Would you guys call me crazy if I said I actually really enjoy doing interior painting? All of my family and friends think I’m a little crazy. But it works to their advantage because I don’t mind lending a helping hand when they decide to spruce up their space. My Past couple trips to my parents place has involved quite a bit of painting. The last time I was here I repainted the kitchen walls and cabinets, and now I’m painting the guest house.
In my recent endeavors I’ve made a mental list of things to keep in mind so that you get a smooth finish. If you’ve done your fair share of painting, this may seem like common sense to you.. but the first time I painted I was intimidated! I was clueless. So I’ve complied my tips and tricks for all you first timers out there.
Clean the walls first. Make sure to wipe down your walls before you start. I use a damp wash cloth and make sure to let it dry. You don’t want to paint over dirt, or hairs, or cob webs. You won’t end up with a smooth finish that way and the only way you’ll be able to remove it is to sand it or scrape it off. The paint will also stick to the walls better if they’re clean.
Use caution around the tape. Just because there’s tape protecting that fine line where the wall meets the ceiling or floor doesn’t mean it’s fair game. Work in thin layers around the tape. Apply small amounts around the tape and carefully spread the paint. I made the mistake of just globbing it on and then spreading it my first time painting and I ended up with a thick layer that peeled off when I removed the tape. Learn from my mistake. 🙂
Beware of panels, corners, or any surface that isn’t completely flat. When you’re painting walls this isn’t always relevant unless your painting over nails or something. But I painted a paneled door yesterday and had to constantly be mindful of where my brush was touching. When your brush scrapes across an uneven surface, it scrapes off excess paint. You don’t want it to dry that way. Simply spread the paint around if this happens.
Don’t fret while it’s drying. When it’s drying, it can often look streaky, the color can look strange, and it may not look smooth. Walk away while it’s drying if you need. I remember the sudden moment of panic all to well from my first painting experience. Take a breath and let it dry.
Stir often. Stir the paint every once in a while. The ingredients separate and need to be stirred back together to keep the consistency smooth.
Make sure the first layer is dry before putting on a second coat. If you paint over tacky, sticky paint, it may peel off, streak and become uneven.
Paint corners and edges with a brush. Getting in the corners and hard to reach areas is easier with a small brush. For an extra smooth finish roll over it with a roller (as close as you can) to minimize brush strokes. Also, when painting with a brush, I get best results by doing long up and down, loose motions. Don’t be stiff and choppy.
Dab the paint into areas with uneven texture. Sometimes as you’re painting you may notice the paint doesn’t get into all the small little holes and cracks. For a smooth finish dab with paint into the area, then brush over it in the long up and down motions.
And at last, pour yourself a drink, turn up the music and get to work!
Okay, readers. I know I’m missing some tips. What are some things that you do to ensure a flawless paint job?