Painting is one of the most common home improvement tasks that homeowners tackle. It's a reasonably easy project, and one that can make a dramatic difference in a room's appearance. However, some homeowners get tripped up by failing to prepare properly for their first painting project, and the job gets a lot more complicated than it needs to be. You can keep your next paint job simple and straightforward by following the easy steps outlined here.
The first part of any good painting project is cleaning. You need to thoroughly scrub the walls and ceiling that you intend to paint. Any dirt or dust that gets left on the surfaces to be painted will spoil the adhesion of the new paint and make it less durable.
Paint selection is the next step. You should be looking at both color and quality when you pick your paint. Avoid the temptation to cut corners by buying dirt-cheap paint; you definitely get what you pay for in this field. In order to get the right color, you can buy a small sample and apply it in the room where you intend to use it. A three-foot by three-foot sample patch will be big enough to show you what the finished coat will look like in place.
Stocking yourself with the proper equipment is a step you need to take early on. Once you know what kind of paint you're using (e.g enamel, latex or acrylic) you'll know what kind of brushes and solvents you need. Remember to get the necessary tools for the prep work mentioned below, too.
Before you can start slapping up paint, there's a little more surface preparation to do. This is the time to fill any holes and patch any cracks in your walls and ceiling. Look for rough patches, too. They'll show right through new paint and spoil the finish; sand them down before you start.
When you're ready to start painting, begin with masking. You'll want to use tape, paper and drop cloths to protect the areas that you aren't painting. These include floor and ceiling molding, window sills and any trim around doors and windows.
In virtually every case, you'll want to start by laying down a primer coat. A layer of primer helps the final coat go on smoothly and makes its colors more vibrant. Good primers tend to be white or neutral-colored. You can ask for assistance with picking a primer when you buy your finish paint.
It's finally time to get color on your walls! Apply your finish coat as evenly as possible. Rollers are great for large areas, but be ready to finish off edges by hand. Avoid leaving brush strokes in your paint by working slowly and carefully. If you plan to add any texture to your walls, have the necessary tools close at hand when you start painting.
Once you've got your paint up, you can step back and celebrate your accomplishment - and give the paint the time it needs to dry and cure. Always be generous with drying times, particularly in newer homes. You may find fans and dehumidifiers are necessary to speed up the drying process.
Painting is a home improvement project that some homeowners find terribly challenging, but it doesn't have to be. If you approach your next painting project intelligently and do the right preparation, you'll find it to be a breeze. Just keep the procedure you've reviewed here in mind and take your time.