Decorating and painting your house is a great way to put your stamp and style on your home. You could hire an interior designer and a professional painter to give your house an overhaul. However, if you’re a keen DIYer or looking to save some money by decorating your house yourself, then you’ll need to learn how to paint walls correctly.
In this article we’re going to discuss some painting tips for DIYers and how to make it as easy and as affordable as possible.
Before you start painting your house
Before you start undertaking your painting project there are a few things that you need to do. First, you need to pick a colour, head down to your local DIY store, most of them will sell tester pots of paint. When you choosing which colour to use from a tester pot, make sure to apply the right amount of layers. If you only apply 1 layer when testing, but 3 for the final paint, then it may be a slightly different shade.
Paint your testing paint on a section of the wall that isn’t going to be prominent. Leave the testing paint up for a couple of weeks to see if you like it and get used to the colour in the room.
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Prepare the walls for painting
Prepping the walls ready for its paint job is very important, this can be the difference between a smooth looking finish and an amatuer paint job. The walls need to be smooth, so start by filling in holes and sanding. This should remove any uneven surfaces that are rough, even new plaster needs a sanding down.
Once everything has been sanded down, use some clean water to clean walls from any grime that may be on there. Use a mixture of warm, not hot, water and detergent soap.
Prepare plugs, light switches & electrical outlets
Any plug sockets, light switches or other electrical outlets on the wall should be unscrewed and removed. Wrap any exposed wires or electrical systems in plastic freezer bags to stop paint getting on them. Remember to switch off the electrics at the switchboard before exposing wires. Consult an electrician if you’re not sure what you’re doing.
Use masking tape to create defined borders. This will help you create straight lines and not leave messy paint drips where they shouldn’t be. Use the tape on the skirting boards to create a professional look.
Seal new plaster
If you’ve recently plastered, it’s important that you seal it before you paint it. Use a watered-down emulsion paint to mist coat the wall. This will seal the plaster and allow the paint to actual soak in rather than just sitting on the top. This will help create a better sticking bond, and will have a more even coverage leaving you with a professional painted wall.
Protect your floor and furniture
Use dust sheets or old bedding to protect furniture and floors from paint splatter. Drop cloths are usually heavier and should stop paint seeping through to the carpet. Using protective coverings on your floor is particularly important when you do the skirting boards. If you’re painting the ceiling as well as the walls then you’ll probably want to cover furniture in the middle of the room.
Use and look after quality painting equipment
Using the right equipment and quality equipment is an important factor when painting a room. When deciding which brushes and rollers to use, try to avoid picking the cheapest. You’ll want to get some different brush sizes for different jobs, as a rough guide:
- 3 inch for walls and pre-rolling
- 2.5 inch for large panels and doors
- 2 inch for smaller panels, painting the trim, small doors and wider skirting boards
- 1.5 inch for architraves, smaller skirting boards and window frames
- 1 inch for narrower places and windows sashes
- 0.5 inch for tiny, intricate areas.
Whenever you’ve finished painting for the day it’s really important to clean your brushes. Paint brushes can be expensive, but if you look after them, they’ll last years.
When doing interior painting, you’ll almost always want to apply some primer. Primer is important because it helps the paint stick better to the wall. It also helps you cut down on the amount of coats you’ll have to apply.
Make sure the primer is completely dry before you start painting over the top. You’ll get some very undesirable results if you paint to quickly after applying primer.
How to paint your house
Now that you’ve finishes prepping your walls, paint and equipment, it’s time to start painting. It’s important that you mix the paint before painting, but check the paint can for specific instructions.
Start by painting the ceiling, this lets you deal with any splashes that appear on the wall later. You should always paint top to bottom. Use a bigger brush (3 inch) to do the edges and “cutting in”. The less you have to keep reloading the brush with paint, the better the finish.
Use a paint roller to do large areas. Use a paint tray to stir and mix the paint, this will help you apply the paint evenly to the roller. In a “W” or an “M” pattern, roll paint onto the wall. Usually, you’ll want to apply a couple of coats of paint to the walls, however, always check the instructions on the paint can.
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