How to Achieve an Awesome Paint Job

Tips and Techniques for an Awesome Paint Job

Any space can be significantly improved with a brand-new layer of paint, but if you aren't completely enamored with painting, you'll want to review our tips on effective ways to paint efficiently and ensure an impressive result. You may even appreciate the process as much as the completed product!

Make a Good Start

thumbs-upIf you’re not hiring professional painters when considering painting the interior or exterior of your house, the one way you can be completely confident you’ll end up with a perfect paint job, there are things you can do to give yourself the best chance of achieving results near what they can give you.  You'll enjoy the process more if you get everything together before you begin painting.

Set up a tool station at the center of the area where you'll be operating.

Collect your tools: paint, brushes, rollers, hammers, screwdrivers, plastic bags, plastic wrap, rags, paint can opener, and drop cloths.

Plan a Day for Prep

You shouldn't try to complete the entire project in one day. Make use of the day before painting day to collect furnishings in the middle of the space, mend cracks and holes, put blue painter's tape around interior-paint-prep doors and windows, and protect light fixtures with large plastic bags.

Clear the Area

As much as possible, clear out all the furnishings and accessories. Clear off the walls. If you can't move everything completely out, place the furniture and lamps at the center of the space and protect them with a high-quality ground cloth. Be sure that you secure the material surrounding the furniture, then put a second cover of plastic or an old sheet over all your coverings.

Remove All Hardware

It may seem easier to paint around door knobs or cabinet hinges, however, unless you're a professional, experienced painting contractor, you're going to have drips to contend with.

An excellent solution is to carry around some zip top containers and organize all the hardware pieces together in individual bags, clearly identifying the contents and specific location (top left cabinet, bathroom door, etc.) they came from. Now is a perfect time to clean up the hardware!

Reinstall them back once painting is completed.

Get Ready to Work!

Despite how hard you try, you'll potentially drip paint on anything you're wearing, so remove any jewelry and set aside some old, but comfortable, clothes for your painting projects. Slip-on shoes are perfect, easy to take off if you need to leave the room, so you won't have to fret about tracking drops of paint into adjacent rooms. When you paint the ceiling, put a scarf, shower cap, or old baseball hat over your head and some plastic over your eyeglasses.

Don't Paint Over Problem Areas

If your walls have imperfections, fix them before you begin painting. Any home improvement center or paint store has experienced personnel to direct you to the most effective products for your project. Imperfections like cracks and large holes can be "bridged" with fiberglass tape, spackle will fill small holes, and texturizing products are available on the market to match your existing wall finish.

Essential Painting Products

Each year, new products come out on the market to help make painting like professionals easier.

You'll need to choose the best tools for your project.

Natural or Synthetic Brushes. Paint brushes with natural bristles are intended for use with oil-based paints. The natural bristles will absorb water and go limp in water-based paints. Even though the newer synthetic bristles were devised for water-based or latex paints, they may be used for any type of project. Densely packed bristles, tapering to a chisel edge will make it easier to paint a straight edge. Split ends or "flags" carry more paint and spread it more evenly and smoothly. Choose the appropriate brush for your project.

Foam Brushes and Rollers. Foam brushes come in various widths, are inexpensive, and perfect for small jobs or touch-ups. Foam paint rollers work well, don't spatter the paint, and are easy to use when you want a very smooth wall. Don't use them on rough surfaces, as they will shred and leave pieces of foam in the paint.

Pad Painters. Smooth pad painters provide easy and precise paint application and easier cleanups. Don't employ an excessive amount of paint to the pad, because it will likely drip. You'll need to take it apart, clean it, dry it thoroughly, and begin again.

Paint Rollers. A plastic core paint roller will last longer than one with a cardboard core. Select a roller "knap" (fullness of the covering) depending on the texture your walls currently have. If your walls are smooth, use a flat, smooth roller and a thicker, fluffier roller for rough-textured walls.

blue-paint-bucketWater-Based or Latex Paint. Latex paints have been specially designed to be environmentally-friendly. Drying time is short (usually about 1 hour) and clean ups are easy with water. Spread water-based paints with rollers, pads, or synthetic bristle brushes. Keep the can covered as much as possible to prevent the development of a "skin" of paint when it begins to dry out, typical for latex paints. Pour paint into another container to operate from and seal the can.

Oil-Based Paint. Most professional painters favor oil-based paints, particularly for cabinets, furniture, and trim. New formulations do not threaten the environment and are not toxic. Since they dry more slowly, oil-based paints enable better coverage and work well in warm, dry climates where water-based paints might dry too quickly. Oil-based paints should be applied with pads, rollers, or natural bristle brushes. Clean up can be done with paint thinner or another solvent.

Drop Cloths. The best material for a drop cloth is heavy canvas. Less slippery than plastic, it covers better than newspaper. Fold the material to fit any size room and tape down the corners to keep paint from oozing over the edge. If you vacuum hardwood floors just before you set the drop cloth down it will help to prevent scratching.

Tinted Primer. Most paint projects turn out better when you apply a primer or base coat first. You may be able to avoid a second coat of paint if the primer or base paint is tinted to match your surface paint color. For ceilings, try paint that is designed for use on ceilings.  Some brands appear light blue and change to white when dry, making it easier to be aware of where you've already painted.

baseboard-prepPainter's Blue Tape. If you've never made use of painter's blue tape, why not? It has a waxy coating to prevent paint from soaking through, is offered in a variety of widths, and creates a perfectly straight edge when painting. It will not pull up the paint from the area it's adhered to, and the seal is activated when you apply it onto a smooth surface. Its unique attributes don't last forever, so don't leave it on the wall beyond a couple of days.

Finishing Up Your Paint Project

Even when you've done a great job, some cleanup will be necessary. You'll need to do some touch ups and put supplies away. Here are some simple tips for wrapping up your painting project.

Keep Your Brush Ready. You won't want to wash your paint brush or roller each time you need to take a break. Wrap them in cellophane and seal them in a plastic bag. They'll be prepped and pliant when you return from your break. For lengthier storage (as long as a week), you can store the plastic bag with brushes in the freezer! An hour before you use them again, just thaw them out.

Have Numerous Rags for Wipe-Ups. No painter could do without a supply of rags. You'll undoubtedly need to wipe off excess paint, catch drips, tidy up spills, or wipe off your hands.

Razor Blades. Used to scrape excess paint or drips from windows, tile, or glass. The drips won't smear, and the surface will be thoroughly clean.

Simple Clean Up for Latex Paint. When you've finished painting, soak your brushes or rollers used with latex paint in a solution of water and laundry fabric softener for approximately 10 minutes. Swish them about in the water, extract them, and then rinse well with clear water. Wipe or roll off extra moisture, and then air-dry the brushes and rollers before putting away.

Extra Paint. No need to store a big can of paint to save the little that's left over. Make use of a glass jar or pint size paint can to save any excess paint. Remove the paint can label and mark the new, smaller container with essential pertinent information. Include the date the paint was saved, the color name and number, where you purchased it, the room painted, and what part (wall, trim, etc.) If you have it, attach the paint sample swatch.

Be Prepared for Touch Ups. Baby food jars are perfect for storing left-over paint to touch up scratches or dents. Fill them with leftover paint, label where the paint was used (kitchen cabinets, master bedroom ceiling, etc.) and what kind of paint it is (latex flat, oil eggshell, etc.), and place the jars in sealing plastic bags. When you want to have a small fix, use a small foam brush or Q-tip to dab a spot of paint on your imperfection, after shaking the container well to ensure the paint is well mixed.

tips and techniques

Tips and Techniques

These are great tips that will help you tremendously with your project however as you are probably aware, it's quite a lot of work, and sometimes your finished product isn't quite what you'd imagined.  Using a professional is your best option to achieve your goal with the best results possible.  Fantastic Finishes Paint Co. has been in the business of realizing our customer's home improvement dreams for over fifteen years, and we would be happy to provide you an estimate for your project.  Contact us today!


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Contact us today for a free estimate!  (972) 672-2512

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