• Taping - When masking tape came along, the do-it-yourself painter could now paint without the worry of not being able to cut in like a professional painter nor have to paint everything, walls, baseboard, doorways, all the same color. As masking tape found other uses, the new painter’s tape came out and it worked even better than the masking tape. Taping can really help make things easier.
• Being Prepared – It is very important to know ahead of time what you are going to do, learn about it, and be ready for it. Have everything you will need before you start the job. Professional painters always try to do that and for good reason - it saves time. You are not doing yourself any favors if you have to keep running out to pick up something that you forgot. Finally, think long and hard before you attempt the job. Make sure it is what you want to do – this goes for paint color, finish, and even decorative finishes.
• Painting with a Roller – The trick to great looking interior walls is to use a paint bucket and screen instead of a paint tray. This can help with roller marks and paint build up. Have you ever seen a professional painting contractor using a paint tray? Typically they use a 5 gallon bucket and a “bucket screen” because it works much better and holds more paint. You also aren’t as likely to spill the paint as you would with a flimsy tray.
• Types of Rollers. If you are new to painting, you may wonder why professional painters pay big bucks for their painting supplies. Quality rollers make the job quicker, easier, and look better. You will use and waste less paint because a good roller will actually hold more paint, and you won’t have to replace them as often. A very important key to buying rollers is to make sure they do not have a cardboard center. Cardboard spindles soak up paint and ruin the roller quickly. Make sure to inspect your walls before you buy rollers, so you know what nap or fiber length to buy. The nap length is determined by the texture of the wall. If you have an old house with bumpy and uneven texture, make sure to sand first and use a longer nap roller skin. If you have relatively smooth walls, a mid-length nap (3/8th- ½”) is best.
• Rolling the wall. When using a roller, you must remember to keep the edge of the paint wet to avoid a mark in the wall called a “lap mark.” You should be prepared to paint fast enough that the paint will not dry and not be interrupted or you will have to redo it. Make sure you cut the wall in first so you can cover as many brush strokes as possible.
• Using a brush. Again use good quality painting supplies. You can get cheap brushes but they will cost you more in wasted paint. When using a paint brush, you can dip directly out of the can or use a pail or bucket. Be sure to only dip the brush about 1/3 of the way up to keep from getting too much paint. You also want to tap the brush gently to keep the paint from dripping. For “cutting in,” it is better to use the narrow side of the brush for edging. Be sure to paint lighter walls first and then cut in the dark paint so the dark paint doesn’t bleed through the lighter color.
• Spraying. A paint sprayer can save a lot of time if you have a large area to paint. If you are painting a small room, it will probably take you more time to clean up the paint sprayer than to paint the room. This would be especially tedious if you were painting with several different colors. If you do not paint a great deal, sprayers can be an expensive item but you may be able to rent one. There are two types of sprayers: air sprayers and airless. Airless sprayers work at extreme pressure and can be dangerous if not handled carefully. Do not allow your body to get in front of an airless sprayer as they can inject paint under your skin due to the pressure. With paint sprayers, you must be sure of what kind of device you are working with. Some sprayers will be too weak to handle heavy or thick paint but sprayers with a lot of power will create a lot of overspray. Using a paint sprayer is simple enough. You hold the trigger and move back and forth evenly ensuring you are not leaving gaps.
There are many ways to paint a room and many more techniques that different painters use. The project in your home will be based greatly on size, different colors of paint and the look you want to achieve. Using these techniques will help you achieve a professional look. If you are unsure of the size and scope of your project, it may be best to bring in a contractor to consult with first.
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