Taking the time to protect the surrounding areas and to prepare a surface before applying paint will deliver a clean and professional finish than cutting corners.

Neglecting to put masking tape over window and door frames, wall sockets, skirting boards, or corner, floor and ceiling joins will deliver a shoddy impression and can take more time to clean up than the initial taping would have taken.

Unrepaired holes and dents, or fillings which have not been sanded will leave pock marks and visible bumps on the newly painted wall. Spackling compound, joint cement or patching plaster can be used to fill holes depending on the types of repairs being made. Once the filler has dried, sand down the area to smooth out any bumps and ridges and wipe away the dust with a damp cloth.

Applying paint to a wall which has not been properly scraped of old, peeling paint, or cleaned to remove mildew stains, grease, dust or dirt will affect how well the paint will adhere to the surface as well as the length of time the new coat of paint will last before you have to repaint.

Use wall, paint, or varnish scrapers to scrape off peeling paint from work surfaces. If excess paint ends up on a window, use razor-blade scrapers to remove it.

You can use putty knives for scraping off paint, chipping out old putty, scraping off accumulated grease and scraping old finishes off furniture.

Steel Wool is used for removing grime and sludge prior to refinishing; preparing new surfaces; removing old coating to raw wood; and for application in between coats of enamel, paint, shellac or varnish. It removes paint from glass, furniture, tile and other surfaces.

Drop cloths should be used to protect furniture, fixtures and floors against paint splatters and spills.

A quality masking tape is a general-purpose, pressure-sensitive tape that unwinds easily without splitting. It has excellent ability to stick immediately and securely to nearly all surfaces, yet pulls away without damaging surface.

Using a primer will ensure that the new paint adheres properly to the surface and will avoid peeling paint syndrome.

Clark + Kingston, available exclusively in the BVI through the Ace Paint Studio at Drakes Traders, is a paint and primer in one which saves you time and money as you apply both the primer and paint with just one coat.