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Glossing over the preparation can give you mixed emulsions!

Painting and decorating - we can all do it, right ? Wrong!

Even the simple procedure of 'cutting in' exactly where the wall meets the ceiling can betray an amateur hand! Or not understanding about the many different types of paints now available and when and how to use them. There is a hidden art to loading the brush properly and laying up surfaces. And we haven't even started talking about wall papering and how to avoid lumpy paste!The key of course is the preparation. The difference between a professional finish and an amateur botch up is the time taken to prepare and the correct choice of materials and paints.

No one particularly likes the tedious job of 'rubbing down' old paint surfaces prior to painting or ensuring the smoothing over filled-in holes so as to be made invisible, but there are no short cuts here.

But it's not all about 'painting and wallpapering', there are numerous other decorating effects and techniques that can be learnt, from types of popular surface effects, such as 'marbling', or adhering coving to the ceiling edge, wood staining and floorboard finishs, to name just a few.

Taking a training course to learn about the different painting applications, inside and out, is recommended - if only to know about why not to use smooth hammerite on hardboard and how to operate that paint roller at full extension without stepping into the paint tray!