A room looks wonderful with a fresh coat of DIY Painting. But if you have a “love-hate” relationship with painting, you’ll want to read these tips on getting a great finished product. You might even enjoy the project as much as the finished product!
1. Start Out Right
You’ll enjoy the job more if you get everything together at the start. Organise a tool station in the middle of the area you’ll be working in. Gather together your paint, brushes, rollers, hammers, screwdrivers, plastic bags, plastic wrap, rags, paint can opener and drop cloths.
2. Plan a Day for Prep
Don’t try to get everything done in one day. Use the day before painting day to gather furniture in the centre of the room, patch cracks and holes, put painter’s tape (available from Poor Boys) around doors and windows to prevent leaking (see these tips for stopping leaking through the painter’s tape) and cover wall and ceiling light fixtures (light bulbs removed, of course!) with large plastic bags.
If you can, clear out all the furniture and accessories. Take everything off the walls. If you can’t move everything out, place the furniture and lamps in the middle of the room and cover them with a good drop cloth. Be sure that you tape the cloth around the furniture. Then put a second cover of plastic or old sheet over everything.
3. Remove All Hardware
It may seem easier to paint around door knobs or cabinet hinges, but unless you’re a professional, very experienced painter, you’re bound to get drips around. So carry around some zip top bags and remove all cabinet knobs and hinges, door knobs, light switch plates and outlet covers, and light fixtures. Place the pieces together in separate bags and clearly mark the contents and location (top left cabinet, bathroom door, etc) you took them from. This is a great time to clean the hardware! Put them back when you’re done painting.
4. Get Yourself Ready
No matter how hard you try, you’re bound to get drips (or more) of paint on whatever you’re wearing. So take off all jewellery. Reserve some old, but comfortable, clothes for your painting jobs. Slip-on shoes are easy to take off if you need to leave the room. You won’t have to worry about tracking drops of paint into other rooms. When you paint the ceiling, put a scarf, shower cap, or old baseball hat over your hair and some plastic goggle over your eyeglasses.
5. Don’t Paint Over Problem Walls
If your walls have holes or cracks, fix them before you start with the paint. Any home centre or paint store has knowledgeable personnel to guide you to the best products for the job. Wide cracks and large holes can be “bridged” with fiberglass tape, polyfillerwill fill small holes and cracks, and texturizing products are available to match your existing wall finish.
Every year, new products come on the market to help make painting more enjoyable. You’ll want to select the best ones for your job.
6. Natural or Synthetic Brushes
Paint brushes with natural bristles are meant for oil-based paints. Natural bristles will soak up the water and go limp in water-based paints. The newer synthetic bristles were designed for water-based or latex paints, but can be used for anything. Densely packed bristles that taper to a chisel edge help with painting a straight edge, cutting in or tipping. Split ends or “flags” hold more paint and spread it more evenly and smoothly. Choose the right brush for your job.
7. Foam Brushes and Rollers
Foam brushes come in many widths, are inexpensive, and are great for small jobs or touch-ups. Foam paint rollers work well, don’t spatter the paint, and are easy to use when you want a really smooth wall. Don’t try them on rough surfaces, though, as they will not hold up.
8. Pad Painters
Smooth pad painters offer simple, fast and neat paint application and easy clean ups. Don’t apply too much paint to the pad, as it will drip. You’ll have to take it apart, clean it, dry it thoroughly, and start over.
9. Paint Rollers
A paint roller with a plastic core will last longer than one with a cardboard core. Select a roller “nap” (fullness of the covering) according to the texture on your walls. Use a flat, smooth roller for flat, smooth walls and a thicker, more plush roller for rough textured walls.
10. Water-Based or Latex Paint
New latex paints are formulated to be environmentally-friendly. Drying time is short (usually about 1 hour) and clean ups are easy with water. Apply water-based paints with rollers, pads, or synthetic bristle brushes. Latex paints tend to get a “skin” of paint in the can when they begin to dry out, so keep the can covered as much as possible. Pour paint into another container to work from and close the can.
11. Oil-Based Paint
Most professional painters prefer oil-based paints, especially for cabinets, furniture, and trim. New formulations do not harm the environment and are not toxic. Because they dry more slowly, oil-based paints allow for better coverage and work well in warm, dry climates where water-based paints would dry too fast. Apply oil-based paints with pads, rollers, or natural bristle brushes. Clean up with paint thinner or other solvent.
12. Drop Cloths
The best material for a drop cloth is a heavy canvas cloth. It’s not as slippery as plastic and covers better than newspaper. Fold the cloth to fit any size room and tape down the corners to prevent paint from oozing over the edge. To prevent scratching, be sure to vacuum hardwood floors before you put the drop cloth down.
13. Tinted Primer
Most paint jobs work better when you use a primer or base coat. Have the primer or base paint tinted to match your surface paint colour. You may be able to avoid a second coat of finish paint. For ceilings, try paint that is specially formulated for ceilings. Some brands go on light blue and change to white when dry. This makes it easier to see where you’ve already painted.
Some awesome tips for creating that professional paint job. Now get down to your local hardware supply store, you could save yourself a fortune and who know, you might even surprise yourself.
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