Home » Archives for Jackie Latham

Author: Jackie Latham

Estimating how much paint you need to buy

There are loads of paint calculators on the web to help you work out how much paint you need, but before you use them bear the following in mind:

  • each paint has a different coverage, so check that the coverage on the tin matches the coverage on the calculator;
  • if you’re changing from a dark colour to a light colour, you will need more coats than if you’re just repainting with the same colour.  Moving from black to white would take a minimum of three coats, maybe more. Again, you’ll need to check the calculator to see how many coats it’s assuming;
  • paint coverage can also be affected by the type of surface, whether or not it’s interior or exterior paint, and how well the surface has been prepared.

General guidelines are:

  • for an emulsion paint (used on interior walls and ceilings), 1 litre of paint will cover approximately 12 square metres per coat;
  • for a trim paint (undercoat and gloss for doors, windows etc.), 1 litre of paint will cover approximately 16 square metres per coat.
  • paints for exterior wooden surfaces, e.g. sheds, fences, decking etc., will have lower coverage and 1 litre will cover between 3 to 6 square metres per coat depending on type of paint and condition of the wood.

To be on the safe side, you should check out your paint manufacturer’s website as they usually have calculators based on their own paint types.

And finally, remember to check the price of the cans: it’s often significantly cheaper to buy a large can, even if you think it’s going to be too much, than to buy the exact amount in smaller cans.



Choosing the right colour for your room

Gone are the days when the choice of paint colour was either white or magnolia.  You can now have paint made in any colour the eye can see.  So how do you go about choosing the right colour?

Well, there are a few principles to bear in mind.

– the lighter the colour, the larger the room will look.  So if you have a particularly small room, you should be looking for the whiter shade of pale variety.

– the darker the colour, the smaller the room will look.  Though of course the upside to dark colours (particularly the red shades) is that they can make the room look cosy.  But in any case, use dark colours with care.  If you really feel you must have a dark colour, why not put it on just one wall?

– don’t use large areas of strong colours if you are looking to sell your house.  Most buyers like to be able to imagine themselves living in the house that they are viewing.  It’s much easier for them to do this if you provide a blank canvas for their imagination to work on.

– do, however, use colour to add interest to a room.  So rather than paint a whole wall shocking pink, why not paint the wall in a creamy colour, and add some shocking pink artwork?

– if you’re really stuck on what colour to go for, have a look at the items in your room that you really like.  Do you have a favourite painting, ornament or cushion?  Could you use that as the basis for your new colour scheme?

Whatever colour you choose, your decorator is here to help make your room look beautiful.  I hope you enjoy the transformation.

How to find a good decorator


  • Ask for references and names of previous clients. Speak to them and look at their previous work, if possible.

Deal with an established firm

  • Make sure they have an office address, telephone number and use headed notepaper.
  • Check they are a member of a reputable trade association, and if VAT is being charged, make sure there is a VAT number shown.

Be clear about what you want

  • Get a written estimate.
  • Agree any stage and final payments before work starts.
  • Get more than one estimate.
  • Avoid changing your mind halfway through a job – it usually costs more and causes delays.

What to look out for

  • High pressure sales people from so-called specialists.
  • Do not sign anything you have not read or do not understand.
  • Advance payments, particularly at the start of the job, should be avoided.
  • Demands for cash payments. You are only fuelling the black economy and putting yourself at risk from rogue traders.

What to do if things go wrong

  • Speak to your decorator if you think things are not right. Try and resolve problems quickly, do not let them fester.
  • If your decorator does not sort things out after you have spoken to him, put your complaint in writing.
  • If there are still problems, get further advice. Depending on the problem, consult a solicitor, the Citizens Advice Bureau, Trading Standards, Building Control or Trade Association.