How to Paint Coving - What Paint to Use on Cornice

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How to Paint Coving

6th October 2021

Ask yourself one simple question, would you like your coving to stay white and modern or would you like to give your interior a pop of colour? If your answer is the latter, we’ve created a step-by-step home guide to help you paint your coving and give your interior that finishing touch. Please remember that all our Orac coving and cornices come primed so all you need to do is install and paint.

Paint Ideas For Coving

Whether you like to stick to tradition or like a little flamboyance, there are endless design opportunities when it comes to painting.


The traditional coving look is simply timeless and stunning. We love it when coving contrasts with a strong interior wall colour, for example, white coving alongside rich greens and blues.

Tall Walls

If you’d like to elongate your walls, then painting your coving the same colour as your wall is the perfect idea.

Colourful Ceilings

Take advantage of your coving and add a splash of colour to your interior by painting your coving and ceiling a different colour to your walls. This looks beautiful in traditional Victorian homes with high ceilings.

Accent Colour Covings

Lastly, adding accent colour to your coving will create a strong, authentic border between the wall and ceiling. If you have a minimalist ambience throughout your room, a touch of colour will add dimension and can really bring your interior to life.

Modern Stepped Coving Design

Discover our modern stepped coving.

What’s the best paint to use for coving?

When it comes to painting cornices and coving, the choice is yours. We’d recommend that you use a water-based paint that can be applied to interior walls. Whichever paint you choose to use, always think about the amount of sheen you would like to achieve. Sheen means the amount of light that you wish your paint to reflect, so matte paints will have the least sheen and silk will have the highest.

  • Matte – very popular and in trend for interiors as it offers a smooth, flat finish that doesn’t offer much light reflection.
  • Eggshell – gives you more light reflection than matte, offering a luster finish compared to a flat finish. Eggshell also withstands staining better than matte.
  • Soft sheen & silky – offers a silk finish with mid-sheen finishes. Soft and silky is much easier to clean and highly durable.

Orac C395 Lighting coving

Discover our Orac C395 uplit coving.

How To Paint Coving: Step-by-Step Guide

For the best finish and minimal mess, we’ve created a step-by-step guide that will help you achieve the look you’re looking for – without the stress. We can’t emphasise this enough, always prepare your room before painting, you’re painting at a height so it’s important your paint is accessible to you and everything valuable is covered to avoid splashing!

  1. Cover your floor with a dust sheet, move your furniture and cover everything you don’t want painted.
  2. Apply masking tape or masking film around the coving and on the ceiling just above the length of the coving to avoid paint mismatches. Run your thumb along the tape to make sure it’s stuck properly. If you’re going free hand then this step doesn’t apply to you, but if you’re new to interior painting, then masking tape will give you the best possible finish.
  3. Use a medium sized nylon or synthetic paint brush, dip your brush into your paint, not too much – avoiding spillage and splashes. Apply the paint gradually, starting with small sections. If you’ve got masking tape, you can start at the edges and work inwards, but if you’re going free hand, we’d recommend starting an inch away from the corners and slowly working your way towards the edges to avoid excess paint on the ceiling.
  4. For traditional detailed cornices with patterns, perhaps a smaller brush would be useful as you want to dab the brush into any crevices.
  5. Once you’ve applied one layer of paint, leave it to completely dry before applying your second coat. Perhaps two hours.
  6. After your paint has dried, inspect your work, then apply the second coat which tends to be slightly thicker than the first but make sure you apply this coat evenly for a smooth finish.
  7. Again, leave this coat to dry completely.
  8. Coving tends to need between 1 – 3 coats of paint for that beautiful smooth finish. However, if you are happy with the results after 2 coats, that’s perfect.

With our step-by-step painting guide, DIY just got that much easier at an affordable price. Whether it’s a traditional intricate cornice for your living room, sleek and smooth modern coving for your master bedroom, our range of Orac covings and cornices look spectacular with a splash of paint.

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