A beginner guide to decorating your home if you don’t know where to start!

If your house needs a revamp and the notion of DIY is new to you, we’re here to help. At Community RePaint we can help by providing you the paint needed to decorate your home at a fraction of the cost of buying paint from a large retailer and from a sustainable source! This guide to decorating your home will give you some great tips to set you off on your re-decorating journey.

Our number one piece of advice is this: start small and work up. This doesn’t necessarily mean starting with the smallest room of your home, often bathrooms can be some of the largest and most costly projects in the home. Instead, choose a room where a lick of paint and a restyle could be all that’s needed to transform it. This will give you the confidence and experience to tackle larger projects in the future.

Bedrooms are a great place to start! Our biggest tip is to only take on the redecoration of one room at a time. For your mental wellbeing, it is great to shut the door on an ongoing project and relax in your home. Keep reading for our step-by-step guide to redecorating your home. We’ve included lots of tips from Karen, at Community RePaint Bradford, an ex-painter and decorator who’s willing to let you into her decorating secrets!

We live in an age of information, and it very easy to find online images of how other people have decorated a space. Start by gathering ideas of what you like and don’t like because the most important people to impress are those living in the home. There is no right or wrong answer here, taste in home décor is subjective and your taste is your own. When looking at images of home décor that you like, remember to factor in the size, function, and light in your space. Take note of the furniture you need and how it might need to be arranged to make the most of the size, light and orientation of the room.

You might want a space that uses multiple colours within one room, perhaps a feature wall or where the ceiling colour is brought down onto the top part of the walls. It’s important to factor this in when estimating the amount of paint you need to buy.

Once you’re inspired, it’s easy to be go go go, however, when you have decided the kind of room you’d like to create, it’s important to make a plan. In this plan, we recommend asking yourself the following questions;

– What preparation work needs to be done in the space? e.g clearing, removing curtains stripping wallpaper, fillings holes, sanding walls and woodwork, cleaning, taping, covering carpets, etc.

– What are the measurements of the room? The best way to avoid paint and materials going to waste is to only buy what is needed. We have a useful paint estimator tool here. Don’t forget the ceiling, skirting boards, doors and any other woodwork that might need painting too.

– When you’re clearing the room, where will items and furniture be stored? keep the rest of your home as workable as possible. In some cases, furniture can be moved to the centre of the room and covered instead of being moved out of the room.

– What’s your budget? Making a plan will give you good insight into what you might spend on the project. The great news is that if you’re using a Community RePaint scheme to buy the paint, you’ll be making huge savings (around 65%) on buying paint from a large retailer.

– How much time will this project take? Our advice is to make an estimation of the time and add 30% on top. Try and use this date as a deadline to ensure the project stays on track. Bear in mind how much time you can devote (e.g only weekends, or only evenings) and allow time for breaks and paint drying time.

What supplies do I need to buy? Use your plan to create a list of supplies in addition to paint. Do you need any of the following?:

an electric sander (you can often borrow these from your local tool library)

sandpaper and sanding block

dust sheets (you could use an old bed sheet)


rollers or paint pads. When it comes to buying the right roller, Karen has some great tips!

paint trays


brush cleaner (only if you’re using oil-based paint)

painters tape (avoid masking tape, which is much stickier and might result in taking paint off the walls)



safety equipment such as a dust mask and eye protection (for sanding).

Visit your nearest Community RePaint scheme for affordable paint. Our schemes can provide part-full and full containers of quality paint to individuals, groups and organisations. Our schemes stock various types of paint in many different colours. We recommend contact with your nearest scheme directly to inquire about what paint they have available.

Here’s Karen’s video guide to what type of paint to use for wall and ceilings and woodwork.

With painting, it really is all about the preparation. It may not be glamorous, but the professional and long-lasting results will be worth the effort. Remove all items, curtains, light fittings and furniture first and cover the floor with dust sheets. Any small holes or dents in the wall should be filled with filler. Caulk should be used before painting to fill any small cracks and gaps between woodwork and the walls. Once these are dry, the walls, ceiling and woodwork all need sanding before painting begins. Watch Karen’s video on how to prepare walls for painting here.

Very importantly before you are tempted to open up your tins of paint, clean the room from top to bottom. Any dust will ruin the smooth effect of the paint work and grease can lead to peeling or chipping paint.

It’s a great idea to use painters tape so that paint doesn’t get onto the areas you don’t want to paint. Tape round the edge of sockets and switches, woodwork and along the edges where the colour changes (i.e between ceiling and walls)

When you’re ready to paint, we’d recommend starting at the top and working down. Start by painting the ceiling, then walls and finish with the skirting boards and other woodwork.

It is important to keep things in good order in order to avoid trips, slips and falls in your space. Be aware of where the paint is wet. Although your floor may be covered, be careful not to tread wet paint from your shoes to other areas of your home. It’s best to clean up as you go. If you are done for the day and planning to restart painting tomorrow, you don’t have to wash your brushes out. Here’s what you have to do to ensure the paint on your brushes doesn’t dry out overnight.

Painting the ceiling

We recommend starting with a small brush and ‘cutting in.’ This means that you paint a boarder around the edge, areas where a roller wouldn’t reach including the light fittings and smoke alarms. If you have taped these areas, this process should be relatively quick.

Expect to paint two coats to get the finish you’re after. Leave time for the paint to fully dry between coats, this varies but will say on the back of the tin. Wash your roller in water before its first use to remove any loose fibres. To avoid roller spray make sure you get the right type of roller!

Pour paint into the deep part of the paint tray, but don’t overfill. Dip your roller gently into the paint covering less than half of the roller. Roll the roller up and down the textured ramp of the tray to evenly distribute the paint. For the ceiling you’re likely to need an extension pole for your roller.

Painting the walls

For the best results, you might need to start with an undercoat, which is particularly important if you are changing the colour of the space from a darker colour to a lighter one. It also helps the paint adhere to the walls for long-lasting results.

When you start with your wall paint, as with the ceiling, you’ll need to cut in at the edges. It’s important to protect that newly painted ceiling after all. Expect to paint two coats of your main colour to get the finish you are after. Leave time for the paint to fully dry between coats, this varies but will say on the back of the tin. Click here to see Karen explain what wall paint to buy! When painting, use a zigzag motion to apply paint to the walls with a roller. If you’re painting with a brush, click here for the best technique. Try and work in sections, so that you achieve an even finish. Its best to apply wet paint to wet paint, to ensure the paint dries evenly. So cut in one section at a time. Here’s why.

Painting the woodwork:

Use a small brush and/or roller to apply gloss, satin, or eggshell paint to windowsills, skirting and doors. Avoid using a brand new brush, here’s why! Keep the amount of paint on your brush or roller to a minimum to stop layers becoming thick and dripping. Follow the grain of the wood in small motions for an even finish. Click here to see Karen explain what woodwork paint to buy!  If you are painting doors, here are some great tips!

Finishing up

Remove painters’ tape once the paint is dry and fully cured to keep a clean edge. Remove all the dust covering and give the space another good vacuum before bringing furniture and belongings back into the room.


To restyle a room, you don’t have to buy all new furniture. Perhaps consider buying some chalk paint from one of our Community RePaint schemes and upcycling the furniture you already have. If you’ve chosen a neutral colour for your walls, it can be a great way to add a pop of colour to a space.

Adding texture 

Mix up the materials used in the space to add dimension, interest and a softness to the space. Mix up colder materials such as concrete or metals with warmer/softer elements like pillows, woolen blankets or soft leather.

Are you ready to start your redecorating adventure? Click here to search for your nearest Community RePaint scheme, and find all the paint you need for your project. It’s the ideal way to source professional quality paint, at an affordable cost, which also doesn’t cost the earth. Join the Re-use Revolution!

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