Painting interior walls like a pro isn’t that difficult. But as easy as it may seem, any painting project can turn into a nightmare if you don’t know what to do. To work efficiently and achieve great results, similar to those of professional house painters, read on for 10 helpful steps to think about next time you paint your walls.
- Remove furniture: Removing furniture and carpets won’t only make your job easier, but also help you avoid ruining your things if you spill some paint. Sometimes, big pieces of furniture can be left covered in the center of the room. However, if your walls need major repairs, it’s advisable to take out everything, including doors and light fixtures.
- Protect: It is always faster and easier to cover things than it is to clean them. Cover floors with drop clothes, cover furniture with plastic. Remove all fixtures and switch plates and cover remaining plugs or switches with tape.
- Prepare walls: Prep work usually involves scraping old wallpaper or paint, use a high-quality plaster to fill holes and cracks, sand away imperfections, and wash your walls with a mild cleaner. Washing walls is always recommended because paint sticks better to a clean surface.
- Caulk all cracks: Cutting the tip of the caulk tube to the proper size (depending on the size of the voids that will be caulked), at a 45-degree angle, will facilitate quick, easy, and accurate caulk application.
- Prime walls: Primers not only improve paint adhesion, eliminating the risk of peeling, blistering, and wrinkling, they also block stains from bleeding through and bring about the true colors of paints. Professional house painters tint primers by mixing a small amount of paint into primers. This trick allows for one-coat paint applications, though most pros agree that two coats of paint often result in the best-looking job.
- Buy a good paint: You can’t obtain excellent results with a low-quality paint. In general, glossier paints, which are more stain-resistant than other types of paint, can help you achieve great, long-lasting results.
- Use a telescoping extension pole: An extension pole that extends up to 36 inches is good enough to paint your interior. The best extension poles are those that come with a rigid metal core and a soft, nonslip grip.
- Use a paint grid: A paint grid allows you to paint directly from a bucket. It’s also easier and less messy than rolling paint from a tray.
- Keep the AC or Heat on: Low temperatures and high relative humidity can negatively affect your painting project because they slow down paint curing and drying times. To achieve the best results, keep your air conditioner or heat on a comfortable setting, or opt for a paint that dries quickly (e.g. latex paint).
- Paint like a pro (even if you’re not): Start by brushing in all of the edges, then you can begin rolling. Roll the walls up to the edges you brushed in, then roll in the pattern of a “W” overlapping each stroke.
Here are a few more tips to help you paint your living space like professional house painters:
- to repair deeper dents (1/8 inch and above), use “quick dry” spackle – a high-quality, quick-setting patching compound that doesn’t shrink and dries quickly;
- for smoother walls, use a sanding pole instead of regular sandpaper;
- for damaged trim, use painter’s putty or a two-part wood filler;
- to prevent incompatibility problems that may appear when painting over old paint, use a de-glosser – a chemical solution that dulls the glossy layer of old paint.