Seven Painting Tips
TAKE THE TIME TO PREP THE ROOM. This is absolutely the most important tip. You can hide bad woodworking skills, old windows, and so many other flaws by doing the required prep. Give yourself one day just to get the room ready for paint. Caulk around all PAINTED trim (do not caulk stained trim) to make it look absolutely professional. Cut a small hole in the tip of your caulk tube, and use a good gun with quick release of pressure to avoid making a mess. Apply a bead of caulk, then run your finger down the bead to make a beautiful seamless finish. Wipe your finger on a damp rag, and go again. When you are done caulking, proceed to spackle any holes or cracks on the walls themselves. Sand when dry. Now, and only now, are you ready to open a can of paint.
LEARN TO HOLD A BRUSH CORRECTLY. This may be the most important tool you will use, and you should become comfortable with it. Often, one can assess the skill of a painter simply by how they pick up their brush and hold it. Proper technique calls for a pencil type hold, especially when cutting in a sharp line.
WHEN POSSIBLE, PAINT THE TRIM FIRST. This one tip will save you so much time!! It is much easier to cut in a wall to the trim than to try to cut a sharp line on the top of a baseboard or the thin side of a door casing. Once you implement this tip, you will never leave the trim for last again. This is truly a professional trick that will make your work look better. Once you get the hang of doing these cut ins, you won’t even need masking tape. Keep a five-in-one and a damp rag handy, and wipe small indiscretions away as quickly as you make them. A drop cloth to protect the floor should be all you need. So, do your trim, and take that paint on to the wall. You won’t have to be precise until you bring the wall color over to meet it. When working against the surface you are cutting to, don’t try to get the entire brush into the fine line. Simply fan the bristles, and bring only a few to the edge.
LISTEN. Did you know that a properly saturated roller cover will make a certain noise? Although it isn’t easy to describe, you will learn quickly how to tell. You will hear it in the pan as the roller picks up paint, and you will also hear a distinct sound as the roller becomes empty. Knowing if the roller is soaked through with enough paint is as important as knowing how to put it on the wall for effective coverage.
PRACTICE. Don’t start in the entry foyer or the living room. Perfect your skills in the bedrooms, the kids’ bathroom, and other spaces which aren’t so open to criticism. That first attempt that you are so proud of may not be the quality you want when the house is full of in-laws or business associates. Do not hone your skills on high pigment colors, such as yellow and red. These colors will need at least two consistent coats, and if you aren’t consistent, at least three. Light spots are not attractive, so proper application with the correct amount of paint are essential.
PURCHASE THE CORRECT PAINT FOR YOUR JOB. If you aren’t familiar with the differences between primer and paint, or oil and latex, ask. If you aren’t sure which you need, talk to a professional. In some situations, due to the previous paint job, you may need to alter the normal practice.