Wall Painting

Over four years in our current house with toddlers and theie armies of friends around did take a toll on the walls. A couple of them more than the others, and a lot of switches has smudges around them.

Shubha was keen on a DIY, so off we went to a hardware store.

2kgs of white distemper, a brush, a roller, and a few words of advice from the not-particularly-convinced guy at the store set us back about 230/- or so. So far so good.


A little bit of reading on the web brought some confidence to back up the advice received earlier, and we started with optimism. Well, at the back of the mind was the knowledge that it could hardly look worse than it did before the repaint effort 😀

Step 0. Move the furniture around as needed. Keep a ladder, wet cloth, lotsa newspaper handy for managing the dripping.


Step 1. Scrape, scrape, scrape with sandpaper. The walls need to be rid of warts, heel scuffle marks, pencil art, and powdery stuff. Its pretty tough to get a totally smooth finish, but this part of the process (as we realized a little later for some patches we did not quite attack to enthusiastically) is the most critical one.


Step 2. Put on some nice music and take a break/chai/juice. All that scraping makes you a little tired. You also might want to do a little bit of cleanup now before it spreads all over the house!

Step 3. Mixing the amount of water in the paint. For oil bound distemper, we needed to add between 0.5-0.65 litres of water per kg. We played a little cautious and used only about 1kg to start with – and it turned out to be enough. Mixing it well is important, especially towards the bottom of the bucket.

Step 4. Slop, slip, splosh. Applying it onto the wall. We started with a lot of uncertainty. Unclear how much should be ‘used’ per stroke, and in how much of a patch it should spread. But stuck with vertical strokes of the brush initially, and used the roller once the ‘painter’ moved onto an adjacent patch. Trick : since it was white on white – matching colours was not critical and even not-too-great a job on applying it uniformly did not matter at all. Kept wiping off the paint that dripped here and there. Also, contrary to advice – started from the bottom end since those were the really dirty parts and we weren’t sure if the paint would be enough 🙂 Since it was starting to blend in easily as it dried we took a call that it would not matter even if we were unable to do the top bits – those were hardly dirtied anyhow.

After the first wall the confidence shot up, and we touched up pretty much all the major greased-up bits around the house!




Turned out to be a decent job. Not too expensive, and overall, we might’ve spent 4 hours including the cleaning up afterwards. The brush, roller etc were easily cleaned after dipping them in water for a while.

We’ve possibly pushed out a full paint job by a couple of years. And its nice to see clean walls 🙂


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