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Planning your painting

It is generally a good idea to paint your room in this order:

•  Ceilings
•   Walls
•   Doors
•   Windows
•   Radiators
•   Skirting Boards

Create space in your room before decorating – move furniture to the centre or out of the room. Paint in good daylight if possible – dusk or electric light may cast shadows and obscure any missed patches.

Calculating paint required
To work out how much paint you will need to paint a room, follow this simple calculation:

Measure the length of each surface and multiply by the height.
This will give you the square metre area (e.g. a wall which measures 5 metres long and 3 metres high will give you a wall surface area of 15 sq. metres).

Add all the wall and ceiling areas together to calculate the total surface area for emulsion. Add all the metal and woodwork areas together for gloss. Don't forget to deduct doors and window areas and remember that you made need two coats of paint. Also, most cans of paint tell you how many m² it will cover.

Safety
Before you start work, make sure that the room is as empty as possible and everything is covered by dust sheets. Stick dust sheets to the skirting with masking tape so that they remain in place.

Mask or remove any electrical or other fittings that may be accidentally painted.
•  Remember to switch off the electricity at the mains before removing electrical fittings.
•   Keep small children and pets away from the areas being painted.
•   Paint should be stored out of children's reach.

•  Any paint that splashes on the skin should be removed with a recognised skin cleaner (NOT white spirit or other solvents), followed by soap and water.

•  Gloss, Undercoat, Universal and Wood Primer and white spirit are all flammable so should be stored well away from any possible source of ignition.

•  Paint in a well ventilated area – this will ensure that fumes are not inhaled and will encourage the paint to dry.
•   Always make sure ladders are safely erected and secured.
•   Wear protective clothing where necessary.