DIY hacks: 5 tips for decorating beginners

DIY hacks: 5 tips for decorating beginners

By Iona Bower on
Getting from mood board to painted room is easier than it feels. Jump right in, with a few simple hacks that will help you wield a paintbrush with aplomb. Don’t thank us, but it’s your tea round once we’ve done the first coat.
Whether DIY sounds like a dream or a nightmare to you, here are our top 5 hacks for decorating beginners that will make your home decor project as easy as one-two-three.


1. Measure thrice. Paint once.

Really good paint (and we do make REALLY good paint, by the way) doesn’t come cheap. But it’s worth every penny when you just sit and stare at the gorgeous, saturated colour on your walls once the job is done. (It’s totally normal to sit and stare at wall colour, by the way. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.) 

So, before you begin, measure your room carefully so you only buy the amount of paint you actually need. We have a rather natty little paint calculator on the YesColours website, so you can work out exactly how much to buy. And because our paint comes in pouches, you can squeeze it out a little bit at a time, then seal it up and it’s good until the next decorating session. 


 Woman's hand photographed above two pieces of lining paper - one painted in royal Electric Blue paint and the other one painted in warm, dark neutral colour

Another important step when it comes to painting? Testing your paint samples. Correctly. See our expert tips on how to do this here (it's easy, promise). You can also have a little fun and pick your paint colours based on your style - just like Lauren @laurenspearman did here.



2. Prep it. Prep it real good.

Honestly, it might feel like the most tedious part of the job, but taking time to prepare your paint surface and ready your tools and paint supplies is so important. 

Give your paint brushes a little wash using fabric softener to make those bristles super soft and use sticky tape to remove any loose fluff from your lint rollers. There’s nothing quite so annoying as fluff in your paintwork. Apart from air bubbles under your wallpaper, perhaps.

3. Think outside the (tool)box.

Come a little closer. We’re not telling just anyone about this. Don’t use drop cloths, ok? Especially the plastic ones - they’re nasty for the environment and they just get stuck to your shoes with static. But even fabric drop cloths can be a bit of a pain. Save a nice big cardboard box next time you have a delivery and use it to stand on when you paint; it pushes right into skirting boards, and is great in corners of rooms. 

And while we’re thinking in a non-linear way, ditch the paint tray for cutting in jobs; it’s great for rollering but tricky to hold when you’re up a ladder or cutting in at the floor. Give a four-pint plastic milk bottle a last day out before it goes in the recycling and turn it into an easy-to-hold paint container. Here’s how to do it. 

 A couple of YesColours paint pouches placed on the floor lined with plastic sheet next to cardboard packaging

Psst. Did you know you could also use our sustainable packaging in your DIY decorating? And we mean all of our packaging. Our 100% recyclable paint pouches come in these lovely little nests made of recycled pulp. They also double up as paint brush holders and even paint kettles. Who knew? You're welcome.


4. Get out ahead of any mishaps.

Keep some cotton buds (Q-tips) in your pocket (just while you’re painting, not all the time. That would be weird). They’re so useful for picking up tiny accidental splodges and cleaning up the edges of woodwork. And you know you’re not meant to put anything bigger than your elbow in your ear anyway, so this is a better use for them. 

5. Be more edgy.

Most of us are fine with rollering large areas of wall; it’s the edges and fiddly bits that are tricky. If you are steady of hand, remember you don’t have to use masking tape at all - many people find it easier to freestyle it. If you feel like you need the masking tape safety net though, that’s fine, but there are some things you need to know. 

When you’re removing tape, pull it on an angle, not in a straight line. If it isn’t coming off the wall, use a hairdryer to warm it - the heat softens the gum a little bit, helping the tape come away more easily. Finally, you can smear a bit of Vaseline onto any areas where masking tape won’t go - it’s great for window edges too, if you’re painting exterior woodwork. Did we mention, by the way, that we can make custom orders, with any of our paints available in any finish, including exterior wood paint? We’ll leave that with you. 

We hope these home decor tips have inspired you to experiment with (or upgrade)  your crafty skills and give DIY a go. Yes, even if you're a complete beginner. And in case you need some help with choosing the right paint colour for your space, feel free to book a colour consultation with us and we’ll sort your colour puzzle in no time. Free option is available too!

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