How to Paint a Wall in 6 Easy Steps
February 01, 2024

Paint flaking? Got holes in the wall? You may be keen to get that colour on those walls but you’ll need to sort out any issues like this before you crack open the paint tin. All it takes is a little bit of prep work to make sure your walls are ready for their makeover, and you can get going. 


In this guide we’ll show you how to paint a wall the right way, with all the necessary equipment and techniques to give you the best possible finish. 


First things first – have a look at the kit list below and then just follow the simple steps.


Tool Kit

Dust sheets

Wall paint

Masking tape (we recommend the extra-wide type)





Sugar soap and sponge

Paint brushes

Rollers and trays

Extension pole for high walls


Mask to protect you from paint fumes and sugar soap

White spirit/paint cleaner

Clingfilm (for wrapping used paint rollers in – see more below. You’ll thank us later!)


You can pick up this equipment in your local store and order your paint via Click & Collect, so you can avoid any delivery costs and get everything all in one go. We have lovely brands like Craig & Rose with a great variety of colour schemes to choose from. 

How Do You Paint a Wall?

When you’ve got all your equipment and have decided on a colour, cover your furniture and flooring with dust sheets and get ready to paint like a professional. Watch our handy video on how to do it and follow the steps underneath. 


Make sure you don’t skip any of the prep – it’s key to achieving the best possible finish.

1. Prepare the Wall

Use a scraper to remove any flaking paint or uneven bumps before sanding it down (an electric sander may be useful if regular sandpaper won’t do). Use filler for any holes and then sand these areas once dry.

2. Sand It Down

If you’ll be painting over satin or gloss paint, give it a sand down so that the paint has something to stick to. If you have thick layers of gloss to paint over, it’s worth scraping it off before sanding as it’ll give you a neater finish. 

3. Clean the Wall

Use a sponge to remove any dust, dirt and any nicotine stains with a solution of sugar soap and water. Make sure you wear gloves, goggles and protective clothing as sugar soap can be an irritant. Once you’ve done this, wipe the walls down again with fresh water to remove any traces of the solution. 

4. Cover Edges with Masking Tape

When the wall is dry, use masking tape to cover the edges of sockets, switches, skirting and any other areas you don’t want to paint. Remove the tape after each coat of paint rather than leaving it until the end, as it might otherwise cause some of the paint to be stripped off with it.

5. Prime It

If you’re painting over a darker shade, use a primer first to obliterate the original colour and make sure you get full depth of colour in your chosen paint. Alternatively, you can use emulsion paint – one with a grey tint is more effective than a regular white emulsion as it neutralises more colour. If there are any stains that refuse to be covered by paint, tackle them with a stain blocker. 

6. Get Painting!

Once your wall is nice and primed, stir your chosen paint to make sure it’s mixed well and not separated, and pour into a roller tray. Use a paintbrush to do the edges and corners first, and then a large roller for the rest of the wall. Try to complete the whole wall before taking a break so as to prevent any tide marks. 

Let the first coat dry and then start with the second coat. Most paints will require a second coat for full coverage and colour but not all do, so check the instructions on your paint. 


Once your second coat is dry, carefully peel off the masking tape. Your wall now has a new lease of life!

Top Tips

Remember to Clean Your Paint Brushes

To prevent your paint brushes from drying out and hardening, clean them in some white spirit so you can use them again. 


Keep Your Paint Roller from Drying Out

If you’re finishing off for the day and have more than just one wall to paint, wrap your roller in either cling film or a plastic bag to stop it drying out. This will keep it ready to use for one to two days. 

So there’ll be no more wondering how to paint a wall – roll your sleeves up, grab your gear and get going on the prep. You’re soon to enjoy a job well done!