How to Paint Your House Like the Professionals

Painter Tips

Before you begin house painting

Start with a smooth surface. Correct the cause of and repair any existing problems such as mildew, blistering or uneven surfaces. Patch holes and cracks with a spackle compound and putty knife (an old credit card is an excellent substitute). Scrape or sand away any loose material and give the existing paint surface a light sand. Wash it over with a mild sugar soap solution and rinse.

How to choose a paintbrush

High quality paintbrushes flow more smoothly and hold more paint than cheap ones, making paint application simpler and saving you precious home renovation time. They also hold a superior edge so that tight, detailed work can be accomplished quickly and more easily. Choose the right brush for your task - wide brushes are best for painting large areas; choose tough bristles for rough surfaces and natural bristles for oil-based paints. Your local paint shop can provide expert advice to help you select the right brush. If you only invest in one good brush for home painting, make it an angled three incher; versatile and easy to handle, suitable for trims, mouldings, windows and doors and big enough to hold a decent dollop of paint. Use premium paint. It will flow more smoothly, cover better and last longer.

When you invest in good house painting brushes, be sure to also buy yourself some brush cleaner and conditioner to ensure that your brushes are in good nick for the next job too.

How to use a paintbrush

Paintbrush bristles are designed to draw paint up from the can and allow it to flow out onto the surface with minimum pressure in a smooth, even coat. Dip no more than half the brush and focus on filling it thoroughly, allowing the paint to draw up the bristles and penetrate through the full width of the brush.  Don’t scrape the excess paint on the sides of the tin; instead, lightly slap both sides of the brush against the inside of the can.

For a controlled painting grip, hold your brush like a pencil, near the base of the bristles, or like a tennis racquet if it’s big.

Hold the brush at a 45 degree angle to the surface. Avoid paint ridges and brush marks by always blending the paint back from a dry area towards a previously applied wet edge.

Choosing a paint roller

The smoothness of the paint finish depends on the thickness of the paint roller’s cover or ‘nap’. Choose a medium nap for general interior painting and switch to a shorter nap for the final coat, when painting an extra smooth surface or when using a high gloss paint.

How to use a paint roller

Don’t apply too much pressure with the roller; if you need to push hard it’s because there’s not enough paint on the roller cover. The roller should be saturated but not dripping. Apply the paint to one area of wall in overlapping, diagonal ‘W’ strokes, then paint them over with top-to-bottom strokes all in one direction. A long handled roller will make painting large areas and ceilings much easier.

Painting tips - how to paint a room

Paint cornices, edges and trims before tackling the main flat surfaces. Use a paintbrush to cut in the edges and corners and apply a width of paint wide enough to cover the areas the roller won’t reach.

Complete the ceiling first. Work across the ceiling in one direction along the width of the room and then go over it again lengthwise. To avoid too many ladder moves, do this in large square sections. Finish with a smooth coat of single direction strokes. Next, go carefully around the top perimeter of the walls and then proceed to paint one wall at a time.

Time saving painting tip

If it’s a big job, don’t waste time thoroughly cleaning your equipment between sessions. Put your brush or roller into a sealed plastic bag or wrap in plastic film; if the paint is water-based give your gear a light mist with water first.

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