Painting is one of the cheapest and easiest way of adding cosmetic value to your home (making it look more modern, clean and fresh), but for it to have a positive impact, it needs to be done right.
Here are our top seven tips on how to paint like a pro.
1. Choose the right kind of paint
Start with the easy things first to narrow it down—do you want the cheapest paint available, or the top of the range (and yes, there are differences between them)? Do you want gloss, matte or semi-gloss? Is it essential that it’s hard-wearing or fade-resistant?
If it is a bathroom, it needs to be oiled based, and if you’re doing the ceiling, then it is advisable to use low-sheen paints.
2. Picking the right colour
Prepare to be overwhelmed when deciding to go for DIY painting a room! There are thousands of shades from many different brands, so be aware that it could be a long process to find the right colour for your home.
If you think you might be selling your home in the near future, choosing a modern/on trend colour could be a good idea—as this will make it more appealing to buyers. But if you are planning on sticking around for awhile, then don’t worry too much about what is currently ‘in fashion’; it’s better to select something you know you will enjoy living with.
Prepare to be overwhelmed when deciding to go for DIY painting a room!
Take home a few test pots and paint a couple of coats onto some large pieces of cardboard, leaving an unpainted border around the edge (this allows you to separate the old paint from the new color). Make sure you move it around different rooms in the house at different times of the day so you can see how it works with the changing light and your furnishings.
3. Good tools are key
Want to get good coverage and a nice finish? Brushes are key. You’ll need ones for cutting in (for corners and around edges of windows), these are angled, and have either natural, polyester, or polyester/nylon bristles. Make sure you have the right kind to go with the paint you use.
For large surfaces, rollers are great and relatively easy to use. But again you need to select the correct one to go with the kind of paint you buy, and surface you are painting, as they all achieve different finishes/textures.
4. Prepare your surface correctly
It is highly recommended that you wash all surfaces before starting to paint them (sugar soap is ideal). You should then scrape away any chipped paint, or rough edges, and apply filler to holes/gaps. After it is dry, sand it flat and smooth, wipe dust with a wet cloth, and your wall will be ready to paint.
5. Don’t cut corners
To get a great finish, you need to start well, and that means moving all the furniture to the centre of the room (or somewhere else), taking down curtains, curtain rails and light fittings. Tape up windows, skirting, architraves and anywhere else you want to get a straight finish, and avoid paint splatters. Keep this in mind if you are painting outside as well — buyers won't be impressed by your garden being spattered like a Jackson Pollock painting.
Priming the surface will also help with achieving a long-lasting, smooth finish, as it sticks better to old paint than new paint does.
6. Take your time
Painting is a process, and it is important to take your time to do everything correctly. Interior paint can take up to 24 hours to dry, and 30 days to cure, so you need to be patient with your approach and not try to rush any step—this includes the prep, the primer and then doing at least two top coats.
If you try to do anything while the paint is still drying, the finish won’t be of a good quality, and you might have to start again. Here’s a tip—if you have bottle of beer (or any drink), at a leisurely pace, you’ll be ready for the next coat once you’ve finished.
If you have bottle of beer (or any drink), at a leisurely pace, you’ll be ready for the next coat once you’ve finished.
But it is worth noting that you should always complete a whole wall before taking a break—as stopping half way through will mean the paint doesn’t blend properly as it dries, and it will leave visible dark spots on your final product.
7. Know the right technique
There are basic techniques to painting that are worth noting to get a good looking result. For example, hold cutting in brushes like a pencil, only dip it in halfway to the paint, remove the excess by tapping gently against the top of the can and then make sure you paint with the tip, not the sides.
And when using a roller on a wall, the first strokes should be an M shape—or a W on a ceiling. Knowing simple techniques like these can really help you achieve a professional finish while on a DIY budget.
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