Painting the interior of your home can completely transform the look of any living space. By doing things right, you will ensure professional looking results without hiring a costly professional. You will also save time and effort. Painting can be one of the most rewarding and cost effective ways of updating your home.
1. The most important TIP to getting great results is proper preparation. Your walls should be clean, dry. If your walls are presently painted with semi-gloss or gloss paint, be sure to lightly sand your walls first and make sure that all sanding dust is removed. If there is loose or peeling paint, you need to scrape and sand these areas. Use some Spackling compound to patch cracks, nail holes, or other surface imperfections, then sand smooth and remove sanding dust. Pay close attention to drying times for patching materials before priming or painting. For walls in a kitchen or anywhere where they could be greasy, thoroughly wash them with a mild soap and water solution, then rinse with clean water and allow them to dry.
2. A primer paint should be used first on all previously unfinished walls or patches. If the walls were painted with an oil base paint you will need to use a special primer if you now want to paint with latex in order for the paint to bond properly. Walls that were previously painted can also benefit from a primer if they’re stained, previously painted with a dark color, or in general disrepair.
3. You should have as clean a working space as possible. If some of the large furniture items can’t be removed from the room, be certain to cover them with a drop cloth and don’t forget to cover the floors as well. You can use a canvas or plastic drop cloth but don’t use old newspaper, as they can allow paint to soak through and could be a slip hazard.
4. Tape things off unless you are a very good painter in which case you are probably not reading this article. Use painter’s tape not just masking tape to keep paint off the trim and windows. This will also help provide clean, straight lines. Regular masking tape can pull old paint off the walls when it is removed, cause a mess and more work. Be sure to press the tape down well along the edge to prevent paint from bleeding under.
5. Choose high-quality paint, brushes and rollers. Using quality tools always saves you time and money and gives you a better job.
6. Always start by painting the ceiling first, followed by the walls, then the trim, doors and windows. Make sure that you don’t start painting the next surface or color until the first one is dry. (approx. an hour if you are using latex, though drying condition vary greatly) After painting the ceiling, cut in the edges of the walls where it meets the ceilings. It’s important when cutting in ceilings or walls to feather out the paint to avoid a common painting problem sometimes known as hat banding. This is caused when the paint you cut in dries before you roll the paint onto the walls.
7. Apply two coats of paint after the primer. Don’t rush it by applying your second coat too soon, or before the first coat is dry. As already stated latex paint, needs at least one hour to dry before you apply a second coat and this could be several hours in some conditions. Oil paint requires that you wait at least overnight before applying the next coat. It takes approx. 30 days before new paint is completely cured enough to be washed with a mild soap or cleaner. Never use abrasive cleaners or harsh detergents unless you plan on painting your walls again.
8. Don’t forget to clean up when you are done. Some people, if they are only taking an overnight break, don’t bother to clean their brush or roller. They just squeeze the excess paint out and wrap it tightly in a plastic bag or saran wrap. Make sure you secure the top around the base of the handle. If you will be a few days before using them again you can extend this time by putting the wrapped tools into the freezer. They will need to be defrosted before you start painting again. I personally like to wash them completely between uses even if it is only overnight.