Recently I posted some photos of a part of my living room in Shelving Ideas for a Small Corner for Storage and Display. I thought I'd elaborate on my information a bit by detailing how I used paint to update my living room!
For the Bricks
If you have exposed bricks in your house (as I did), you can certainly paint over them! Here's what I did:
1. Gave them a bit of a scrub (I didn't try that hard!) with sugarsoap and water. I just used a dishwashing brush.
2. Painted two coats of undercoat. The paint that I use and like is Dulux. I used the Dulux 1 Step Prepcoat Undercoat, Sealer and Primer in White. This took a bit of time because I made sure I covered all the bricks. I ended up loading up my brush well, and then sort of 'stabbing' the bricks. I found that two coats of the undercoat sealed the bricks really well and stopped any brick colour from seeping through.
3. Once the undercoat had dried, I filled in any obvious holes in the bricks with white acrylic gap sealer.
4. I then did one topcoat using Dulux Aquanamel in White. This is a really good, hardy paint (washes up in water too!) and it doesn't go yellow at all. I also did a coat of Dulux High Gloss Enamel over the part of the bricks that get the most exposure to dust etc from the fire (i.e. down the bottom).
Here's a close up photo of the finished bricks
For the Light Fittings
It's much cheaper to paint over the top of these than get new ones! (unless they're REALLY ugly of course!)Here's what I did for these:
1. Gave them a wipe over with sugarsoap and water
2. Painted two coats of undercoat again using the Dulux 1 Step Prepcoat Undercoat, Sealer and Primer in White.
3. Painted TWO topcoats of Dulux Aquanamel in White. The two coats just ensured that the light fittings ended up looking really white!
Here's a close up of the finished light fittings
For the Walls and the Ceiling
1. Gave them a good wipe over with sugarsoap and water
2. Filled in any gaps with gapsealer. This is a bit of a pain but every gap you fill is so worth it! It will look much better in the end.
3. Did two coats of undercoat using the Dulux 1 Step Prepcoat Primer Sealer and Undercoat in white. The wood really needed two undercoats to seal it properly. I also used a brush for this as I got better coverage with it.
4. Then I used Dulux Wash n Wear Premium Acrylic Flat in white, and did two coats of this. Again, the wood really needed the two coats of the topcoat, just to get the right 'white' look. Again, I did this job with a brush.
The only other painting tips I can offer are:
1. Buy good quality brushes!! Also, don't think that by buying a bigger brush it will take less time. Your arm will get so sore from using the big brushes... I sugggest a medium sized one!
2. If you're using the big 10 litre tins of paint.... buy a paint tin opener! An old chisel will only get you so far, and you'll end up wrecking the lids. Wrecked lids are a real pain if you're having to open and shut the tin alot.
3. If you are having to stop and start painting a bit (I painted my house with a toddler, for example!), wrap your paintbrush in cling film (when you've been using it and it has paint on). It will keep in the cling film easily for up to a week. Much easier than trying to wash the brushes out all the time and wait for them to dry!