House painting tips and techniques

When it comes to painting a house, everyone wants the process to go smoothly and get a beautifully professional-looking finish.

Here we have compiled 10 tips and techniques that will help you to make your house painting projects go faster and smoother. We have also given smart tips that will help you to reduce your clean-up time in half and preserve the paint brushes and rollers.

  1. Roll the full height of the wall to prevent lap marks

When irregular layers of paint get accumulated on the walls it leads to unattractive stripes or Lap marks. These marks are formed when you roll the paint over a surface that is not completely dry. For example, latex paint usually starts to become harder in less than a minute in dry and warm conditions. The basic technique is to keep a wet edge to avoid lap marks. So, before the paint start to dry each stroke of your roller overlaps the previous one.

Begin painting near a corner and run the roller to the full height of the wall. Run the roller backward to balance the surfaces with uneven runs or spots. Reload the roller before it is close to becoming almost dry. Make sure it always loads at least half. Always keep the open side of the roller frame facing towards the already painted surface. It will put less pressure on the open side of the roller and you are less likely to leave paint ridges

  1. Mix the paint in a large bucket to maintain consistency of color all over the room

The color of the paint may vary a little from one can to the other. So, when you open and use a fresh paint can in the middle of painting a wall, the variation may be clearly noticeable. To eliminate this problem mix a number of paint cans in a large bucket (5-gallon bucket). If you find it difficult to measure the amount of paint required for coverage, make sure to add more paint rather than less. When your painting project is done, you can pour the remaining paint back into cans.

Use a bucket and a roller screen instead of a roller tray when painting wide surfaces. As a roller screen will help you to load your roller much quicker. Just dip the roller into the bucket of paint and roll it along the screen until it stops dripping.

  1. Cut the tape loose when the paint is dry

When the paint is dry, it is not smart to simply pull the tape off the trim. This is because the paint gets accumulated between the tape and the wall and forms a film and if you simply remove the tape, it will tear off the dried paint pieces of the wall. So, make sure to cut the tape loose before pulling it off.

First, let the paint dry properly (wait for at least 24 hours) and then cut through the layer with the help of a sharp utility knife. Start from an unnoticeable area to make sure that the paint is dry enough to cut through cleanly. Pull off the tape at a 45-degree angle, when you cut the paint.

  1. Start with painting the trim, then the ceiling and walls

When painting a room professionals usually follow a particular order. First, they paint the trim, then the ceiling and walls. This makes it easier and quicker to tape off the trim in comparison to tape off the walls. When painting the trim you just have to make sure to get a smooth finish on the wood. There is no need to worry about the trim paint getting onto the walls. As you can easily cover it later, while painting the walls. Leave the trim to dry for at least 24 hours after painting and tape it off.

  1. Roll the primer over patches on the walls to prevent a blotchy nish

The color of a newly painted wall, usually look uniform, but the surface looks blotchy and the sheen is inconsistent. Generally, this happens over the cracks and holes that you patch with a drywall compound. When the porous fillers absorb the paint the surface over them looks dull, this problem is known as flashing. And, these dull spots are visible as sore thumb when light hits them. A smooth patch is also distinctively visible in comparison to a slightly uneven texture on the walls. The texture and flashing problem can be prevented by using a coat of primer.

Use primer to seal the patches so paint won’t sink into the surface and look rough. Make sure to prime with a roller and feather out the edges to match the texture on the walls. Select a nap thickness, which matches with the surrounding texture of the wall. Use a 3/8-in. nap roller for smooth surfaces and a 1/2-in. for textured walls.

  1. Make sure to clean the dirty surfaces before painting

It is imperative to clean the surface before painting it so that the paint can form a strong bond. When you paint over an oily or grimy surface the paint will peel off very easily. Therefore, clean the dirty surfaces with a heavy-duty cleaner or deglosser.

They are used as pre-paint cleaners to varnish or enamel the areas and enhance the adhesion of the new paint. These cleaners are perfect to use while painting oily surfaces such as bathroom and kitchen walls. They also help in removing hand marks around switches, light and doorknobs.

Use circular motion to wipe on cleaner with the help of a lint-free cloth. Make sure to clean the surface from bottom to top and fill in any holes and nicks to smoothen and sand them before you begin to paint. Remember to wear rubber gloves and eye protection when you work with cleaners.

7. Roll out paint near the edges to maintain consistency in texture

The surfaces and corners next to the trim are painted only with a brush and have visibly different textures as compared to the surrounding paint. In order to get a finished and consistent texture make sure to brush on the paint and then quickly roll it out before the paint dries.

Ensure to use a 3-in. roller with the same thickness of nap as used for the rest of the surface. While rolling the paint onto the wall so do it without slopping paint on the trim or without bumping the wall opposite.

  1. Use cotton drop cloths to protect the floors

It does not matter how careful you are during the process of house painting the spills and spatters always happen. It is better to be prepared for them instead of removing them from your carpet or wooden floor after the job is done. All you need is place canvas drop cloths in the room before you start to work. It will cost you $15 to buy a 4-ft. x 15-ft canvas drop cloth. The thick canvas works much better as compared to the plastic drop cloths. As they stay in place and you don’t need to tape them. You can use them to cover any surface. Whereas plastic drop cloths don’t stay in place and are very slippery to walk on or place a ladder on. The worst part is that the paint spills don’t dry on plastic and they can create a mess in the house.

Remember canvas drop cloths are usually slippery on hard floors, so you can use rosin paper to cover vinyl, hard-wood and tile surfaces. But make sure to clean the large spills right away even if you use canvas or rosin-paper drop cloths.

9. Use a dry roller to feather out paint in areas where you can’t keep a wet edge

When it comes to painting large surfaces such as stairwells, extra high walls and ceilings, single or regular strokes of paint are not enough. So, feather out the paint along the areas where you can’t keep wet edges to eliminate lap marks. The feathered and thin coat of paint will prevent the accumulation of extra paint that forms lap mark.

Roll an almost dry roller in several directions along the dry edge to paint a wide section without leaving lap marks. Also, make sure to feather out the paint as you apply it. When you have completed painting a complete length of the ceiling or wall move to the other section and paint over the feathered edges. When using the second coat, apply the paint in a direction opposite to the previous one. This technique will reduce the lap marks.

  1. Sand trim to get a highly smooth nish

When it comes to concealing the underlying color and sheen on trim one coat of paint will generally don’t work. And, you may get a coarse texture if you don’t sand the surface smooth between coats. Thus, sand the trim to a smooth finish before using every single coat of paint. Use a fine grit sanding sponge to sand the trim. As sponges can easily get into areas where sandpaper can’t go. After this use the first coat of paint and leave it to dry for at least 24 hours. Again sand the surface again to get a completely smooth surface, and then use the second coat. Vacuum the trim after each sanding and then remove the dust with a tack cloth.

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