Maintaining your home and garden can seem like an endless task. It seems there’s always something that needs taking care of.
Painting is one job that keeps on cropping up and it’s a smart move to learn how to take care of this yourself.
Not only can painting be very relaxing and therapeutic, you won’t need the expense of hiring professionals every time you want to refresh some walls.
First thing’s first, preparation is key when it comes to painting.
Fail To Plan, Plan To Fail
You need just a few basics for paint prep:
- Damp cloth
- Putty knife
- Wood putty
- Paintable caulk
- Fine-grit sandpaper
Check for any cracked and peeling paint. Sand this area smooth.
Use filler to cover any imperfections and to fill any holes. After it’s dry, sand these patches lightly.
Paint does not mix well with dirty walls. Clean them thoroughly before you get started. Use a damp cloth and be sure to get rid of any dust on the tops of doors or along the baseboards.
Apply some paintable caulk to any gaps in between the trim and the doors. Wood putty is great for any divots. Again, let this dry then sand until nicely smooth.
Primers help to mask stains or darker areas. Using primer will also ensure that your paint job lasts longer. If you are painting any exposed woodwork, primer is essential.
Make sure you stir your paint vigorously. It’s not a good idea to paint straight from the can. If you are using a roller, decant some paint into the tray. When you are using a brush, think about using a small bowl. You can hold it and the can will not be plagued by the impurities and dust particles you pick up as you work.
Invest in some painter’s tape – usually green or blue – and lay down short strips that overlap slightly. This helps you to cut in without making a mess.
What Painting Tools Do You Need?
If you are looking to refresh your room with a coat of paint, you’ll need to assemble some simple tools.
- Tool to open can
- Stick for stirring
- Angled paintbrush
- Small bowl for decanting paint into
- Roller and tray
- Extension pole for high ceilings if using roller
- Painter’s tape
- Drop cloth to protect your floor as you paint
It really is as simple as that. You don’t need any fancy, expensive gadgets to get great results with a can of paint.
Think about getting yourself a decent multi-tool. This comes into its own for opening the can rather than damaging your screwdrivers. You can also open up any cracks in the walls that need repairing, spread your filler, scrape away any peeling paint or clean off your roller.
Investing in some good quality, 2.5-inch angled brushes is money very well spent. You might also want a 2-inch sash brush for dealing with windows.
Choosing The Right Paint
Paints are available in a range of finishes. Make sure you get paint that works well in the room and will be fit for purpose.
Types of Paint
- Gloss: Extremely durable
- Semi-Gloss: Great for painting trim
- Flat: Hides imperfections nicely
- Eggshell: Works well in kitchens and bathrooms
Water-based paint is generally a better choice than oil-based. There are less fumes, it dries out very rapidly and you can clean it up with water.
Muted colors are a nice alternative to primary or pure colors. These are achieved by tinting with brown or gray.
Take your time choosing and look at plenty of samples. You want to make certain that you’re happy with the color before committing yourself. Choosing your paint color is something to take care of toward the end of the decorating process so time is on your side. Use it wisely.
Some Handy Hints For Effective Painting
Painters and decorators amass a wide range of techniques to make life easier.
Here are a few ideas so that you can do the same and paint without giving yourself a headache.
- Remember that using painter’s tape is optional. If you have a steady hand and an angled brush, you might be able to do without
- Paint from dry to wet in order to lessen the appearance of brush marks
- Use just the right amount of paint. If you’re heavy-handed, you’ll cause a mess. Use too little and you’ll get a poor, patchy finish. Practice until this feels natural
- Always keep a wet edge
- A great way to paint a room is to cut in first with a brush. With the tricky part done, you can switch to a roller and pick up the pace
- Before painting, wet your brush then blot it thoroughly. This helps to stop the paint creeping up into the metal part of the brush
- Use long and continuous strokes when you are painting for a smooth, even finish
- If you are using a roller, try to cover sections about 3 feet wide. Keep a wet edge and move from dry to wet as with a brush
- Allow the paint to dry out completely between coats
- Always go for a second coat. Even if it looks OK after a single coat, a second will enhance the finish considerably. You may even need more coats if you are working with darker colors
Once you are finished painting, it’s time to restore order.
- Use a damp cloth to wipe away any paint drips
- Remove all the painter’s tape as soon as your paint has dried
- Clean your brush every hour as you are painting and then clean it thoroughly once you’ve finished up. Smooth it into shape nicely and let it dry naturally
We hope you can see from these simple tips that painting is not really so difficult and can be very rewarding.
Give it a go and see how you get on!