A fresh coat of paint can do wonders, but you need to do it right. Know these preparation and painting tips before you embark on your DIY project, shared with us from the experts at Akzonobel (the manufacturer of Dulux paints).


Wallpaper in this bedroom, ups the style factor in the space with its elegant colours and design.

Paint vs Wallpaper: Which is better?

When we want to refresh a tired interior, one of the things we think of is new walls; maybe having a pop of colour or new patterns and textures on them. However, the big question is which to go for — wallpaper or paint? It’s not a simple decision as both have their pros and cons.

PreparationWall condition is not critical as it will not be obvious underneath, even though it is best to fill in holes for the best finishing.Cannot be applied to damaged or dirty walls, so you might have to plaster, smooth or wash the walls first. A primer might be needed, too.
InstallationCan be difficult to install, as measuring, cutting to size and matching seams are required. Its removal requires the right tools and supplies, and extra care needs to be taken to not damage the wall.Simple tools such as paint rollers and brushes are all that’s needed, and you can simply paint over existing coats.
VarietyComes in paper and vinyl. Has all kinds of designs, from simple and subtle to loud and flamboyant in various textures.Besides countless shades, it has a range of glosses, sheens and finishes.
DurabilityIt may be easily soiled or damaged, but some types can be cleaned. However, it can last for at least 10 years.Needs a new coat every few years, and can chip when walls get scraped or hit.
PricingEach time, on average is more expensive to purchase and install. It has a higher labour cost.Each time, on average is cheaper, requires few supplies and does not require a professional to get the job done.
ApplicationGenerally, it is not receommended to have in bathrooms and other high-moisture rooms. It is applied with an adhesive, which can be affected and cause the wallpaper to peel.Suitable for anywhere in the home. There are even different types for different requirements.

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how to paint a wall, tips from dulux

1. Choose Your Paint Colour – Carefully!

Colour can transform the look and mood of any space. So before you purchase your paint, answer these 3 questions:

Who is the room for?
What do you want to feel when you are in the room?
What colours are timeless?

As there is an array of paints available on the market (all with different shades and properties), narrow  down your choices by collecting decor pictures or colour swatches you’re drawn to and edit these down to one cohesive palette.

Dulux tip: The award-winning Dulux Visualizer App allows you to create a real-time virtual impression of what your room will look before you paint it. Download it for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store

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Read More: Best Dulux White Paint for Interior Walls – Choose the right shade of white

cleaning a wall before painting it

2. Before Painting: Dust and declutter

Why do some paint jobs look better than others? It might have something to do with the prep work, before any paint is applied on the walls or ceilings.

Before you start painting, prepare your space by clearing away the clutter and giving it a precursory clean.

After you’ve thrown out anything you don’t plan to keep (try the Marie Kondo method here), move all your furniture to the centre of the room and cover with a dust sheet to avoid any unwanted paint spills.

Then give your walls a final wipe down with a brush or cloth to ensure your paintbrush and paint stay clean and dirt-free during application. 

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Read Also: Study Room Design – 4 Best Wall Colours for Study Room

stylish ways to paint the room

3. Before Painting: Remove mould

Before you do anything, start your preparation process by checking for any signs of pesky mould.

In hot and humid climates, cases of mould are common in homes.

Save your future paintwork and remove any visible mould by spraying mould killer or fungicidal solution on the wall; you can buy these from most supermarkets or hardware stores. Follow directions as instructed on the package.

To reduce chances of subsequent mould, always opt for high-quality anti-mould paint.

Remove Wall Paint Mildew

Do your walls smell musty or have black, green, grey or green spots? Your walls havea mildew build-up. This usually appears in humid areas or rooms with poor ventilation.

Scrub the affected area with a solution made with one part household bleach and three parts water. Let it set for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing. Repeat until all traces of mildew are gone. Then, wash the area with a detergent solution and rinse again. Dry completely and repaint. 

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what to do before painting a wall and how to cover cracks

4. Before Painting: Repair wall cracks & peels

The walls are your canvas so make sure they’re in good condition. If you’re working with an older space, taking some additional steps to ensure the quality of your surface will pay off in the long run.

Inspect the wall for any gaps or cracks that need to be filled with plaster filler.

Ensure Wall Plaster Is Fully Dry

“If your walls have been newly plastered, the plaster needs to be totally dry before applying any paint. If not, the paint will not stick properly. Or it could be that there was no primer coat added before the wall was painted, so the paint layer was not able to bond totally with the wall,” shares managing director Montie Mahtani of M3 Studio.

Another reason could be extreme temperature changes from day to night (from air-conditioning) and vice versa, which might make the wall damp and cause peeling.

A solution would be to scrape off the flaking parts over a slightly larger area, re-plaster that area and apply a primer coat once the plaster has completely dried. Only then should you repaint either the whole wall or just that portion.

To prevent other parts from flaking, he recommends applying the above process to the whole wall.


Repair Wall Cracks

If your newly plastered walls keep cracking, despite them being mended, some investigation work is needed before knowing how you can treat the problem.

Different factors cause the plaster to crack, and the type of crack also determines what repair work has to be done. 

If it’s a new wall constructed with bricks: cracks could be a hairline crack due to the expansion and contraction of the wall. A new wall needs a certain time to settle down, which could be up to a year or more. The solution is to wait for the cracks to ease, then apply a simple coat of plaster and paint over.

If an existing wall cracks: cracks could be telling you that the layer of plaster used is too thick. This happens when sometimes the wall isn’t aligned and more plaster is applied to the surface for it to have a nice, flat finish. If it is a hairline crack, you may want to get elastic paint to cover it and then finish off with regular paint.

Clean the problem area and widen up the cracks, if necessary, so the filler can hold better.

Using a putty knife, fill the gaps completely with flexible and paintable caulk, making sure to smooth the surface evenly. Allow to dry according to manufacturer’s instructions. Sand the area until there are no bumps.

Afterwards, prime and paint over the patch. 

Remove Wall Stains

In a home with young children, it’s inevitable that your walls will become convenient canvases for these budding artists.

“Common marks can be easily cleaned by wiping with a soft sponge and a little soap solution, says Sary Cheong of Dulux.

You can also try removing crayon and marker stains with baking soda. Sprinkle the powder on a damp cloth, and scrub hard at the stain. Some also swear by toothpaste, which, like baking powder, acts as an abrasive to scrub out the stain. If the marks are on a coloured wall, carry out a patch test on an inconspicuous corner to make sure your chosen method doesn’t remove paint colour as well.

Blu-Tack that has been left on a wall for a long time might stain the surface when oil from the pliable putty seeps into the surface, especially if the wall was painted a long time ago and has become porous.

To remove these stains, Blu-Tack’s website suggests a citrus-based stain remover. This might remove the paint as well, and your wall will need to be repainted.

Pro Tip: For households with children, child-proof your walls with washable paints instead to avoid the hassle of cleaning. Both Dulux and Nippon Paints have paints that protect wall surfaces and make stains and marks easy to clean.

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flaking paint, plaster

Remove Peeling & Bubbled Paint

Paint bubbles form, and eventually your paint starts peeling because of various reasons – dirt underneath the paint layer, excess moisture, improper prep before painting, or an incompatible paint finish (such as oil paint on top of a latex base, or vice versa).

To repair, pop the paint blisters and scrape away loose paint with a wire brush. Smooth the surface with very fine grit sandpaper so it’s free of lines and grooves.

Clean the area with a lightly damp sponge, then wipe it with a clean rag and dry thoroughly. Apply primer and paint.

Remove Paint Chalking

The combination of moisture and sun exposure causes colour pigments in painted walls to break down. This results in chalking, where paint flakes off or becomes powdery.

Remove all chalk residue by scrubbing the area with a stiff brush and mild detergent. Rinse with clean water and allow to dry thoroughly. Rub the surface with your fingers.

If very little or no chalk remains, proceed with priming and painting. 

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Renovation Wall Problems: Fix peeling paint

5. Before Painting: Smooth wall surface

If you’re working with an old wall, taking some additional steps to ensure the quality of your surface will pay off in your final paint work.

Check your walls for any gaps or cracks that need to be filled using plaster filler. If you’re working with previously painted walls, be sure to sandpaper shiny surfaces if you’re planning to paint it matt.

With the prep almost finished, it’s a good time to give the area a good clean.

Dust down any cobwebs, dust and loose dirt with a brush or cloth In addition to better paint adhesion, this will ensure your paintbrush and paint stay clean and dirt-free when you apply the paint.

Pro tip: To improve adhesion and enhance longevity of the new paint, prime the surface with a layer of water-based paint sealant.

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beginner's guide to painting a room on your own

6. Start Painting: Paint the borders first

It’s time to get out your tools! Start by tapping around the area you’re painting and lay a dust sheet on the floor to catch any drops of paint. With a small brush, paint a one inch border around the edges and fill in the rest with a roller.

Then, you proceed to fill up the rest of your wall with a large paint roller.

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Read More: Bathroom Design Ideas – 10 Feature Wall Tiles, Wallpaper, Paint Colours

12 Wall Paint Ideas & Designs

We all need a little colour in our lives; whether it’s bright and energetic like a warm orange, or a relaxing deep blue. When it comes to giving your walls a new coat of paint, you have more than just colour options – think shapes and patterns!

Mix them up and give it some character, showcasing a little bit of your own style.

Full Colour

The most straightforward way to refresh your walls. What’s really in right now is a cool, elegant, yet dramatic dark blue or indigo.

Photo: Marjon Hoogervorst
Photo: Marjon Hoogervorst

Colour Block

A stunning way to easily make a statement in any room without the use of wall art, and yet it’s anything but bland.

Try pairing contrasting options such as green and pink, and experiment with different shapes and angles such as diagonals.

Quirky patterns

If you’re feeling up for it, this is a super cool way to bring some life into your living space. It’s not as hard as it seems too!

Photo: Live Loud Girl for Jotun Paint

We love what Liveloudgirl did for Jotun paint even using simple patterns such as triangles of different sizes can look like mountains, perfect for the kids room. It’s a pretty magical way to fuel the kids ’imaginations, don’t you think?

geometric pattern, wall, paint, DIY, bedroom, Prozfile

Geometric Shapes

Another stylish and easy option is to try painting geometric shapes – best thing is, you don’t need to know how to draw!

Using dark and light tones together on this bedroom wall created an illusion of volume.

Designer Cadine Lim of Prozfile first measured the wall, and used the Autocad computer program to create the design. She then drew the design on the wall before painting.

You don’t need a computer program to do this – measure the surface, and scale the dimensions down so you can draw the design easily on a sheet of paper. Simply scale up the dimensions to transfer the design onto the wall.

Consult the colour wheel for colour combinations – but keep it simple, as you don’t want your wall to look like broken-up shards. One tip is to use different intensities of the same colour, such as in the example above.

Hexagonal Shapes

The simple colours help draw attention to the design, which brings a modern touch to your home.

bedroom, painted headboard

You don’t have to purchase expensive wallpaper or a giant piece of artwork, all you need is your imagination and a bit of paint. Simple paint patterns can be enough to give your room a touch of colour, and would definitely brighten up a child’s room as well.

dulux, living room

Trio Colours

A small strip of the brightest hue in the colour scheme is enough to make the look pop.


A whimsical touch to any room, the ombre painting technique gives any room a subtle, breezy feel.

ombre paint, dulux

If you don’t have time (or expertise) to do it yourself, fret not cause both Dulux and Nippon Paint in Singapore offer professional paint services.

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greyscale, paint,

Checkered Board

Give the chequered look a twist by playing with the sizes of each box.

This owner matched the width of the centre row of chequers with the headboard.

Nautical Look

Opt for blue and white stripes. The calming tones of the blue hue are perfect for a nursery.

stripes, nautical paint,

Harlequin Patch

A simple splash of diamonds, also known as a harlequin design.

Stick to the same colour scheme as the rest of your home for a subtle but delightful change in texture.

Broad Stripes

The easiest paint pattern to master, a big strip of colour is all you need to dress up a room.

Honeycomb Patterns

Angular motifs such as the honeycomb creates visual interest.

Honeycomb wall paint pattern

Here’s what you need to paint a honeycomb pattern, Dulux shares the step-by-step guide:


  • Three different paint colours
  • Paint rollers, standard and small
  • Paint tray
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Plain paper
  • Ruler
  • Spirit level (measures if your surface is level to ground)
  • Masking tape
  • Paint brushes
  • Scissors

Here’s a step by step guide to painting honeycomb patterns on your wall at home:

Step 1 – Paint base colour

Step 2 – Use masking tape to demarcate the area where the honeycombs will go on your wall. Ensure that the tape is straight by using a spirit-level.

Step 3 – Draw a triangle stencil. Use a ruler and pencil to draw and cut out a triangle that is equally long on all sides. Using this triangle, you can then create as many hexagons as you would like on the wall.

Step 4 – Ready to paint! Use a small brush or roller to fill in the shapes with the paint colours of your choice. You could use the same colour for all your honeycombs, or even mix things up a little by using different colours.

Step 5 – Peel the tape. While the paint is still a little wet, remove the masking tape to see the honeycomb pattern. Ta-da!

Don’t worry about experimenting and going wild, even for a rental home, you can always paint over it with a fresh white coat.

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