15 Interior Painting Tips and Techniques

paint cansIt’s the spring market season.  A great time to spruce up your house before putting it on the market.  A fresh coat of paint is inexpensive and can transform a room from so-so to WOW!  I’ve painted many rooms and houses over the years; Here are a few tips that I have learned to help make your next painting project go quickly and easily!

1.  Use canvas drop clothes instead of cotton or plastic.  For an additional buffer to the canvas, you can put plastic under it.

2.  Clean dirty surfaces (walls, ceiling, and window sills) with a TSP spray solution so paint can form a strong bond.

3.  Fill any holes or imperfections with Spackle, wait for it to dry, and then lightly sand the patches.  Also scrape any peeling chipping paint.

4.  Stir your paint before you begin, and don’t paint straight from the can.  Mix several cans of paint together in a 5 gallon bucket for consistent paint color.

5.  Remove hardware, fixtures, closet doors.  Anything that might get in your way of painting.

6.  Taping is optional, especially if you have a reasonably steady hand. Using an angle brush, start slightly away from the edge and then curve in to meet it. This will help you avoid leaving a big blob of paint where you begin.

7.  Use a plastic grocery type bag (check for holes) to put your wet roller into for short term storage.  Wrap the bag around the roller (to create a seal) making sure all air is removed from inside the bag.

8.  Paint the ceiling first.  Whether you paint the walls or the trim next is up to you.  My preference is to paint the trim first because I find that I can get a cleaner line when I cut in to paint the walls. If you like to tape off your edges, you may find it easier to paint the trim last.

9. Use a good quality roller cover. Cheap ones leave a messy edge and can shed little fuzzies all over.  I use a fresh cover for each paint job versus cleaning it.  Cleaning a roller is time consuming and all that paint residue going into the water isn’t good for the environment.

10.  Use a good quality brush. I like a 2.5″ angle brush for most projects.  Any bigger and it’s too tough to have a good grip on the brush for painting.

11.  Only dip your brush about a half or quarter of an inch into the paint, then wipe off one side on the edge of the paint container. This will help you avoid paint runs (from using too much) and keep your brush in good condition.

12. Keep a wet edge, and always paint from dry to wet. This will minimize brush strokes and roller marks.

13.  Paint in long, continuous strokes. Not doing so is one of the most common mistakes.

14. When painting with a roller, aim for covering a three foot wide section at a time. Working from top to bottom.

15.  Put on a second coat. Your paint job may look OK after just one, but it will look better after two. If you’re using a dark or vivid color, you may even need three (or more) coats.

With a little prep and practice, painting a room is an easy, inexpensive DIY project and you can do it!

For more information about this topic or others, please email me at bill@billnickerson.com

Please leave a reply. Thank you! Bill

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