Perfect Paint Tips, Interior Painting Ideas
Save a lot of heart ache by reading these paint tips before you start your interior painting job. Painting is fun and very rewarding, but can be very messy if you don’t know what you are doing.
Surface preparation is vital, and can make or break a paint job. Ensure you fill any holes and take off any old flaky paint, and then sand back to form a smooth finish. The “she’ll be right, the paint will fill in the holes” theory is totally incorrect. Always check the surface before starting to paint with a light to see if there are any blemishes.
Make sure the surface you are going to paint is clean. This is essential, especially in kitchen areas where the walls can have oily residue from cooking. Use sugar soap for cleaning.
Get rid of any problems before you paint, mould – use household bleach diluted 1:5 with water to remove the visible mould and find out why it is happening, and fix it. Stains from nicotine – these are nasty as they bleed through the paint. Seal the area with a proprietary stain block, or use a couple of coats of solvent based paint.
Color – always use a test pot before buying you paint. Apply it in the room that you will be painting so you can see it in the correct lighting conditions. That way you can be certain that you have the color you require. It can be costly and time consuming repainting because the paint in the tin looked different to the little paint chip.
Color blending, ensure you have enough paint to complete the job, the color can vary slightly, so if in doubt, mix all your paint tins together in a larger pail to ensure consistent colour, then transfer back into the original containers for storage.
Select good quality paint products, if you are unsure of what you are buying, make sure you ask and get the experts to specify the correct preparation required, product, and sequence of application.
Always use quality branded equipment (brushes & rollers etc), as they usually have a guarantee or come back if they brake or don’t perform as expected.
Always look after your quality equipment so you can use it again. For cleaning acrylic paint from brushes use water to remove most of the paint residue, and then use a brush cleaning product and rinse again, then use dish washing liquid and a final rinse in water. For Enamel, use mineral turpentine to initially clean the brush, and then the brush cleaner, then the turpentine again. Use a bucket for these processes, you use less product and can use the side to press the brushes against to remove any paint residue.
Remove all fittings that you can, ie door handles, light fixtures, and use painter’s masking tape around any that cannot be removed ie door hinges, light switches, glass in windows. A sloppy paint job is obvious when you see paint all over the light switch.
Ensure that the exterior temperature is correct for painting. Believe it or not it will make a big difference.
For exteriors, ensure that the day is warm and dry, that there is no moisture on the surface that you are going to paint (for solvent based paints), and do not paint in direct sunlight any surfaces that may absorb heat excessively.
The best temperature range to paint in is 15 degrees C to 25 degrees C.
If the temperature range is below 10 degrees C or over 35 degrees C do not paint unless the paint you are using has those temperature tolerances specified.
Painting generally follows the following sequence of application: primer, sealer, stain, undercoat, paint and clear coating. Obviously if you are painting over an existing painted surface you only need to do the finishing coats of paint.
Place plastic drop sheets over any furniture remaining in the space and cover the floor. This should protect them from any wayward splashes of paint. Don’t use old sheets as the paint goes straight through and will ruin your precious possessions.
Use a proper paint stirrer. This is flat and has holes for the paint to move through. It makes it easier to stir, and mixes it better.
To get the best control of your paintbrush, hold the brush between your thumb and fingers as you would a pen. Dip about a third of the brush into the paint, then press it against the side to remove any excess, don’t scrape it over the edge of the tin as this creates bubbles in the brush then in turn creates bubbles on your paint job.
Use a roller to paint ceilings and walls. A paintbrush is necessary for painting edges as the roller cannot reach corners and will mark adjacent areas if taken too close. (An edge painter is available, this is a paint pad with wheels on it which creates a band of paint around the edge of the surface you are painting). Use a step ladder to reach the ceiling, or if you don’t want to strain your neck, place the roller on a pole.
Use textured paint as the perfect cover up for existing ceilings that require major work. It is thick and lumpy and reflects the light in multiple directions successfully hiding imperfections. You can create patterns in the paint using specialist rollers. It is not recommended for walls as it is abrasive and a dust catcher.
Paint the ceiling first then work your way down, walls then doors, windows, skirting, architraves, picture rails, dado rails, and skirting boards.
If redecorating an old home and you have multiple layers of paint, it is best to strip them back to bare wood and start again. The doors and windows will close better and the detail of molding will again become visible.
To protect the carpet when painting skirting boards use a plastic shield.
Always work from dry to wet when painting, this minimizes lap marks. To create a smooth surface after applying evenly the paint, lightly brush the bristles back over the surface you have painted removing any overlapping marks.
Select the correct roller for the job. Use polyester/wool rollers for enamel paint and synthetic fibres for water based paints as they do not absorb water.
- Short pile for smooth plasterboard
- Medium pile for lightly textured surfaces
- Long pile for plaster and heavy textured surfaces
Natural brushes tend to shed bristles, whilst synthetic are not supposed to. Synthetic bristle brushes are better for water based products, but you can use either for paint or varnish. The thinner and shorter the bristle, the squarer the end and the less paint it will hold tending to drip everywhere. Quality brushes have long bristles of varying lengths which provides a chiselled edge allowing the paint to flow on more smoothly.
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Lee Brown is the co founder of interiordezine.com, she has worked in the Interior Design Industry for over 23 years, specializing in commercial, hospitality, high end architectural homes and retail design. Over the past 13 years Lee and Chris Brown have been collating their wealth of design knowledge to provide free interior decorating education to the world. Make sure you register for your free ecourse today. Free Interior Decorating eCourse