There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint to brighten up a room in your home. But how do you keep your paint job free of drips and roller marks? Here are six tips to ensure your DIY painting project is a smooth success!
Use quality brushes. Start the job off right with a high quality brush, as it will hold more paint and provide a smoother application. Look for bristle tips with individual ends that are split. These are know as “flagged” bristle tips, and they result in a brush that is more flexible and will apply paint smoothly with little effort. In general, look for a 3” to 4” brush for large areas and a 1-1/2” to 2” trim brush for smaller surfaces such as windows and trim.
Use rollers for large painting jobs. Rollers are more suitable for painting large flat surfaces than brushes. A 7” or 9” roller model is recommended for walls and ceilings, while a 3” roller is sufficient for doors, trim and woodwork. When painting ceilings or stairwell areas, make sure your roller has a handle that will accept an extension for maximum reach. There are many types of roller sleeves available, so be sure to check the manufacturer’s description.
Do a thorough job of prepping the room. Strip the room, and cover any remaining furniture and the floor with drop cloths. Also remove doorknobs, switch plates and any other fixtures you don’t want painted. Use painter’s tape to cover trim, hinges, as well as the edges of light fixtures, vents, cabinets, and the ceiling.
Prepare the walls. Sand any rough surfaces, remove dust, and fill in any nail holes or cracks with a patching paste or compound. Wash all surfaces that you plan to paint with a mild detergent soap, and then use a damp cloth to scrub and rinse the surfaces. Allow the surfaces to completely dry before you start painting.
Paint in the correct order. Be sure to always start with the ceiling, and then move on to painting the walls, and then the windows, trim, and doors. Also, if necessary, use primer on the walls before you start painting. This will help to cover the existing paint and any stains or dark spots, as well as provide for a more adhesive surface for the paint. Allow the primer to dry before you paint.
Paint the walls in segments. Work in approximately one metre segments, painting from the top and working your way down. When using a roller, lay initial paint in a “W” shape. Without lifting the roller, work your way back across the “W” and fill in the empty patches. This method helps to spread the majority of paint off the roller, and as you roll the excess paint away from the “W” and onto the unpainted areas, this will result in an even coat of paint on the wall.
Working on a home DIY project? Use our handy Paint and Wallpaper Calculator!