Home Repairs – Interior House Painting Tips

First we will discuss the tools and accessories needed for a good paint job.

Paint -should be a good quality not a cheap paint, this will show up as better coverage and less streaking than cheaper paints.

Brushes- Again use 1st quality it shows up in the finished product. Cheap brushes tend to lose bristles and not put paint on walls smoothly. It usually takes longer and requires more brushing to get a good coat of paint using a cheap brush. I prefer a 2 1/2 in trim brush with a tapered bristles, but this is personal preference, some people like straight bristles better. 2 1/2 in is a standard size for trim work and “cutting in” work.

Roller and Pan- Once more use quality roller covers and a decent handle, the cover is the important part here. Use a 1/4 in nap for very smooth surfaces and 3/8 or 1/2 in nap for ceiling painting if it is textured. The longer nap holds more paint and gets into grooves and valleys in textured finishes or cement, short nap = smooth long nap = rough the rougher the surface the longer the nap needed.

Painters 5 in 1 tool- This tool is a life saver, you can take it in your pocket and it will drive in small nails, pull nails, scrape paint or tape from wall, open paint can, and help clean your roller. You can see directions on this tool when you purchase it. They are normally with the putty knives and are inexpensive.

Painters Tape- I stress Painters Tape, not masking tape. Painters tape is designed to come off easily.

A Drop Cloth- A fabric drop cloth works best but if you don’t intend on storing this and using it frequently plastic sheeting is much cheaper, just tape it down so that it doesn’t slip and let paint get on your floor or furniture!

A Wet Cloth- This is important it saves a lot of work and repairs a lot of mistakes.

Safety glasses- Paint in your eyes is bad news and paint always slings from roller etc. Be Safe not Sorry

Start by moving all the furnishings out of the room or at least to the middle of the room and cover with plastic or cloth. Using a mild cleaner wash the walls and trim with a damp cloth to remove any surface dirt and grease. If painting a kitchen you may need to use a stronger cleaner, such as TSP which is available at paint supply stores, it will remove the grease and allow the paint to adhere.

Step two is to paint the trim, baseboard, ceiling molding, door and window trim. This is usually a semi-gloss paint and you can paint these items first. Tape any parts that don’t need to be painted or as you get better you can try “beading” after loading paint in the brush paint out until no extra paint is in it and place close to edge that needs to be followed. Put enough pressure on the brush and twist slightly so that the bristles splay out and you can follow a line just like drawing and a slight bead of paint will fill the edge and make a good line. Practice this where you will be painting with the main room color such as between the window trim and wall, then when you are comfortable with the process you can paint next to the glass etc.

Remove the tape before paint is dry or you will sometimes tear paint away causing more work touching up bad spots. After this is dry you can tape and prepare to paint the main wall color.

After taping the trim start “cutting in” this is taking a brush and painting all the places your roller won’t reach. Load your brush with paint, this is best accomplished by dipping the bristles down into the paint and removing and inserting back several times, never dip over 1/3 of the bristles in the paint then if you have too much paint tap on the side of the can don’t wipe the paint off on the can rim you need that paint for the wall! This example will be painting a corner however it can be adapted to baseboard, ceiling etc. Place your loaded brush about 6-8 in from floor and about 2in from the corner, make an upward stroke about 12 in and lifting your brush place it at the bottom of wall brushing upward toward your original starting point. At this time also paint into the unpainted area toward the corner. in this manner put on paint from the bottom to the ceiling not worrying about sags runs etc at this time, When the area is covered hold your brush almost at a 90 degree angle from the wall with just the tips of bristles touching the paint and starting in the corner and stroking out away from the corner (left to right rather than the original up down pattern) work from the bottom to the top smoothing the paint, this is called tipping by painters and assures you of a smooth even finish. Continue working in this manner until all cutting in is done.

Next we will be working with rollers I prefer to use a roller with a short handle screwed in it ,about 16 to 24 in, this is comfortable for me but each person will find their own comfort zone. Pour some paint in your pan and load your roller. It is important to fully load the roller evenly, dip it in the paint and roll up the tray and keep doing this until you don’t have a “heavy” side on the roller. When roller is loaded place it on the wall about a foot from the corner and paint a W on the wall about 2 ft X2ft moving the roller back to fill it in and continuing to the corner, continue this pattern until you have completed the room. Remember, always start you roller on a section of unpainted wall working back into the painted areas, always keep a wet line never let it dry before finishing the wall if you are interrupted paint to a corner, window or some other edge before stopping. Don’t paint your roller dry you are trying to put paint on the wall not see how thin you can make it! this only causes you to need extra coats of paint and extra work. I always paint 4 to 6ft of wall and step back to check for drips or sags, these need to be fixed before they get tacky or it will leave marks on the wall. Remove tape before paint dries to eliminate problems. You have painted you room like a pro! walk around and look at paint job after removing tape, if you need small touch-ups now is the time before you clean up and store extra paint. Use your trim brush to make those touch-ups that make the difference in a good job and great job! Also touch up the trim any where it has been dripped on or otherwise damaged.

TIPS- Various tips I have learned

For latex paint wet your brush and tap out extra water wrap a layer of tape on the bristles where it joins the ferrule this will keep paint from running under the ferrule and make it easier to clean.

If you need to quit for a little while when painting with latex you can wrap your roller or brush in plastic (I use a garbage bag for roller) wrap so that air is sealed but do not bend up the bristles of your brush they should be kept straight. You can keep this for 3-5 hrs and reuse them or put them in refrigerator after wrapping to extend this time. I do this when I need 2 coats to allow drying time with out having to clean up between coats.

Prime walls that have dark colors or stains to help with proper coverage, always prime repaired spots before painting.

When cleaning your roller cover use the curved area of your 5 in 1 tool, hold cover over paint can and scrape down the sides of roller cover ,scraping excess paint back into can. You will be surprised sometimes you may get up to 1/2 cup of paint out of cover, this makes it easier to clean and saves paint.

Mark cans as to rooms painted with it this saves confusion if you need to touch up.

Dispose of paint properly, most dumps have disposal sites or if there is a pint or more Take it to your local Habitat for Humanity.

A cap is nice to keep paint out of hair. I can be a pain after drying in hair you may be prematurely gray with out a cap.

Any slick shiny surfaces could be lightly sanded this will increase the bond. If in doubt sand it only takes a few minutes for an entire room, You only want to make it slightly rough not remove the finish. After sanding wipe down with damp cloth or a commercially available tack cloth.

I hope this helps you to paint like a pro and save some dough!

Look for my other articles on home care and improvement. THANK YOU!

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