DIY Tips for painting

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Choosing a product

Choosing a product

Don't compromise in the quality of the product. If your finances force you to compromise, discuss your alternatives with our competent representatives or agents.

Inferior quality paint will cost more in the long run. Choosing the wrong product can result in an undesirable finish, particularly relating to sheen level and texture or can even result in paint failure.

The following questions should be answered when choosing the appropriate product.

We encourage you to interface with a Sabre representative or agent to ensure that you get the correct product for the job.


Surface Preparation

DIY Surface preparation

Improper surface preparation with a chalked surface poses serious risks of premature paint failure.

Surface preparation is without question the most important step in obtaining an attractive, long-lasting painted finish; it is generally the least performed. An unsound surface is the most common cause of paint failure.

The longevity of a painted surface is directly proportionate to the care taken during surface preparation.

To obtain a sound surface the following are the biggest risk areas that require attention.

Another must is: DON'T COMPROMISE ON THE QUALITY OF THE PRODUCTS - inferior grade coatings will cost more in the long run!

If there's blistering or peeling of the old coating, or if the old paint is severely chalked, use a high pressure water jet and/or scrapers and a wire brush to remove as much as possible of the original paint. Be sure to feather edges with sandpaper to provide an even appearance after painting. It is essential that the affected areas must be primed with Alkali Resistant Primer.

If the wall has hairline cracks an appropriate topcoat such as High Build Acrylic or Flexiguard must be used to cover the cracks. If the wall has severe surface imperfections a topcoat such as Sabretex or Resitex must be considered.

Any areas that pose a risk for the ingress of moisture must be sealed. Structural cracks must be primed and filled with the appropriate filler. Attention must be given to window and doorframe areas that might have gaps. Parapets and flashings must be waterproofed with the Hydro-X system.

Areas infected by fungus, mainly the south facing areas, must be treated with Anti Fungus Wash.

A clean surface is another must for any painting job. Paint cannot adhere to dirt, grease, or other surface contamination. Use a mild detergent to remove accumulated surface residues. After a thorough scrub-down, rinse the area well with clean water and allow to dry completely before priming or painting. Whenever you are in doubt, ask your local Sabre representative or agent.



Getting Started

Stir paint with a flat object

At this point your surface preparation must be complete. Remember to stir the paint with a flat object.When you begin painting, paint in this sequence (top down):

  1. Roof
  2. Fascias
  3. Ceiling / eaves
  4. Walls
  5. Doors
  6. Door and window trim
  7. Skirting boards and mouldings

The first application step is cutting in. To "cut in" means to paint the areas of the walls next to the ceiling, eaves, doors, windows, etc where the roller will not reach. Tape off these areas carefully with masking tape to avoid getting paint on unwanted areas. Use a brush to paint these areas.

Now you're ready to begin rolling.


  1. Fill your paint tray with paint up to where the ribs begin. Dip the roller into the deep end of the paint tray with the paint nearly halfway up the roller cover. Push and pull the roller up and down the ribs until it is covered uniformly.
  2. For best results, paint a one-meter wide section of a wall at a time, from floor to ceiling. Overlap about a quarter of your work and use light, even strokes.
  3. Place the roller against the wall or ceiling, and roll out a letter W. Then fill in your W to spread the paint evenly. Continue in the same fashion across each section of the area you are painting. Make one smooth, uninterrupted rolling motion in one direction only, going up or down to complete each section.
  4. Use your roller to overlap the areas where you cut in.


  1. Dip your brush in paint no more than halfway up the bristles, lightly slapping the insides of the can or bucket with both flat sides of the brush, or lightly brushing it off the sides of the can, before removing it.
  2. Paint with the tips of a brush and not the sides. When your brush touches a surface, it should usually be at about a 45-degree angle.
  3. Always brush over your last wet edge. Lay on the paint in one direction, and then lay off at a 90-degree angle. Lay on to the shortest part of the surface and lay off along the longest distance.
  4. Use long, smooth strokes to apply the paint. Emulsion paint dries more quickly and excessive brushing will leave grooves in the paint film.Apply generously, but use only two or three strokes back and forth to apply and allow it to dry. When using oil-based paint, brush back and forth several times to ensure a nice, even finish.
  5. Always have a drop sheet below anything you are painting and have a rag nearby to clean up spillage.

Special considerations

  1. Do not paint externally when it is to hot or to cold or when rain is imminent. Direct sun and strong wind can cause rapid drying that interferes with the levelling quality of the paint, producing lap marks or an undesirable texture.
  2. Wrap brushes, rollers and paint trays in plastic to keep the paint from hardening when taking a break. Brushes and rollers can also be sealed in this way if you intend on continuing the next day.
  3. Stop painting at a corner, a door or a window.
  4. When you are finished with a project, keep leftover paint in a small container for future touch-up. Keeping it in a large container will shorten the lifespan of the paint.
  5. Always order enough paint for the complete project. Never touch-up from a different batch. If you do run short on paint, paint to a corner and keep some paint for touch-up, specific to that section.


Exterior Woodwork

Exterior woodwork - wrong, varnish build up
Exterior woodwork - correct, woodseal

Varnish build-up (top), due partly to poor surface preparation, that leads to woodwork losing it's natural look compared to, Woodseal treated woodwork of the same age (bottom).

If exterior woodwork is to be painted a colour, it is important to use Premium High Gloss Enamel as the finishing coat to ensure a long lasting finish.

What follows are some points to consider when you want to varnish or seal your exterior woodwork.

An important consideration when treating wood is to decide whether to use a varnish or a woodseal. The major difference is that a varnish dries to a hard, glossy film on top of the wood, whereas a woodseal penetrates the wood, giving a more natural finish.

An advantage of a varnish is that it does last longer than a woodseal, but the disadvantage being that because of preparation needed it takes much longer to recoat in the future. A major disadvantage is that varnish tends to build up layers over time after a few maintenance coats, resulting in the wood loosing its natural appearance.

The next choice is to decide on the colour of the varnish or woodseal. In the past darker colours were recommended because of their UV absorbent ability. However with technological advances, we can now supply clear Timberglow varnish or Woodseal with UV absorbent abilities, giving the most natural finish.


FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)