Painting is one of the most common DIY home improvement projects, but it’s not as simple as picking up a can of paint and a brush. In fact, prep work allots for 30% of the whole project and good prep work sets the foundation for a successful paint job. Next time you paint, use these steps to learn how to paint like the pros for premium results.
Get the Right Equipment
For high-quality results, you will need a tape measure, stirrer, can of paint, pouring spot, roller tray, roller cover, angled sash paintbrush, painter’s tape, drop cloths, hole filler, screwdriver and a sponge. There’s often no need for a separate primer because most of today’s paints have primer in them. However, if you have severe staining or discoloration from new dry wall or water-based paint, primer is recommended.
Gather your items before you get started! Having everything you need ready can cut down on your efforts and overall stress level during the project. Also, if you wash out your paint brushes, they’ll last for years and can be reused from project to project.
Don’t Skip the Prep Work
Prep work is really the defining step to get professional-level results. Take everything off your walls and move all your furniture to the middle of the room. Cover your furniture with plastic, especially if you’re painting the ceiling, and use drop cloths to protect your floors.
Remove any outlet covers and take hinges off the doors. Removing these items is the only way to guarantee no paint gets on them. Ensure you don’t lose the screw by turning it back into the outlet once you’ve removed the plate.
Clean the walls! Just like any other surface in your home, dust and dirt build up on your walls and can give you an uneven paint job if not removed. If necessary, use caulk or putty to seal any drywall cracks and nail holes.
Finally, use blue painter’s tape along the edges of your paint area to help maintain a clean, crisp paint job.
Now, You’re Ready to Paint
Pour enough paint into the tray so that it almost fills the well toward the bottom without covering the ridges. Dip the roller into the tray and roll it back and forth over the ridges a few times to get an even coat before lifting the roller to the wall.
Roll the paint onto the wall in a 3-foot-by-3-foot “w” shape to distribute the paint smoothly. Continue this motion without lifting the roller until the whole section is painted. Reapply paint from your tray as necessary.
Paint the trim or edges of the area by dipping the angled painters brush into the paint and run the brush slightly below the edge of the tape and work your way up to the tape line. Tape is there to help protect your paint area, but it’s the not first line of defense, so make sure you’re still cutting straight lines when you paint edges.
Let the paint dry completely before removing the painter’s tape, replacing outlet covers and returning furniture to its desired location. Then, sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.