A quality paint job is the simplest and least expensive way to transform your home and make any room or space look good.
While each painter has slightly different methods and techniques they use to obtain a great result, there are a few common practices almost all of them tend to stick to. To help you achieve the best results and get a flawless finish, we’ve compiled a list of the nine most important and helpful interior painting tips so you can get the same results as the pros.
The first and key step to ensuring a good result is prep. Prep involves a lot of key processes, all of which help you prepare a smooth surface and get everything ready for painting.
Here are some of the most important steps you’ll need to take when preparing for a paint job.
Sand away any flaws and use a spackle to remove any peeling or chipping paint. Get all your supplies and equipment ready, cover your furniture and remove any items that might get in the way of your work.
If you’re using more than one can of paint, mix them in a larger bucket so you can ensure colour consistency. Use a smaller bucket that you can easily carry around with you when you’re working on the edges. Use a roller grid and a bucket so you can paint faster and not have to worry about running out of paint and having to refill your tray. If you do decide to use a paint tray, you should consider using a liner for easier cleanup.
Paint requirements vary a lot from one project to the next. Some of the factors that influence the amount of paint you’ll need include the type of paint, the surface you’re working with, the number of coats you need to apply, speed rate per litre, type of colour and of course most importantly – the size of the room. By taking all these factors into account and measuring the paintable surface area, you will be able to come up with an approximate estimate of how much paint you need to buy, so you don’t have to run off to the store mid painting.
Pro tip: always think about future retouches when buying paint and make sure you buy a little extra for when you need to cover up some stains or signs of wear and tear.
Once you’ve finished preparing your ceilings and walls and it’s time to start painting, it’s important to follow a certain order, so that you can avoid some common mistakes and achieve an excellent result.
When painting a room, you should always work from top to bottom to get the best results. Start with the ceiling, then work your way over to the walls. If you’re planning on painting two coats on the ceiling, make sure you finish both before you start painting the walls. This way if any paint drips onto the walls it won’t be a problem, because you’ll have a chance to cover it up when you paint them later on. Once you’re done with the walls, you can move on to painting the windows, working your way from top to bottom, finishing up with the window sills. Then, you can move onto the radiator, the baseboards, the door frame and the door. If you follow this order, your project will run smoother and involve less clean up.
A tinted primer will help you cover any problematic spots, such as patches and holes filled with joint compound, so they don’t stand out and look different than the rest of the wall. Instead of using white primer, use a tinted grey primer, or one that’s similar to the paint you’ll be using.
A tinted primer can cover the existing paint much better than a plain one. This means your finish coat will look much better and require fewer coats of paint.
Use masking tape to tape off your baseboards and trim before you start painting. Start back in the corner and line it up with the top of the return, making sure it’s not covering any of the walls’ surface. Try to tape each section using one long piece of tape instead of taping it in small segments. This way, you can make a perfectly seamless long line. Once you’ve covered all surfaces, you can use a putty knife or the corner of a credit card to seal the tape, so it doesn’t come off while you’re painting. Focus on getting as straight and square of a line as possible, pressing it down nicely, so it really sticks to the surface.
Always keep a wet edge while you’re painting, so that you can avoid stripes and lap marks which can form when you’re rolling over paint that’s already started to dry. Note that some types of paint are more prone to leaving overlap marks. Semi-gloss and glossy paint are the ones that require a bit more attention, which is not the case when you’re using a flat and matte paint.
While you can always use the above-mentioned technique to avoid stripes and lap marks, another simple way to achieve the same results is to add a paint extender, also known as a paint conditioner to the paint, which is a secret weapon many painting professionals rely on. Mixing a paint extender in with your paint can help you eliminate brush strokes by levelling out the paint and slowing down the drying process so you can avoid getting lap marks that form when painting over dried paint.
Invest in better supplies, such as high-quality rollers, brushes and paint. Investing in more expensive paint will help you get better coverage, with fewer coats, which will end up saving you time and money in the process. Additionally, high-quality paints are more durable and don’t fade as fast as cheap paint does. By using quality paint, you’ll enjoy the process of painting much more since more expensive paints are easier to apply and spread more evenly, so your project can run much smoother and faster.
Now when it comes to the brushes and rollers you’ll need for your project, it’s always smart to invest a bit more money in more expensive ones since they are well-made, last longer and offer better results, which makes them well worth the initial cost. High-quality painting supplies are a great investment because they’ll last you longer and can offer the best coverage and results.
While many find it easier to cut in all corners and trims in the room and then start working on the walls, it’s actually smarter to finish one wall then move on to the next, rather than doing all at once. This will allow you to get a better result and a flawless finish, by allowing the paint to blend together nicely, without leaving any lap marks behind. Pros use this technique to get seamless results as it allows them to work while the paint’s still wet. They cut in one wall and start rolling right away. Once that wall is done, they move onto the next and repeat the same process once again.
Remember to keep your roller and brushes damp when you’re switching between the two, so they don’t dry out. You can easily achieve this by covering your bucket or tray with a wet towel when you’re not using them.