Last time Larry talked about paint, but now comes the best part, the painting! It doesn’t have to be hard, and anyone can do it. Here are some of my tips for getting a great paint job – by doing it yourself!
There are plenty of sites that offer how-to’s on painting, but here are some of the basic ideas with my tips that I have used on my many painting projects.
Most of the difficult and tedious part of painting is the prep work, and about 75 percent of your time will be spent doing this.
Patch holes and cracks with a filler product, sand lightly when dry; home centers or paint stores have knowledgeable personnel to guide you to the best products for the job
- I like to use my finger to apply, especially if it is a small patch – that way you have very little sanding to do
- I also like the colored fillers that dry white – no more guessing if it is dry
Remove light switch and outlet covers and any hardware or light fixtures that you can, replace the screws in the outlet if you have a tendency to lose things, then tape over what is left on the wall
- If new switch plates are not in the budget and the existing ones look sad,they can be painted separately and then re-attached – just don’t paint them in place or you won’t be able to remove them very easily
If you can’t remove something, cover it with plastic bags or plastic wrap and tape edges
- Use plastic grocery bags for this (tape a few together if you need a larger size), don’t buy anything special
Sand or clean areas to be painted; any old dirt, grime, flaking paint, dust or debris left on the wall could cause your new paint to peel
- Use a flat sanding block to make quick work of large areas
Tape all door and window trims and baseboards; this keeps goofs from getting on the trim
- Tedious, I know, but it really should be done
Cover the floor with a plastic or canvas drop cloth
- I like to use cardboard for this (flatten out a box and tape flaps together); it’s easy to move along with you as you paint, and you don’t have to cover the entire room at once – not to mention, the plastic drop cloths stick to your feet!
Now For The FUN Part - Painting!
Paint the wall edges and trim areas first, using a brush
- I like a decent quality angled brush, 2” to 2 ½” wide – I use one with a long handle and one with a short rubber handle, good for tight spaces
Roll paint onto the walls with the correct roller cover; using a long handle extension keeps your ladder usage to a minimum
- I tend to roll slowly to prevent the tiny paint splatters, and you can see how good the coverage is – don’t try to “stretch” the paint too far – make sure an area is completely covered before moving on
- I like to work an area no bigger than 4’ x 4’ at a time, blending into the next area so the edges don’t dry
- If your roller cover is new, use masking tape to help get loose fibers off before painting
If you need more than one day for your project, cover your paint tray, can, roller, brushes, etc. with plastic, making sure to get as much air out as possible to keep tools from drying out – that way you only have to clean up at the end of the job
- In our dry desert climate, I do this even when taking a break
No matter how careful you are, there will be some goofs; I like to keep a bucket of water and a cloth rag nearby to clean up anything before it dries
Remove tape from trim and baseboards, don’t let the tape stay on for longer than a day or two
- For a really clean line, cut the dry paint with an Xacto knife along the tape edge, otherwise you may pull your new paint off the wall
Paint the door and window trims and baseboards using a paint brush – never a roller
- Put a strong rubber band across the top of the paint can to use for scraping your brush off; this keeps the can’s lip clean
If you have a fairly steady hand, you can skip some of the taping and paint your trim freehand or use a painter’s edge – just wipe the edge off each time you move it to keep from smearing on the newly painted wall
Some Tips For Getting YOU Ready To Paint
- Remove all jewelry
- Wear old, but comfortable clothes
- Wear slip on shoes
- Protect your hair with a scarf, shower cap, or baseball hat
- Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from splatters
- Wear gloves to protect your hands and nails – paint is difficult to remove if you are wearing nail polish
- If you can’t wear gloves, try applying hand lotion to keep the paint from sticking to your hands
- If you must have your phone nearby, keep it inside a plastic bag to protect it
- Play some music to get you going
- And don’t be shy about asking your friends to help – some people really do like to paint!