A poor paint job usually results in nothing short of a nightmare – it’s one of those decorating jobs that needs to be done correctly. Unfortunately, a poor paint job doesn’t usually show up until after the painter/decorator has gone!
Save yourself the time and hassle of trying to fix a dodgy decorating job, and make use of our top tips, where we’ll share some of the best kept secrets by painters and decorators everywhere.
We’ve got advice on the order for painting, avoiding lap marks or drips, sanding between paint jobs and much more… So with that in mind, here are our top six tips for the perfect paint job!
1. Clean walls are vital
When starting a painting and decorating project, it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement – meaning that many people don’t take the crucial first step of thoroughly cleaning the walls. This is especially important if you’re looking to paint a kitchen or bathroom, where the walls could be covered in grease, oil, food residue, airborne shampoo or hairspray etc.
If the walls are particularly oily or greasy then a degreaser should do the job, while standard household cleaners should work on all other areas. This is a step which is often overlooked or skipped, but can have a big impact on how well the paint takes to the wall and therefore the overall results.
2. Don’t forget to sand
If you’re looking for a perfectly smooth paint job, then starting with a smooth surface is key. Using an abrasive paper to sand down walls and doors can help level out patches, flatten ridges around nail holes or repair jobs – and roughing up a glossy painted surface with sandpaper can also help the paint to adhere more easily.
It’s important to work from the skirting boards up to the ceiling, ensuring that each stroke overlaps slightly so that no spots are left untouched. If you’re using a sanding pole to sand the walls then it’s important not to apply too much pressure to the pole as its head may flip and damage the wall, plus pressing too hard can also cause the sandpaper to clog.
3. Apply tinted primer
While most people know to fill holes and patch cracks before undertaking a paint job, there’s still more prep to be done! Painting directly over ‘patched’ areas can cause the filling compound to suck the moisture out of the paint, which can ultimately make it look flat and dull – and lead to noticeably different spots on the walls. To avoid this problem, it’s important to first prime the walls.
Primer generally tends to be white – however, mixing the primer with a little grey paint or with the colour of the paint you’re looking to use so that it’s tinted, means that the primer will do a better job of concealing patchy areas and covering up the old paint colour.
The result of using a tinted primer is that the finished job tends to be a more vibrant colour, while also potentially requiring fewer coats – and it’s thought that this is especially true if you’re painting over colours such as red or orange, as these can require three or more coats to achieve a decent finish.
4. Wash roller covers
While it may sound obvious, it’s essential that you wash your roller covers before you use them – especially if they’re brand new. Washing your rollers before you start painting means you’ll be able to get rid of any loose fibres or bits of fluff that come off the cover and avoid them getting stuck on your wall.
Once you’ve washed the rollers with soapy water, you can run your hands up and down the covers to precondition them. And the good news is that you don’t then have to wait for the rollers to dry – you can start painting right away.
5. Box your paint
Our next tip is vital if you want to avoid mismatching walls and colours that don’t quite match up. Even when you buy two pots of the same paint, they’re always very slightly different, as paint doesn’t always come out identical.
By buying multiple pots of the same colour paint and mixing them together in a much larger pot, you’ll be able to achieve a consistent paint job throughout the room you’re decorating. This technique of mixing paint together in a bigger pot is called ‘boxing’, and it can allow you to paint directly out of the larger bucket, getting rid of the need to pour the paint into a roller tray and carry that around the room.
6. One wall at a time
Many people believe that the best way to paint a room is to cut in all the corners first, and then go back and use a roller to paint onto the walls. However, if you cut in one wall and then move straight onto applying the paint with a roller before the cut section dries, you’re more likely to end up with a seamless look that allows the brushed and rolled sections to blend together perfectly.
Finally, if you cover your bucket or try with a damp towel whilst you’re switching between brushing and rolling, it’s more likely to keep your paint and brushes from drying out while you’re not using them.
While these tips should help you to achieve a more professional look, we’re also happy to help with your painting and decorating needs. If you’d like more information, please feel free to get in touch.