Close the gap
Gaps between walls, skirtings and architraves are best filled using acrylic gap filler prior to painting. They’re flexible, so they can handle any movement between these elements without cracking. They’re easy to apply and being water-based, all you need to do is smooth them off and clean up with a damp rag. They also dry quickly so you can get on with painting sooner.
Fill the Crack
Cracks and dings in walls can be filled using wall crack fillers such as Spakfilla or Polyfilla. There are different mixtures to suit small and large cracks and they are available in premixed or powdered forms. They’re applied to the crack, left to dry then sanded smooth. Depending on the size of the crack, this whole process is usually done within a few hours. Paint with undercoat before applying finishing coats.
Seal it up
When you need a flexible, watertight seal, silicone is ideal. Typical applications include around the bath and wall tiles in the bathroom, between the benchtop and splashback in the kitchen and on roofing elements externally. White and clear are commonly used colours indoors, while roofing silicone comes in a range of colours to match a variety of common metal roofing colours.
For best results, use masking tape on either side of the joint being filled so you don’t get silicone everywhere. Silicone requires turps to clean up.
Nail, screw holes and minor imperfections in timber are best taken care of with wood putty. It’s quick drying, so small holes can be filled, sanded and painted within an hour. Wood putty comes in a range of colours to match common types of timber. This is ideal if you’re going for a clear or oiled finish on your next timber project, as the nail holes will blend right in.
For heavy duty filling jobs that can be sawn and drilled into, you’ll need an epoxy filler. It comes in two parts that you mix together - the filler itself and a hardener. It starts setting immediately so you need to be ready to go. Vary the amount of hardener you add to the filler to lengthen or reduce the setting time. It is difficult to sand so don’t over fill too much.