Darren Palmer’s quick and easy tips to giving your home a cosmetic makeover

I have a lovely home that’s a bit tired and when I’m asked if I can be shot or videoed in my house the answer is always a firm “no way”, so recently I took it on myself to give my home a cosmetic upgrade so that I could live with it before I find the time and resources to give it the full renovation that the house deserves.

Looking around the home it was looking a bit tired and grubby and the white paint had yellowed. As this was a quick spruce-up that I was able to squeeze into a week off, the key was to do it as quickly and efficiently as possible.

There are a few hacks that I can share on how to speed up your painting process and still get that fresh new paint look.

How to speed up your painting process and still get that fresh new paint look.How to speed up your painting process and still get that fresh new paint look. Photo: Nic Walker


Sanding is an absolute necessity but it’s also arduous. To streamline the process, only use an electric hand sander to finish off woodwork like skirting and architraves and, instead of the handheld for the walls, you can hire yourself a Giraffe (or plaster) sander from Kennards. The machine is used primarily for fresh set plaster so the discs that you can buy when hiring are usually too fine so you’ll need to jump online and find yourself some course grit discs that fit the sander. The courser grit allows you to prep walls and ceilings with a light sand ready for painting while the machine arm makes it easy to reach high places without a ladder as well as sucking up all of the dust as you go.


This unfortunately is a must too if you’re going to carry out hack four and there are few quick ways to do this but my tip would be to mask out the entire window or door rather than individual glass panels. Don’t forget to mask and cover your floors if you’re keeping them.

Open homes:

Here Darren uses Haymes Paint “Copen Blue” for the doors, step treads and hand rail. Photo: Nic Walker.

Paint choice

To make the biggest impact with the least amount of effort I chose to paint the ceiling, walls and woodwork all the same colour. The ceiling has a different gloss level to the walls as does the woodwork but it means you can be a little less fussy with application.


The airless spray rig is the single greatest invention when it comes to painting. Once you get the pressure and paint consistency right – you have to water down the paint slightly to pass easily through the machine’s spray nozzle – I was able to put two coats of ceiling white on the ceilings and a further two to three coats of paint on the walls in a day. For the cost of the machine and a few days effort, my house was renewed.

With all of that white though you really need to create some impact through contrast so in this instance I chose a lovely Haymes navy called Copen Blue for the doors, step treads and hand rail. This simple choice makes the old doors pop and the staircase transforms from an ugly mismatched wooden non statement into the perfect nautical inspired beach appropriate focal point. Not bad for a few tins of paint, a few hacks and a little perspiration.

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