While you’re assured of a great paint job by calling in a team of professionals, doing so can be a costly business. However, you don’t need to spend a small fortune to ensure you get a job that befits your home. By following the dos and don’ts of painting, you’ll get professional results at a bargain price.
The dos of painting at home
Always use the appropriate rollers and brushes
It’s important to have the right tools for the job. A good roller will save you time and give you a better overall finish. However, if you’re dealing with small areas, it might be a good idea to have a small roller at hand. If you’re painting at height, use an extension handle. You should also invest in some quality paint brushes of varying sizes, as you’ll need to finish corners and edges with them.
Prepare the space
Before you go near a pot of paint, move any furniture out of the room, and cover EVERYTHING with dust sheets. Don’t forget to cover skirting, handles, light switches and anything else you don’t want splattered in paint. You should also take the opportunity to use masking tape where appropriate, as this protects from splashes and gives you a straight edge.
Use the professional’s “cutting in” method
While you will use a roller for the majority of your walls, you will need to use a quality brush for “cutting in”. When you get to the area of a wall that is close to a ceiling, a light switch or anything else that isn’t being painted, you should use a brush to paint a horizontal line — using continuous and steady strokes.
Take care not to leave brush marks
To ensure that you don’t leave brush marks, always use the tip of the brush. And if you’re using emulsion, try to paint in several different directions to ensure any brush marks that are left don’t catch the light and become obvious. Generally speaking, the better quality brushes tend to leave fewer brush marks than cheaper options.
Keep track of white
If you’re painting a wall or ceiling all white, paint in sections so you can keep track of where has been painted. Alternatively, use magic white paint, which goes on as pink but turns white when it dries.
The don’ts of painting at home
Rush the job
Rushing a painting job in your home will only ever result in excess splashes, wonky lines and an all-round substandard job. Paint on a day you’re not at work, and give yourself plenty of time to paint deliberately and accurately.
Paint directly from the pot
Painting straight from the paint pot is usually asking for trouble. For example, if you’re halfway up a ladder with your pot, and you drop it, the clean-up operation afterwards will be huge. Or if something falls into your paint, it could affect the entire pot — forcing you to buy a replacement. Transfer small amounts of paint from the main pot to a tray as and when you need more. And always replace the lid of your pot afterwards.
Dilute all your paint at the beginning
Certain circumstances call for the dilution of paint — painting a newly plastered wall for the first time, for example. Diluted paint breaks down pretty quickly, so if you’re left with any at the end of the job, you’ll have to throw it away.
Fail to prepare the wall
Holes and bumps on a wall can affect the quality of the job, regardless of the quality of the paint, rollers and brushes you use. Before you paint anything, scan the wall thoroughly. Fill holes with filler and sand down any bumps.
Paint on wallpaper
To save time, you might be tempted to simply paint over that wallpaper you hate so much. However, paint makes wallpaper heavier, and it could end up peeling away from the wall. Take the time to strip your walls with a steam stripper — leaving time for the walls to dry out afterwards.
By following these simple painting tips, and with a little practice, there’s no reason why you can’t achieve results the professionals would be proud of!