Interior painting is the perfect way to freshen up your home and give it a whole new look. While the costs of buying paint and hiring a professional can add up, you can make painting your own DIY project for an affordable route. Never painted a room before? No problem! These professional tips will ensure high-quality results.
There’s nothing worse than finishing a paint job and hating the color. The secret to finding the perfect color before it’s all over the walls is to ask for paint samples. Try out a few colors before buying a gallon. Paint a small piece of foam and move it around the room throughout the day. You’ll be able to see how the light coming through windows will affect the color and how you like the color under a variety of lighting throughout the day.
Pro Tip: Wait until the paint is fully dry to make a decision. Paint usually lightens up as it dries.
Prep the Walls
Preparing your walls for paint makes for a neater paint job. Clean the walls with water and let them dry overnight to ensure the paint will stick well and last long. A damp cloth over the walls will do the trick. Fill in the inevitable nail holes and marks on walls with spackle, then sandpaper the spot until it’s smooth. Any flaky paint on the wall should be scrapped off and sanded over as well. For a spotless paint job, remove outlets and light fixture prior to painting.
Canvas Over Plastic
When you decide to paint a room, you’re in it for the long haul. Canvas cloth will be useful through every step of painting your home. Use sturdy and rip-resistant canvas to cover your floor. Plastic drop cloths tend to bunch up, rip, and create a tripping hazard since it is slippery. Canvas lays flat and absorbs paint easily. Maybe you’ll be inspired by painting one room and paint another. Since canvas cloth is long-lasting, it can go with you from room to room.
Pro Tip: Cover anything you do not want paint on. Paint has a tendency to end up in places you never wanted. Be prepared and cover all furniture.
Primer is Essential
Using primer will set your walls up for a spotless finish. It allows paint to stick better while also blocking old stains from bleeding through to your fresh coat. Additionally, primer covers surface imperfections and will significantly reduce paint peeling. In the long run, you’ll thank yourself for using primer. Mixes with paint and primer are fine to use in a certain situations, mainly when the old surface is in good shape and has a non-glossy finish. If the wall has texture, or has not been painted in a while, the more traditional route of primer first, then paint is the way to go.
Pro Tip: Pay attention to the weather. Rainy days mean humidity which will result in drips and slow-drying paint.
Always Combine Gallons
The term “boxing” is going to be key in your painting experience. Boxing means combining all the gallons of paint into one container and mixing it thoroughly. Paint cans sometimes may vary in color shades from can to can. This easy technique keeps your paint consistent at all times throughout the painting process. Keep in mind when buying paint that one gallon usually covers up to 400 square feet, but covering texture and unprimed surfaces may demand more paint.
Cut Your Edges First and Foremost
The most common mistake of an amateur painter is diving straight into painting the whole wall. Painting the edges around the trim, ceiling, and edges first is the key to a clean paint job. Use an angled brush and neat strokes when cutting your edges. The painting order to follow is painting the trim first, ceiling, and then the walls. It is easier to tape off the trim and the ceiling than to tape off the walls. Once a surface is dry, the best decision is to leave it alone. Going back over a dry spot can cause color change and streaks.
Pro tip: For wall painting, always start near the ceiling with a roller sleeve and work your way down for the smoothest finish. This way you can catch drips as you work.
Don’t rush to finish painting. Paintbrushes and paint-roller sleeves are easily stored for next day use. Roll off any extra paint, wrap a wet towel around the brush, and then firmly wrap it in plastic food wrap or a plastic bag—double up the plastic if needed. Make sure no excess air is inside and store them in the refrigerator. The refrigerator will keep the brushes fresh and stop them from drying out. The next day, remove the brushes from the refrigerator 30 minutes before painting.
Pro tip: Keep a small container of paint for touch-ups after the wall is finished. Label each container so colors are not mixed up.
A few helpful paining tips will drastically change the outcome of your DIY paint job. Your home will look brand new with a simple, fresh coat of paint. And always remember—open your windows during painting for ventilation.