10 Steps For Your Home Painting Projects
Tackling a home painting project?
Use these tips to make your painting projects go faster and smoother while giving you a professional-looking finish that you’ll be proud of.
- Start with a perfectly smooth surface. To accomplish this, fill holes and patch cracks with joint compound. The best prep starts with sanding and sometimes scraping. Sanding scuffs up the existing surface so the paint grabs hold; scraping will take off any old bumps or drips.
- If you need to fill in holes and patch cracks with compound, you will need to follow-up with a primer before you paint. Compound sucks the moisture out of the paint and will leave a dull, flat finish to the wall. You will also need to use a primer if you are painting over dark colors.
- Instead of white, use a tinted gray primer or a color that’s similar to the finish paint color. The tinted primer does a better job of covering the existing paint, therefore, may require fewer coats of paint.
- Use painter’s tape (not masking tape) to keep clean, sharp paint lines and to protect surfaces from unwanted drips and splatters. Painter’s tape is more effective at reducing paint bleed and it is easier to remove. To avoid paint bleed, put the tape on the wood first and then press the tape down with a putty knife for a good seal.
- Use a canvas drop cloth. Don’t use bed sheets or plastic. Sheets won’t stop spills from seeping through; plastic contains spills but the paint stays wet and eventually ends up on the bottom of your shoe and tracked through the house.
- Add a paint extender to your paint to eliminate brush marks. A paint extender slows down the paint drying time and levels out the paint so brush strokes are virtually eliminated.
- To get a straight line along the edge of a textured ceiling, run a screwdriver along the perimeter of the ceiling to scrape off the texture. The screwdriver creates a tiny ridge in the ceiling so the tips of your paint bristles naturally go into it and you’ll never even notice the missing texture.
- Finish one wall including the trim and corners, before starting another wall. This allows the brushed and rolled paint to blend together.
- Don’ bother taping up windows; paint usually ends up on the glass anyway. Once the paint dries, it can be easily removed with a razor blade.
- Load the bottom 1 1/2 inch of the paint brush with paint, tap the sides of the brush against the container to knock off heavy dips and begin painting.
- It’s easy to create runs by applying too much paint. To avoid runs, start brushing about 1/2 inch away from the cut-in area and then move over and slowly drag the brush along the trim or corner.