By this series of articles, Beverly Painting will take you through all DIY painting steps from preparation to paint a room including choosing the right paint. In this article we concentrate on paint preparation.

Preparing the paint

So, you have purchased your paint and you want to get stuck in to the residential painting or commercial painting job, but there are a few things you need to do first to ensure a successful painting job.


If the job you are working on requires two or three 4 litre cans of paint, mix, or ‘box’, the paint from all the cans together to get a consistent colour. To do this, find a clean container and open all of the paint cans (Make sure you are using right device to remove the lids). Pour half of the paint from the first can into the extra container. Then pour some paint from the second and third cans into the first can. Move to the extra container and pour in some more paint from the second and third cans. Then pour the contents of all four containers back and forth several times. When the paint is mixed, return it to the original containers and seal the lids tightly. A much quicker alternative is to mix all the paint together in a single 20 litre container, if you can find a suitable one.

Mixing it up

Any electric drill mixing attachment is handy for water-based and oil-based paints. But don’t use the attachment to stir lacquer, epoxy paint, shellac, or any finish that includes ‘Do not shake can’ on its label. You won’t need to do battle with the bubbles that power-mixing stirs up. Instead, stir these paints and finishes by hand; they will stay fairly free of bubbles.


Newspaper collar

Here is another home-made way to minimise the mess created when stirring a full can of paint. Increase the height of the can by taping some folded sheets of newspaper around it. Any spills will fall onto the paper and not onto your workbench or floor.

Splatter shield

Stirring full cans of paint with a drill-driven mixer can splatter paint everywhere. One way to contain the mess is with a large coffee tin lid (one that comes with the 500 g or 1 kg tins). Drill a hole in the centre of the lid and slip it onto the mixer shaft before inserting the mixer into the drill. Hold the lid tightly over the paint can while you are mixing.

Milk carton mixer

Cut off the top of a clean 1 litre cardboard milk carton and use it as a container for mixing (or just holding) small amounts of paint or stain. The paint won’t stick to the wax coated interior, and the corner of the carton makes a good pouring spout.

Manual stirring

manual paint stirrer is more effective if it has several holes along its length. With each stroke the paint flows back and forth through the holes, allowing for faster, more thorough blending. You can buy a perforated metal stirrer or make your own wooden one. To make your own, find a long flat piece of scrap timber and use a drill to make a series of small holes. Rinse your stirrer thoroughly after use to prevent the holes from getting clogged with dried paint.

The holes in this stirrer allow paint to pass through easily which assists mixing and helps to prevent paint from spilling over the edge of the paint pot.

As always now it is the time for practical painting tips:

Top tips for peerless painting

Painting is an inexpensive way to make a big difference to the feel of your home, and to add value. To get you started, here are some essential painting tips to give you a flawless finish, every time.

  • Always prepare your surfaces thoroughly. All preparatory work must be done before you start painting. So check that all surfaces are stable, as smooth as possible, primed where necessary and are clean and dry.
  • Buy the best quality brushes and rollers you can afford – poor quality tools are a false economy and can often result in an unsatisfactory finish.
  • Stir the paint well before use, pulling the pigment up from the bottom to the top. Paint colour can also vary sightly from can to can, so try to paint an entire wall or surface from the one can, if possible.
  • Be methodical and systematic in your painting technique. Always work from top to bottom. Paint the ceiling first, before starting on the walls or the trim.
  • Always cut-in (paint around the edges) before rolling a wall or a ceiling.
  • Never paint when the temperature is falling. Choose a warm, dry day for optimal drying conditions. When painting outside, choose to work after a dry spell, as paint will not take to damp surfaces.
  • Allow adequate drying time between coats of paint. One thing you never want to do is hurry a paint job – allow surfaces time to dry overnight if you can, so that the second coat is applied to a dry surface.