How to Prepare a Painting Kit
Before you begin a painting project, be prepared by putting together a “painting kit.”
- A typical painting kit includes patching paste, a putty knife, a drop cloth, plastic gloves, paint thinner, primer and a paint can opener. Note: Do not open a paint can with a flathead screwdriver, as this can damage the lid.
- Be sure to purchase plenty of painter’s masking tape, assorted paintbrushes and a paint roller and roller cover. It would also be helpful to add an extension bar to your kit. It will help you reach the ceiling and will allow you to stand away from the wall to prevent spatters of paint on your clothes.
- The paint kit should include a paint pot and a roller tray with a disposable liner. If you plan to paint a large area, include a 5-gallon bucket with a screen grid for removing excess paint from the roller.
- No paint kit would be complete without a multipurpose paint tool, which can be used to clean caulk, pull nails, clean roller covers, apply putty or glaze, scrape paint and drive nails. Finally, be sure the kit includes safety glasses to prevent paint spatters from getting in your eyes.
- When selecting paintbrushes, choose nylon- or synthetic-bristle brushes for use with latex paint and natural-bristle brushes for oil-based paints, stains and varnishes. Paint-roller covers come in different naps and textures. Unless you plan to apply texture to the wall, use shorter naps for smooth surfaces and longer naps for textured surfaces.
- Instead of dipping the paintbrush directly into the paint can, use a paint pot, which is wider than a standard paint can. When loading the brush, dip half the length of its bristles into the paint. Slap the brush against the side of the pot to remove excess paint, and remove the brush. Hold the brush up at an angle to hold the paint. As you apply the paint to the wall, the friction will draw paint from the brush.
Drill holes in the paint stick to help mix paint more thoroughly. To keep paint from drying in a half-empty can, fill any air space by dropping old golf balls into the can. A common problem known as “hatbanding” occurs when painters use a paintbrush for cutting in and a roller to apply the rest of the paint, thus producing a different texture along the ceiling and trim. To prevent hatbanding, roll the paint as close to the cut-in areas as possible.
How to Paint Your House’s Interior
Learn tips before you buy, how to prepare, getting the right tools and clean-up tricks. Explore tips, how to’s and techniques on interior painting for your interior walls.
The key to great results.
Get the long-lasting results you want with the right primer and room preparation techniques.
Knowing how to paint a room is the key to a successful painting project.
- Cleaning Up
It’s easy to protect your investment in quality painting tools.
- Caring For Your Painted Walls
With the right tips, your walls can look as fresh as the day you painted them.
How to Paint a Room
Painting interior walls is the easiest way to freshen up your place. But this project can quickly turn into a nightmare if you’re not careful. Follow these six tips the next time you paint and you’ll get great-looking walls while keeping your sanity.
Interior painting is by far the most popular do-it-yourself home improvement activity, and it’s easy to see why. There’s no better, more affordable way to freshen up rooms than with a new coat of paint. Plus, painting isn’t terribly difficult and doesn’t require specialized training. Any able-bodied homeowner can paint rooms—all you need is a little patience, practice, and some helpful advice.
These painting tips can help even novice DIYers achieve professional-quality results. Follow these suggestions and you’ll not only paint better, you’ll work faster and neater, too.
1.Prep the Surface
A successful paint job starts with properly preparing the surface you’re going to paint. That means you must scrape, sand, patch, and fill every hole, crack, dent, and surface imperfection. This isn’t the fun part of painting a room, but it is the most important part. No paint, regardless of its cost, color, thickness, or manufacturer’s claims, will hide a pockmarked or cracked surface.
2.Tint the Primer
Priming walls and ceilings is mandatory whenever you’re painting new drywall or painting over a dark color. But it’s smart to prime any time you paint. Primer serves three main functions. First, it blocks stains from bleeding through. Second, it allows one-coat coverage for the paint. Third, and most important, it improves paint adhesion, which greatly reduces blisters and peeling.
Professional painters will often tint the primer toward the finished color by mixing a small amount of topcoat paint into the primer. This trick greatly enhances the ability of the topcoat to completely hide the primed surface.
You can now buy paints that contain primers, but nothing covers as well or improves adhesion as much as a dedicated primer.
3.Go for Canvas Rather Than Plastic
Plastic drop cloths provide an inexpensive way to protect floors and furnishings from paint spatters, but you’d be much better off investing in canvas ones. Canvas is extremely durable and rip-resistant. It lays flat and presents much less of a tripping hazard. Canvas absorbs paint drips, unlike plastic drop cloths, which become slippery when spattered with paint. Canvas drop cloths can be easily folded around corners and doorways, something that’s impossible to do with plastic sheeting. Plus, most plastic drop cloths must be tossed out after using. Canvas drop cloths will last a lifetime.
4.Reach for an Extension Pole
Forget the stepladder and get yourself a telescoping extension pole for your paint roller. Extension poles come in various lengths, up to 18 feet long, but one that extends from 18 to 36 inches is good enough to paint rooms with 8- to 9-foot-tall ceilings. Check that your paint roller’s handle has a threaded hole in the end, then simply twist it onto the extension pole.
When shopping for extension poles, look for one that has a soft, nonslip grip and a rigid metal core. And be sure the threaded end of the pole is also metal. All-plastic handles are too flexible, which makes them hard to control.
5.Use a Paint Grid, Not a Tray
Rolling paint from a paint tray is a futile, messy proposition. Here’s a faster, neater, better approach: Roll paint directly from a 5-gallon bucket using a paint grid. A paint grid is simply a rectangular, rigid metal or plastic screen that hooks onto the rim of the bucket. Fill the bucket about halfway with paint, then hang the grid inside the bucket. Dip the roller sleeve into the paint, and roll it against the grid to remove excess paint. It’s that easy. At the end of the day, drop the grid into the bucket and snap on the lid
If you’re done painting for the day but still have more to do tomorrow, you don’t have to go through the laborious process of cleaning your paintbrushes and paint-roller sleeves. Instead, simply brush or roll off the excess paint, then tightly wrap them in plastic food wrap. If necessary, double up the plastic to seal out any air, then place the wrapped brushes and roller sleeves in the refrigerator to keep them fresh. This might sound crazy, but it works—it’ll keep the paint from drying overnight and rendering your equipment unusable.
The next day, simply remove the gear from cold storage 30 minutes prior to painting, and it’ll be supple and ready for use. Properly wrapped paintbrushes and roller sleeves can be stored this manner for several days if you’re tackling a really ambitious job.
10 Things You Must Know About Interior Painting
Are you ready to give your home an updated look? Don’t forget these 10 important details when painting the interior of your home.
- Sheen Is Important
The finish of your paint, or sheen, will have a major impact on your walls. Gloss, satin, egg shell – with these options comes many considerations. High-traffic areas do well with gloss or satin as they hold up better to touching and can be cleaned more easily. But, they can make wall imperfections (wavy drywall, patched areas) much more pronounced. A more matte-like finish, such as flat, will not clean as well or endure touches as well, but you won’t see imperfections as much.
- Embrace Color
Don’t fear the bold colors! Select colors that add depth and texture to a room. Understand the psychology of color and use it to your advantage. A calming color, such as one in the blue family, is great for a bedroom.
- Try Samples First
No need to guess how good (or bad) a color will look on your wall. For a fraction of the cost of a gallon of paint, you can purchase sample pints, take them home, and test them out. This will help you judge how a color will look on a larger area better than a swatch can provide. It’s better to spend just a few dollars on a sample than big bucks on gallons only to find out the color won’t work.
- Do the Math
Of course, you’ll need to know the total area you’re going to paint (add up all the square footage of your walls, including alcoves and dormers, plus a little extra), but you’ll also need to account for multiple coats, primer and the porosity of the walls. It’s best to have some paint left over for repair work later on, so get more than you need.
- Be a Prepper
Prep work will be the vast majority of your time spent painting the interior of your home. You’ll need to tape off areas for sharp lines, move furniture and furnishings, repair and patch any imperfections, protect the floors, and remove things like switch plates and doorknobs. At least three-quarters of your time will be spent doing these tasks.
- Primer Is Key
Unless you’re buying a primer and paint all-in-one mixture, you’ll need to prime your walls, particularly if you are drastically changing the wall color (tinted primer is key in that situation). Primer not only covers up colors and stains, it also adds a layer to allow the top coat of paint to better adhere, giving you a much better result.
- It’s Okay to Cut in
Cutting in (painting at corners and edges) allows for smoother work when using rollers or larger brushes. Trying to do this after painting larger areas will create uneven lines. It may seem like a lot of work, but you’ll be much happier with the result.
- Rollers Save Time
A roller may require more equipment (handles, poles, rollers) than brushes, but you can get more done in less time with them. Remember to paint in an overlapping “W” to get better coverage and smooth out roller lines.
- Use an Extension Pole
While you’ll need ladders for cutting in and detail work at heights, an extension pole added to a roller will save you even more time. You’ll be able to reach further, particularly on ceilings, without having to move as much.
- Combine Gallons For Uniformity
This is called boxing, and it will help you avoid any inconsistencies in the color of your paint coverage. Simply pour multiple gallons into a larger, resealable bucket, and stir thoroughly. Yes, today’s mixing processes are much more uniform than in the past, but this step is a fail-safe measure just in case there was a slight mistake when the paint was mixed at the home center
Indoor Painting Tips & Techniques
Use these tips to make your painting projects go faster and smoother.
1.Painting advice: To avoid lap marks, roll the full height of the wall and keep a wet edge
Lap marks are those ugly stripes caused by uneven layers of paint buildup. They occur when you roll over paint that’s already partly dry. (In warm, dry conditions, latex paint can begin to stiffen in less than a minute!) The key to avoiding lap marks when doing DIY wall painting is to maintain a “wet edge,” so each stroke of your roller overlaps the previous stroke before the paint can begin to dry.
Here’s some painting tips: To maintain a wet edge, start near a corner and run the roller up and down the full height of the wall, moving over slightly with each stroke. Move backward where necessary to even out thick spots or runs. Don’t let the roller become nearly dry; reload it often so that it’s always at least half loaded. Keep the open side of the roller frame facing the area that’s already painted. That puts less pressure on the open side of the roller, so you’re less likely to leave paint ridges when doing DIY wall painting.
2.Mix several cans of paint in a large bucket for a consistent color throughout the room
Paint color may vary slightly from one can to the next. If you have to open a new can in the middle of a wall, the difference may be noticeable. Mixing the paints together eliminates the problem. It’s best to estimate the amount of paint you’ll need and mix it in a 5-gallon bucket (a process called “boxing”).
Here are some good painting tips: When coverage is difficult to estimate, add more rather than less when doing DIY wall painting. You can always pour the leftover back into cans. For large jobs, use the bucket and a roller screen rather than a roller tray. It’s much faster to load your roller with the screen than to use a roller pan. Simply dunk the roller into the paint bucket, then roll it along the screen until it stops dripping.
3.Let the paint dry, then cut the tape loose for a perfect edge
Once paint is dry, you can’t just pull the tape off the trim. Paint forms a film between the wall and the tape, and removing the tape tears pieces of dried paint off the wall. So before pulling off the tape, cut it loose.
Wait for the paint to completely dry, at least 24 hours, then use a sharp utility knife or box cutter knife to slice through the film. Start in an inconspicuous area to make sure the paint is hard enough to slice cleanly. If you cut the paint while it’s still gummy, you’ll make a mess. As you cut the paint, pull up the tape at a 45-degree angle.
4.Painting Techniques: Paint the trim first, then the ceiling and walls
Pros usually follow a certain order when painting a room. They paint the trim first, then the ceiling, then the walls. That’s because it’s easier (and faster) to tape off the trim than to tape off the walls. And you certainly don’t want to tape them both off!
When painting the trim, you don’t have to be neat. Just concentrate on getting a smooth finish on the wood. Don’t worry if the trim paint gets onto the walls. You’ll cover it later when painting the walls. Once the trim is completely painted and dry (at least 24 hours), tape it off (using an “easy release” painter’s tape), then paint the ceiling, then the walls.
5.Painting Techniques: Prime and texture wall patches to avoid a blotchy finish
Freshly painted walls often look blotchy. The color is uniform, but the sheen isn’t consistent. This usually occurs over the holes and cracks you patched with a filler or drywall compound. The porous fillers absorb the paint, dulling the surface (a problem called “flashing”). When light hits these dull spots, they stick out like a sore thumb. The smooth patch also stands out in contrast to the slightly bumpy texture of the rest of the wall. A quick coat of primer is all it takes to eliminate ﬂashing and texture differences.
Primer seals the patch so paint won’t sink in and look dull. To match texture, prime with a roller, feathering out the edges. Choose a nap thickness to match the surrounding wall texture (a 3/8-in. nap roller for smooth walls; 1/2-in. for textured). Next, check out some of our favorite wall painting ideas.
6..Clean dirty surfaces so the paint can form a strong bond
If you paint over dirty, oily surfaces, the paint will easily chip or peel off. So before painting, clean grimy areas with a deglosser or heavy-duty cleaner intended for prepaint cleaning. They work well to clean painted, varnished or enameled surfaces to improve the adhesion of the new paint. They’re ideal for cleaning greasy or oily areas like kitchen and bathroom walls and removing hand marks around light switches and doorknobs.
Wipe on the cleaner in a circular motion using a lint-free cloth or abrasive pad. Start at the bottom and work up. After the surface is clean, fill in any nicks and holes, then sand them smooth before painting. The cleaners are available at paint stores and home centers. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and eye protection.
7.Painting Techniques: Roll paint along the edges for consistent texture
Corners and areas next to trim that are painted only with a brush have a noticeably different texture than the surrounding paint. To ensure the finished texture will be consistent in these areas, brush on the paint, then immediately roll it out before the paint dries.
Use a 3-in. roller with a nap that’s the same thickness as the roller used for the rest of the wall. Roll as close as you can without bumping the opposite wall or slopping paint onto the trim. Finish brushing on the paint and rolling it out in one area before moving on to the next section.
8.Use cotton drop cloths rather than plastic
Spills and spatters happen, regardless of how careful you are. It’s a lot easier to pre- pare for them than to wipe them out of your carpeting or off your wood floor later. All it takes is canvas drop cloths in your work area (a 4-ft. x 15-ft. cloth costs $15). The thick canvas stays in place, so you don’t need to tape it, and you can use it to cover any surface. Plastic drop cloths are slippery to walk on or set a ladder on and don’t stay in place. Even worse, paint spills on plastic stay wet, and they can end up on your shoes and get tracked through the house. Canvas is slippery on hard ﬂoors, so rosin paper ($10 for 400 sq. ft. at home centers) is better over vinyl, tile and hard- wood. Tape the sheets together and to the ﬂoor to provide a nonslip surface.
But even with canvas or rosin-paper drop cloths, large spills still need to get wiped up right away or they’ll seep through. Clean spills with paper towels or cloth rags. Likewise, if you splatter paint on any other surface, wipe it up immediately.
9.Painting Techniques: Feather out paint where you can’t keep a wet edge
You can’t cover large areas like ceilings, extra-tall walls or stairwells in single, continuous strokes, so the best way to minimize lap marks on these areas is to feather out the paint along the edges that you can’t keep wet. The thinner, feathered coat of paint will avoid the buildup that causes the lap mark.
To paint a large section without leaving lap marks, roll the nearly dry roller in different directions along the dry edge, feathering out the paint as you go. After completing the entire length of the wall or ceiling, move to the next section and paint over the feathered edges. For the second coat, apply the paint in the opposite direction. This crisscrossing paint application sharply reduces (if not eliminates) lap marks.
10.Sand trim between coats for an ultra-smooth ﬁnish
One coat of paint usually won’t hide the underlying color and sheen on trim. And if you don’t sand the surface smooth between coats, the finish may have a grainy texture. For a smooth finish, sand the trim before applying each coat of paint.
Sand the trim with a fine-grit sanding sponge. Sponges get into crevices where sandpaper can’t go and let you apply even pressure. Then apply the ﬁrst coat of paint, let it dry at least 24 hours, lightly sand it again for a completely smooth surface, and apply the second coat. After each sanding, vacuum the trim, then wipe it down with a tack cloth to remove the dust