Last week, we covered how to choose the best paint color. This week, we reveal five professional painting tips.
1. Start with clean surfaces. Once you’ve removed the room’s accessories and smaller pieces of furniture, and covered large furniture, it’s time to prep the surfaces. Paint cannot bond to dirty or greasy areas such as the wall above your kitchen stove or where your kids toss dirty shoes in the mudroom. Using a de-greaser to remove grime will help the paint adhere. Sand the walls to level out Spackle patches and smooth nail-hole ridges. Using light pressure, sand from the baseboard all the way up to the ceiling with fine grit paper.
2. Take the time to tape. Apply blue painter’s tape to the top of moldings. This time-consuming task will help you avoid having to re-paint which takes even longer, so don’t skip this step. Next, use a putty knife to press the tape down to ensure a seamless seal.
3. Time to prime! All professional painters know that areas where cracks were patched that are directly painted over will appear flat and dull, which is called ‘flashing.’ To avoid this imperfection, always prime the walls before painting. Pros use a tinted gray primer or one that has a similar to hue to the finish paint color instead of using a white primer. Tinted primers are preferred because they cover existing wall colors much better than plain primers, and they help the finish color appear more vibrant which circumvents the need for additional coats of paint—and your time! Deep tones, such as jewel colors—reds, navy or cobalt blues, emerald greens, etc. are particularly amenable to multiple coats without a tinted primer, so be sure to use one.
4. Condition your paint to avoid brush marks. There is nothing worse than stepping back to admire your finished paint job and seeing brush strokes and lap marks. Using a paint extender or conditioner, such as Floetrol, levels out the paint so the strokes are eliminated. It also slows the total drying time which gives you a longer window to overlap paint without continuously painting over just-painted, now dry areas, making them appear darker. Paint extender helps ensure a seamless and consistent paint color every time. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding how much extender or conditioner to use per gallon of paint.
5. Be wise about your windows. Many people tape windows, however this can be extremely arduous, especially having taped all of your moldings. Others recommend skipping the taping step and simply using a scraper to remove any paint that splats onto the glass. While this can be a fast fix, you run the risk of breaking the paint bond between the glass and the wood casing. If moisture gets in, the wood may rot. Instead, apply moisturizing lip balm such as Chapstick, along the edges of glass windowpanes using a cotton swab. Paint will wipe off very easily with glass cleaner and a rag.
Article by: Jennifer Elkow
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