Oil based Eggshell is touch dry in 3-4 hours at room temperature! Covers brilliantly and isn’t all thick and sticky. Conversely, Dulux and some other brands take 24hrs or more – useless if you need to get a job finished quickly.

    On technique, use a narrower roller if your walls aren’t perfect. This saves uneveness of finish.

    Washables are quite new. The first time I used them was 3 years ago and cost a fortune – £45 for 2,5l! Thankfully they are much cheaper now. The first coat is always patchy no matter how careful you are. You use a great deal more paint on the first coat going on to existing emulsion. The second coat goes for miles, but you get great opacity coverage. Magic stuff! Traditional emulsion is finished except for ceilings perhaps.

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