Because just a little bit of paint can instantly transform a room’s atmosphere, it’s absolutely crucial that it has to be done right. You don’t have to hire a costly contractor to do the job for you; bearing in mind a few simple techniques, even you can complete a professional’s job!
Before you paint
- For kitchens and baths – use oil/water based enamel paint, in a semi-gloss finish
- For all other rooms in the house – flat latex
- For all trimmings – either oil/water based with a semi-gloss finish
- Oil and semi-gloss enamel can be worked on with a 5 gallon bucket, roller trays or both
The difference between flat and gloss is that ‘flat’ means the paint has a matte finish, while semi-gloss is lustrous but tends to reveal more of the wall’s imperfections. Semi-gloss enamel is easily washable and latex walls are exactly the opposite.
Jobs using oil paints need to be finished at one go, because stopping till the paint is dry will certainly show.
Prep your walls
Walls which are greasy like those in kitchens or bathrooms need to be washed. Removing grease requires a light acid or cleaner, while mold needs to be tackled with a mixture of bleach and water. After removing mold, wash the area and reseal it with Shellac.
Unevenness and pits in the wall need filling in – how to do it:
- For small holes, like nail holes – use wall spackle
- For gaps where baseboards or trims meet walls – use latex/paintable caulk
- Large cracks – joint paper tape, and all-purpose joint compound
Protect your furniture
Your first move should be to clear the roomof any furniture. Those that are too large to be moved should be covered with a thick cloth. Then, use painter’s tape to cordon off baseboards, windows, door frames, then lay down a painter’s tarp to protect your flooring. If you like a non-skid plastic under the tarp can help to improve safety.
Gather your equipment
Get a 5 gallon bucket for mixing your paints, and a metal roller screen to place in the bucket. This helps you by making it easy to move your paint around without splashing it over the sides.
Quality, quality, quality. A flawless paint job usually boils down to the quality of equipment you use. Whether you choose a roller with extendable handles, a mini roller or a bristled brush, always choose top-notch tools.
When painting with oil paint, make sure your rollers have strong, good quality covers or you’ll be leaving a messy trail of nap and hair all over the wall ( the best quality material is usually lamb’s wool).
To help your brushes last a long time, clean them well, especially where the bristles meet the wood.
You should always, always start by painting trim first – it’s much easier to paint narrow strips of trimming then paint walls around it, than do it the other way around and paint a narrow sliver of trimming after painting the walls. If disaster strikes and paint splatters onto base boards or other areas, immediately wipe the offending spot off with a wet sponge or cloth, using either water (for water based paint) and thinner ( for oil based paint).
When painting trim under time-strapped conditions, slap on a lot of paint with a large roller first, then brush it out. A fine roller adds lots of texture to doors.
Painting your walls
Start at the top of walls, completing the horizontal and vertical corners foremost with a paintbrush. The easiest way is would be to paint your ceiling, cut corners, then use a roller to finish off all other empty wall space. Always roll down to base boards last.
Roller strokes are generally vertical for the first coat, then horizontal for the second coat to draw the eye across instead of downwards. Should you require two or more coats, paint should always be left to dry over night.
When to use primers?
Primers are undercoats which provide a smooth, even surface for paint to adhere on to. They are often white, and mostly oil-based. You can use your oil-based primer to:
- paint over unpainted woods
- cover dark colors when changing to lighter colors
- to seal stains
when latex is painted over oil paint because latex tends to come unstuck and peel off when painted over oil paint without a primer
- If your old paint is glossy, as the new paint will have problems adhering and will need to be layered on thicker than usual tinted primers that match the base color are available too.
Finishing the job
If your paint job needs more than a day to complete, and if you are continuing the very next day, then the roller can be left submerged in the paint itself. If you prefer, the roller could be separated from its handle, all excess paint scraped off, then put into a plastic bag and frozen. Brushes should be cleaned thoroughly in paint thinner or water until free of excess paint.