Check out Live Paint groups in the Help files.
What tool did you use to create the paths?
The Pen is what you want for long continuous paths.
A square (Rectangle tool) with a cross through it (Line or Pen tool) is easy to colour if you make it into a Live Paint group.
Following that you may (but don’t have to) expand the group as you wish.
Thank you friend, this is exactly what i'm after. Something so simple that has escaped my knowledge up until now...... absolute lifesaver
Thanks to both of you that answered