Scheduling a professional house painting service and hiring a skilled painter is the sensible choice if you cannot set aside the required time and effort. On the other hand, if you believe that you can handle this task on your own, then keep on reading.
Prepare in Six Easy Steps
1. Set aside a prep day. Let’s begin by stating the obvious—you cannot do everything all at once, so arm yourself with patience and devote an entire day to various painting preparation tasks before moving on to the project itself.
2. Free up some space. All those wall shelves, paintings, drawers, wardrobes, and lamps will only slow you down. If you cannot move everything into an adjacent room, consider placing your furnishings in the middle and hiding them under a generous number of drop cloths. Don’t forget to tape the fabric in place and add an extra cover to protect your belongings from splashes.
3. Remove all hardware. If you’ve never painted around doorknobs or cabinet hinges, there’s no reason to torture yourself now. Get some Ziploc storage bags to protect your hardware from accidental drips, and place all cabinet hardware, doorknobs, hinges, light switch plates, and switches inside. To avoid confusion, label each bag so you know where all bits and pieces should go (living room door, etc.) after repainting your walls.
4. Repair before you paint. If your wall surfaces have seen better days, patch them before applying the first coat of paint. Spackle, for instance, is a great tool when it comes to fixing small holes and cracks. You can also use fiberglass to mask more significant gaps and various texturizing products to match the appearance of your existing wall finishes perfectly.
5. Dress the part. Unfortunately, wearing your finest business suit will not yield better performance. You’ll spend a fortune trying to remove the paint splatters at your nearest dry cleaner. We suggest taking off all your jewelry and dressing in old but comfortably loose clothing to save yourself tons of hassle. Such clothes include slip-on shoes and an old baseball hat. Don’t forget to wear eye protection.
6. Assemble your workstation. An organized workspace can do wonders for your project.Ensure that everything is within a hand’s reach by establishing your workstation in the middle of the area where you’re about to paint. So, grab your buckets of paint, brushes, rollers, hammers, screwdrivers, plastic bags, color can openers, drop cloths, and whatever else you need, and gather them in a neat pile.
Tips to Improve Your House Painting
Your room is free from obstacles, you wear proper clothing, and your tools of the trade are lying conveniently nearby. Now what? Here are a few tips and tricks professionals always use to achieve that immaculate finish you’ve seen on Internet ads and TV commercials.
1. Eliminate lap marks by maintaining a wet edge. There’s nothing more annoying than painting walls for several hours straight only to end up with mismatching layers of buildup paint. This usually happens if you roll over a painted section of your wall that has already dried up. One of the wall painting techniques you can use to correct is “wet edging.” This method will help you overlap the previous stroke before it dries out and ruins your painstaking efforts. And here is how it works.
2. Grab your roller and start at the corner of your wall, then run the roller up and down until you reach the top. Make sure to move slightly to the side while rolling, and always paint in backward motions if you need to even out a paint buildup or a streak. Always keep the roller half-loaded and ensure that the open side of the roller’s frame faces the wall segment you’ve already painted. This will lessen the pressure on the roller, resulting in fewer paint ridges.
3. Mix paints for a uniform color. When people give you advice on what paint to use on walls, they will often skip the most crucial bit. Every can of paint usually comes in slightly different shades of the same color. Instead of discovering this after the fact, you can quickly solve the problem by pouring all cans together in a 5-gallon bucket— a mix and match process known as boxing.
4. If you cannot estimate the exact amount you need for your project, you can always add more, as you can quickly pour the leftovers back into the cans. If your project is more ambitious and includes kitchen painting and several other rooms, we suggest getting a roller screen that loads your roller much faster than any standard tray.
5. Cut the masking tape loose. Don’t make the mistake of pulling the masking tape before the paint dries. This process can remove whole chunks of dried paint, and you’ll have to repaint the affected area. Instead, please wait at least 24 hours for the paint to dry out fully, then cut the masking tape loose with a sharp knife before removing it from the wall. When cutting, pull up the tape at a 45º angle and start from an inconspicuous spot to check if the paint has dried.
6. Paint the edges first. If you want to learn how to paint a room like the pros, they always start by painting the edges, corners, and the areas under your windows and around your door frames before working on your walls. Doing so will allow you to tape off these areas instead of the entire wall surface.
7. Giving these finicky places in your home a fresh appearance is easy. To do so, begin from the top of your wall and gradually work your way down. Also, don’t dip more than a quarter of your brush into the can, as the excess paint will spill over your fingers and cause a sticky mess.
8. Blotchy finish? Not if you prime your wall. You might think your wall paint is uniform, but get closer, and you’ll likely spot a few bright spots here and there. This blotchy phenomenon is known as flashing and is generally caused by holes and cracks previously fixed with either a filler or a drywall compound. Their smooth and dull surface will often stand out in stark contrast to the rest of the wall and bug you every time you pass nearby. And God forbid if some of your visitors notice these as well.
9. But don’t get disheartened just yet, because this can be fixed with one quick coat of primer. Before doing anything, however, you should choose the right nap thickness for your roller to match the texture of the surrounding paint. For instance, we recommend using a 1/2″ nap for textured walls and a 3/8″ for smooth finishes. Once the primer is applied, it will seal the patch, prevent the paint from sinking in, and bring back its original sheen. Problem solved.
10. Clean before you paint to achieve the best results. Many guides with tips on painting and decorating skip this bit, but it’s just as important. While it’s tempting to hide all dirt and dust underneath a fresh coat of paint, it will likely peel off soon after. To ensure that your color will be there to stay, grab a pair of rubber gloves, don some eye protection, and either use a de-glosser or some heavy-duty cleaning product. Apply your chosen solution to a lint-free cloth and clean the soiled surface with circular motions. Once all greasy hand marks and stains are gone, your walls will practically paint themselves.
11. Ensure an even texture by rolling paint along the edges. You can immediately tell if a professional has done the painting work by looking at the corners and the areas next to the trim. Why? Because these are usually painted with just the brush, which gives them a different texture and immediately pops out.
12. To avoid this common mistake, evenly spread the paint with a roller before it dries out. Roll as close to the edge as possible without touching the opposite wall or dripping paint on the trim. Proceed to the next area once the paint has been evenly applied.
13. Cotton drop cloths offer the best bang for your buck. Like wind or rain, the appearance of paint spills and splatters is simply a matter of time. But that doesn’t mean you cannot prepare for their striking appearance. Getting a canvas of drop cloths is relatively cheap and an ideal covering for practically any surface. The paint will also dry out faster, so you won’t track any spilled paint around your house. When a spill happens, blot it as soon as possible with either towels or cloth rags.
14. Feather out the paint in hard-to-reach areas. Small walls or stairwells will only prove problematic if you try to paint them with continuous strokes. However, you can prevent most lap marks by feathering out the paint in areas where you cannot maintain a wet edge due to physical constraints. To avoid paint buildups, roll a nearly dry roller in varied directions along the border while at the same time feathering (thinning) the paint out. Move to the next section only once you’ve covered the whole length of your wall or ceiling with this thin coat of paint. Then, paint over the feathered spots by applying the colored substance opposite.
15. Sand the trim in between coats. When it comes to wall trims, a single coat of paint isn’t enough to hide the trim’s original color.On the other hand, adding two coats in a row without sanding the surface will result in an unpleasant, grainy texture. To achieve a smooth finish, grab a fine-grit sanding sponge and rub the surface before and after you apply the first coat (for the latter, wait for at least 24 hours first). Vacuum the trim after each sanding and thoroughly wipe it down to remove leftover dust.
16. Don’t skimp on quality. This is perhaps one of this list's most valuable interior painting tips. Patience and good technique can only get you so far – if you don’t have the proper tools (paints, brushes, rollers) to go along with them, you will have disappointing results at best. So, the next time you drop by your local hardware store, try to tame your urge to purchase the cheapest brushes. Some drawbacks of getting dirt-cheap supplies include brush bristles all over your painted wall or bushes that refuse to hold a decent amount of paint, forcing you to work twice as hard to achieve a reasonably good finish. In other words, don’t do it. You have been warned.
Add the Finishing Touches
Now that you’ve painted your room just how you wanted, it’s time to do some touch-up and cleaning work.But where should you even begin? We’ve got you fully covered – just read the tips below, and you’ll shape your drying walls and ceiling into a work of art in no time.
Store some paint for touch-ups. Geta small jar or a metal storage container to store a bit of paint when you need to mask some scratches or dents. When you pour the color, note where the substance was last used (hallway walls, kitchen cabinets). While at it, write down its type, for instance, whether it’s latex, satin, gloss, or eggshell.When making minor repairs, give the container a good shake and use a Q-tip or a foam brush to mask the imperfections.
Get yourself a few razor blades.With these sharp implements in hand, scraping off excess paint from windows, tiles, or glass surfaces becomes a walk in the park. The drips won’t get smeared all over the surface, too. Just try not to scratch the surface.
Keep a few rags for cleaning around. You are doomed without at least a few pieces of cloth by your side. Use those to wipe off excess paint, catch drips, soak up spills, and regularly wipe your hands to prevent accidental spots on your otherwise spotless wall.
Painting and Decorating Tricks
Are you still here? Good, here are sixteen clever decorating tips and tricks to add to your painting arsenal.
1. Avoid cleaning your brush or roller during every break; wrap them in plastic wrap. Seal them in a plastic bag, and they’ll be ready.
2. Paint fumes can be easily absorbed by slicing some onions and placing them nearby.
3. Attach a container lid to your brush—this minor modification will catch all paint drops.
4. Wipe down any metal surfaces with vinegar to keep the paint from peeling.
5. Place the treated items in a box to keep things nice and neat.
6. Unstick messy brushes by soaking them in hot vinegar for about 30 minutes.
7. Rub a candle over wooden surfaces to achieve an antique-like aesthetic.
8. Avoid painting screws and keyholes by covering them with petroleum jelly.
9. Vanilla extract is excellent for negating the permeating smell of heavy paint fumes—add a tablespoon to your bucket of paint and see for yourself!
10. Cover your door hinges with masking tape to keep their original colors intact.
11. A lint roller is all you need to take the fuzz off your paint roller.
12. Don’t have a paintbrush holder? Just use an empty plastic bottle instead.
13. Cover your toilet tank with a garbage bag for easier bathroom painting.
14. Do you need to have your brushes ready for action the next day without having to clean them? Just put them in the refrigerator.
15. Refresh old masking tape by putting it in a microwave for no longer than ten seconds.
16. Aluminum foil is your best friend when protecting objects like pipes and vents from getting covered in artistic paint splashes.