Painting your walls like the pros is not as hard as you may think. The four most important keys to your success are
1.Proper Wall Preparation
2.Use Good Quality Paint
3.A Good Steady Hand
4.Wet on Wet
Take the time to do these four right and will be able to walk away from your next painting project with a gold star.
1. Proper Wall Preparation:
Before you begin any painting you must first ensure that the surface area has been properly prepared. Thoroughly wash all surfaces that are to be painted and sand them down with a sanding sponge (a soft foam sponge with a sanding abrasive coating. There are usually two sanding grades on one sponge in a combination of fine/medium. It is designed for contour and flat sanding and can be used wet or dry. Rinse and reuse); then using some spackle or crack filling compound fill all cracks, nail holes and sunken areas. If you have drywall screws rising above the flush surface of the wall give them a slight tap with a nail punch then fill with spackle. Once your surface repairs have dried sand them smooth with the sanding sponge. Run you hand over the wall as you go (palm down) feeling that everything is completely smooth with no dips or ridges. Next get a dry rag and dust the surface down. It is usually a good idea to vacuum or sweep the room completely after this step to ensure that all the little particles do not float up into your freshly painted wet wall. (NOTE: if you have an actual hole in the wall or badly damaged wall surfaces, they may require several coats of crack fill, sanding between each one. This is due to the fact that the compound shrinks as it dries. Do not try to put too thick of a coat on at one time, as it will not dry well).
If you are also painting baseboards thoroughly sand them smooth as well but use a wood-filler instead of spackle for repair work.
Once all the surfaces have been prepared and the room vacuumed it is time to prime the newly repaired surfaces. If you only had a few repairs you can get away with priming only the spots you repaired. But if there are a lot of patches to prime it is usually easier just to prime the entire wall.
2. Use Good Quality Paint:
Paint is one of those things in life that you get what you pay for. Poor quality paint will not usually cover well, may splatter and drip more and rarely looks like a professionally painted wall. There are several good quality paint manufactures out there with a rainbow of colours to choose from. Check with your local paint store for the top brands they recommend like Benjamin Moore, Pratt and Lambert and Behr. You can also check out www.consumersearch.com/interior-paint and other great research links, to find out the best brands to buy. Also be sure to talk to your paint store specialist about what type of paint finish you should be buying i.e. flat, egg shell, satin, medium gloss, high gloss. Generally speaking flat paints reflect less light and thus show fewer surface imperfections, but they are not as durable and do not tend to wash well. The more sheen that paint has the more durable it is and also more washable but also the more surface imperfections it reveals.
3. A Good Steady Hand:
I prefer to cut in without using painters tape (that green masking like tape that some painters use to cover and protect adjoining surfaces that they do not wish to get paint on; like baseboards, door and window trim and ceiling lines). If your hand is not so steady as mine you may want to invest in the time it takes to protect these surface (also if you are spraying rather than rolling you will need to tape first).
When cutting in or rolling apply a steady pressure. This helps to ensure an even coverage.
4. Wet on Wet:
The fourth key to a successful paint job is remembering to keep wet on wet. Paint one wall at a time. Cut in with your angeled hand brush (cutting in is a term use to refer to painting the outside areas of your space that butt onto an adjoining space. i.e. where the ceiling meets the wall, where one wall butts up against another and around mouldings and trim) Then roll a 3′-4′ section of wall space, starting at the top and working your way down the wall. Apply the paint in a ‘W’ figure to start and then fill in the spaces. Try not to overlap previously painted areas to much but some overlap is required to minimize roller marks. Use your hand brush to blend your rolled and cut in edge seamlessly together.
(NOTE:) It is better to paint two coats than one heavy coat.
Kimberley Pacholko is a Certified Home Stager, Interior Decorator, Professional Gardener, Garden Designer and owner of White Swan Properties. For more information call (905)-725-7926.
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