Your home improvement project list is likely constantly growing. From random repairs to decor plans, there’s always something that needs to be done around the house. However, one of the easiest projects with the most potential to change the look of your home is painting.
A fresh coat of paint is one of the best ways to bring new life to a room. Switching wall colors or changing the hue of your doors can totally transform your space. You can find unique ways to use paint to express your individual style and personality.
However, it’s important that your paint job is done properly to ensure that it will last. You’ll want to take steps to reduce fading and create a flawless finish. By borrowing techniques from the experts, you can produce professional-looking results.
Keeping Your Home Protected
It might be tempting to dive right into your painting, however, it’s important to prep your space first. You’ll prevent your surfaces from being ruined by drips and spills. Setting up good protection will also make clean up easier.
Dripped paint can easily ruin your flooring, especially if you have carpet. Using a wall to wall drop cloths is a wise idea. This is particularly true if you plan to paint the ceiling.
Commercial painting contractors often opt for thick, canvas drop cloths for their durability and ability to absorb spills and drips. Thinner cloths can allow the paint to seep through and plastic sheeting holds paint on the surface where it can easily be transferred to other areas. Canvas is your best bet at keeping inevitable drips from spreading.
Paint splatters find a way to travel for even the most careful painters. It’s wise to remove as much furniture as possible from the room. For larger pieces that are tougher to move, cover them tightly with plastic sheeting to avoid them getting covered with dust and paint splatters.
Perfectly Prep Surfaces
Professionals know that a paint job is only as good as the prep work performed beforehand. It’s important to take the time to make sure your surfaces are ready for painting. Not only will it make the final result look cleaner, but the paint will also adhere better for long-term durability.
Nail holes and small dents may seem minor, but they can destroy your chances for a flawless look. Patch any knicks and scratches in the walls with spackling and allow it to dry. Sand it smooth and repeat the process until the damaged area is even with the wall.
Removing the light switch and outlet plates will make your job much easier. This is also true for return vent covers and easily removable light fixtures. Once off, use a vacuum attachment to remove any dust that could end up getting stuck in your paint.
Dirty walls make it nearly impossible for the paint to stick as it should. Wipe walls down completely with a damp cloth to remove dust and debris. Make sure to get into the corners and near the trim and baseboards.
You might need some extra care to prep areas like kitchens and bathrooms. Greasy walls will need to be thoroughly cleaned with a degreaser to remove all of the residues. If you are covering a high-sheen finish, a light sanding of the wall will make it easier to cover.
Prime for Best Coverage
After your wall is prepped, a primer will help ensure the new paint color adheres properly. Many professional painters use tinted primer for a deeper, more uniform coverage. This can also ensure that the color on your walls most closely matches the paint chip.
If you’re making a drastic change in colors, primer can reduce the number of coats you need for full color. It will help the new paint cover the old shade more evenly, especially if it was a darker or more vibrant hue. A coat of primer can also stop paint from being absorbed if you are painting new drywall.
Tinted primer can be helpful in achieving a deeper color in fewer coats. It is especially helpful if you’re using a deeper shade of paint. Having your primer tinted to a color that’s a few shades lighter than your paint color will give you a more saturated paint finish.
Create the Best Finish
Creating the best finish is essential to your overall results. Experts know that their paint application techniques are the most important factors in a seamless finish. Eliminating lines and brush strokes make for a professional-looking paint job.
When painting, it’s important to keep a wet edge to avoid visible, un-even layers of paint. The easiest way to do this is to paint one wall at a time. Paint the trim first, and then when it’s still wet, use a roller on the rest of the wall. When rolling, overlap the previous stroke, and keep your roller well coated in paint.
Revamp Doors and Cabinetry
Repainting your doors or cabinetry can make a big impact on your space. However, they are also often the most tedious surfaces to paint. That’s why professionals often opt to use a sprayer to tackle these jobs. You might want to consider investing in one, especially if your project is a sizeable one.
It may seem messy but using a paint sprayer will give you the best finish. It saves you the time of painstakingly working a brush into all of the angles. It also allows the paint to get into all of the detailed cuts and grooves that many doors and cabinets have. The result is an even coating that is uniform across the surface.
Ensuring Consistent Color
Even though paint colors are usually mixed by machine, there can be variances. Two cans of the same color can end up looking noticeably different thanks to an accidental extra drop of colorant. Avoid any frustrating mismatched walls by making sure your whole room is a consistent color.
Many professional painters use a larger bucket to combine all of their cans of paint of the same color. This allows them to mix them and ensure that the color is consistent throughout the entire project. It’s also important to consistently keep paint stirred, especially if taking days off from your project.
Use Tools to Keep You Safe
Professional painters are armed with the right tools to get their jobs done correctly. However, their safety is also a top priority. Make sure you have all the right tools for your job so you can get it done without incident or injury.
A paint roller extension pole can be extremely helpful. It reduces strain and can even help you avoid having to go up and down a ladder. Look for one with a telescopic handle to make a painting at all heights more comfortable.
Many expert painters find scaffolding much easier to use than ladders, especially for large jobs. If you’re taking on significantly high walls or ceilings, you might want to consider using scaffolding instead of trying to balance on a ladder. Look for rental options so you can get your high painting job done more safely.
Create Clean Lines
One of the biggest painting challenges is creating clean, crisp lines. Luckily, the pros have some strategies you can borrow. You can also create immaculate trim lines and neat designs by using painter’s tape properly.
When using painter’s tape near trim and baseboards, make sure it’s stuck down securely to avoid paint seeping underneath. Run a flat-head screwdriver or spackling knife over it gently to ensure it’s adhered evenly. When painting, periodically check to make sure it’s not lifting.
Commercial painters can create bold designs and often use several colors per wall. You can get the same impact by dividing your space using tape. The trick to clean lines is to make sure the area near the tape is very well coated by paint. Overlap the edge of the tape with paint to be sure all of the bordering areas is completely coated.
How you remove the tape is also important. You don’t want to pull dried paint up but you also don’t want to remove it too soon that wet paint will cause a mess. The ideal time to pull it off is when the paint is just dry to the touch but not fully cured. If you miss the perfect window, a knife can be used to cut along the edge of the tape to separate it from the paint.
Don’t Skimp on Coats
Make sure your hard work and new paint job are done to last. Your room might look great with just one or two coats, but that look might fade quickly. Professionals know that it sometimes takes more coats for lasting results.
When walls are properly primed, two good coats of paint is usually sufficient. However, brighter or deeper colors might need a third coat to get to the desired intensity. Also, more coats equal more durability, so it might be wise to opt for adding another, especially in high-traffic areas.
Clean Up Thoroughly
When you’re done painting, it’s important to clean up properly. This protects both your home and your painting tools. Taking the time to do it right will give you a smoother start to your next project.
If you’re just taking a break for the night, you can leave your tools partially set up. Carefully seal up any open containers of paint. Make sure there is plenty of paint on your brushes and rollers and place them in air-tight plastic bags.
If your project is complete, you’ll want to get your tools ready for storage. Thoroughly rinse your brushes, rollers, and containers in lukewarm water until it runs clear. Allow them to dry completely before putting them into storage.
Creating a professional-looking outcome is possible for nearly anyone. Taking your time and using these techniques can help you achieve a smooth finish and clean lines. Prepping your walls and using the right tools will give you an impressive finished product.
From start to finish, your paint project can benefit from these expert tips. You’ll have beautiful, lasting results that you love. Plus, you’ll have more experience and confidence to tackle your next paint job.