Paint Guide

Before you start

Make the surface accessible by clearing the room as much as possible. Remove pictures, nails, hooks, curtains and rods, tables, chairs, light fittings, doorknobs etc. Gather up bulky furniture in the centre of the room and cover it with a drop sheet. Mask skirting boards and cover floors, particularly if stained or varnished, to protect against paint spots.

Personal protection

Make sure the area is well ventilated. Wear old clothes, a painter’s hat and gloves (where necessary). A mask or respirator is also recommended when applying oil based finishes in confined spaces or if ventilation is poor.


Warm, dry days with little dew or frost are the best conditions for painting. Painting should never be carried out in damp conditions. Avoid painting when temperature is below 10°C or above 35°C. Inside heating and good ventilation assist the drying of internal paint work during cold weather or high humidity.

Moisture should not be present on the surface being painted unless the manufacturer’s printed instructions say otherwise.

Sequence of painting

Painting should usually occur from the top down.

For interior surfaces

  1. Ceiling 1st coat - using a brush, cut around the edges, then apply paint with a roller to the remaining surface.
  2. Walls 1st coat - using a brush, cut the edges, then apply paint with a roller to the remaining surface.
  3. Woodwork, windows, cabinets, cupboards and shelves undercoat - apply undercoat using a brush.
  4. Ceiling 2nd coat - again cut the edges with a brush, then apply paint with a roller to the remaining surface.
  5. Walls 2nd coat - using a brush, cut the edges, then apply paint with a roller to the remaining surface.
  6. Woodwork, windows, cabinets, cupboards and shelves topcoat - apply topcoat using a brush.

For exterior surfaces

Paint the roof then eaves and verandahs, walls, gutters and down pipes, windows and doors.

Preparing previously painted surfaces

Previously painted surfaces may have imperfections, often due to the use of low quality paint and/or poor surface preparation. Here are the most common problems and how to correct them:

Cracking and flaking

If cracking does not go down to the substrate surface, sand to feather (smooth) the edges of the cracks. Prime any spots and seal the surface with Sadolin Universal Undercoat to achieve a smooth surface for repainting.

If cracking goes all the way down to the substrate, remove all the paint by scraping and/or sanding and/or the use of a heat gun or paint stripper, then prime and repaint.


Remove mould with a solution of water and household bleach (one part bleach and three parts water). Other cleaning or mould reducing additives can be found at your local authorised Sadolin dealers. Use appropriate protective equipment (goggles and gloves).


This is the loss of paint due to poor adhesion and it can be solved by removing all paint with a scraper or wire brush. Sand rough surfaces, prime bare substrate and repaint.


This occurs when the paint forms a ‘skin’ and can be solved by scraping and sanding to remove the wrinkled paint. Repaint with the appropriate Sadolin finish. When painting in extremely hot, cool or damp conditions, allow extra time for paint to dry completely.

Removing old paint

It is often difficult to know whether a surface needs to have existing paint removed or not. To determine this, make a series of small crosses in the paint using a sharp blade and apply adhesive tape over the area. Press it firmly and then pull it off quickly. If the paint comes away from the surface, it needs to be removed.

Old paint can be removed by either scraping and sanding or using a paint stripper.

If using a paint stripper, wait until the paint wrinkles up and then scrape off with a paint scraper. You should always neutralise the surface afterwards as per the manufacturer’s instructions and remember that paint stripper cannot be used on plasterboard as it will damage the surface.

Painting over old paint

If the old paint does not need to be removed, wash the surface with a detergent solution to remove all dirt, dust, grease and grime. Rinse thoroughly with clean water. Fill holes and cracks with suitable filler and sand until smooth. Surface must be clean, dry and free from any contamination. Prepare and spot seal bare substrates as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Follow additional instructions on the paint tin for specific surface types.


Damaged surfaces may require filling and sanding to provide a smooth and even surface.


The most common abrasive papers are:

  • Cabinet paper - ideal for sanding of wooden substrates.
  • Wet ‘n Dry paper - ideal for the sanding of either wooden or metal surfaces.

The grit sizes range from 40 through to 220 on the cabinet paper and from 60 to as high as 1200 on the Wet ‘n Dry.

The higher the grit, the smoother the surface.


Preparing unpainted surfaces

There are various procedures for preparing unpainted surfaces. Our qualified sales assistants at your local authorised Sadolin dealer will be able to give you the right advice for your situation. However, the following will help you address the most common considerations:

Interior timber - should be sanded smooth. Sand along the grain to prevent fibres being raised. Remove all dust and dirt, then paint with a wood primer.

Paperfaced gypsum board (plasterboard) - ensure joints are smooth and the surface is dust free with Sadolin Plaster Primer.


Adequate stirring of your paint is essential for correct colour consistency. Stir with alternating circular and lifting motions using a flat paddle until the contents are uniform. Continue stirring at regular intervals during application.

Where you have more than one tin of the same colour for a job, mix the contents of the tins together to ensure colour consistency.

Effective use of colour

Painting the inside and outside of your home can dramatically enhance your experience and enjoyment of your living space. The transformation power of colour offers limitless opportunities for self expression.

Natural inspiration

Decorating ideas can come from anything around you. In the natural environment, you could find the ultimate blue or rose to bring inside to enhance your home.

Interior inspiration

The inspiration of colour could be found in your favourite fabric or household items. Look at these in a new light and you could find the perfect colour scheme for any room.

Use colour to raise the height of a ceiling

By using three shades of colour, you can raise the appearance of the height of ceiling. Begin with the strongest colour low in the room, followed by the middle intensity colour for the walls. Finish the effect by using the palest colour on the ceiling.

Use colour to highlight architectural features

You can make any special features of your home the centre of attention by using contrasting colours. Picture rails, skirting boards, cornices and arches can be painted with colours that stand out from the rest of the room.

Use colour to add warmth

To create a cosy atmosphere in a room, apply a colour that is more red than blue. This will instantly make the room look and feel warmer.

Use colour to hide flaws

Together with thorough preparation, painting can be the easiest and most inexpensive way to fix a flaw in a room.

By painting a feature wall a darker shade of the same colour, the eye can be drawn away from any problem areas.

Use colour to increase the size of the room

Paint can do more than change the colour of a room.

A warm coloured room with brighter walls will give the room a more spacious feel.

Quick paint tips

Painting large areas

Use a roller on a pole or extension to cover the full height of the wall in a single stroke. Spread paint evenly until the roller is almost dry. Go back over the area and roll lightly down the surface to give a smooth, even finish (laying-off). Reload the roller, and paint the adjoining areas into the wet to avoid lap marks.

Paint application

Using the right tools is essential to achieving the best results when painting. Whether you are using a brush or a roller, these items need to be of a high quality in order to produce a high quality end result.


It is important to use the right paint brush for the job. Most work requires different sized brushes - one for the trim and one for the doors. For large irregular surfaces where a roller is impractical (such as pressed steel ceiling) use a 75-200mm brush.

Care instructions

Flick the brush vigorously on the edge of the table or similar surface to remove any possible loose hairs. Wet the brush by dipping the bristles into water. Remove excess water and begin to paint.


There are various sizes in certain rollers that range from 50mm, 100mm, 150mm and 230mm.

Rollers vary in ‘nap’ i.e. the length of the fibres and each is designed for different paint formulations:

  • SHORT - ideal for smooth surfaces with gloss or enamels.
  • MEDIUM - suitable for medium textured surfaces with matt or low sheen water based paints.
  • LONG - for rough surfaces and scratch plaster, or to create a more orange peel effect on smooth surfaces.

There are also sponge rollers available for specific applications.

Foam mini rollers are ideal for specific applications of enamels onto wooden and metal substrates to create an ultra smooth spray painted finish.

Flocked mini rollers are also available for the application of water based enamels and varnishes.


  1. Make sure the surface is clean and dry.
  2. Work brand new brushes back and forth across your finger to remove loose bristles.
  3. Follow instructions on the paint tin for application.
  4. Load the brush evenly and sufficiently by dipping it only half way into the tin and running it against the top edge of the can to remove any excess.
  5. Apply paint evenly and fully with smooth, short strokes.
  6. Paint from the top surface and work down to the bottom.
  7. If painting timber, brush in the direction of the grain on the final coat.


  1. Don’t let the brushes soak in water, solvent or paint for prolonged periods of time. The brush will become floppy.
  2. Don’t use a large brush to paint small pipes or narrow strips as this will cause the brush to fishtail (split).

Shopping list

Check if you have all the items you will need:

  • White Spirit
  • Sand paper Masking tape Scraper
  • Mutton cloth
  • Drop sheet Overalls/old clothes Paint tray
  • Cloth
  • Small bucket for mixing/cleaner
  • Step ladder
Clean up

Solvent paints

Pour white spirit into the tray. Soak the roller cover in solvent, working the white spirit or the brush cleaner in with your fingers (it is advisable to wear solvent resistant gloves). Work the roller up and down the tray, drain and repeat the process. Rinse the cover with warm soapy water and spin dry.

Paint disposal

The best and easiest way to dispose of paint is to use it up. When purchasing paint, try to estimate the exact amount of paint required in order to reduce waste. Apply another coat of paint or keep the extra for touching up when necessary, rather than throwing it away.

Thinners and solvents have an almost unlimited shelf life. Store them away safely for future use. Never pour them down a drain or a storm water sewer.


In choosing Sadolin paints you are giving yourself the best chance to achieve the most outstanding results. With a palette of specially selected colours to choose from, you can be sure of matching the perfect colour scheme to suit you and your lifestyle.

We hope you found the above guidelines helpful. We wish you well with your painting project.