After a weekend of painting I thought I would share some thoughts on how to get the best results and potentially save some time… here it goes!
1. Prep work: This is the first and most crucial step.
Purchase a drop sheet and painters tape.
Taping and prepping to paint always takes the longest… well that and cutting in… To avoid any blunders I put the painters tape along the wall and attached the plastic drop sheet to it as well. This way you are sure to capture stray paint that may have otherwise fallen on your floors, baseboards or both.
Tip: Make sure to push down the paint at the top of the baseboard. This area often springs free and you want to maintain a clean line along this area. Try pushing it down with a flat edge (metal ruler, scraper or other house tool with a flat edge).
2. Patching holes and sanding imperfections:
Every wonder how professional painters get smooth walls. Well, it’s all in the prep. Remove all nail holes and fill them and lightly sand smooth. If your walls are “newer” take cleaning wipes or a de-greases and clean them. If you walls are “older” with many layers of paint build up you may opt to go straight for sanding with a fine grit paper. This will smooth out any old paintbrush strokes, drips or imperfects in the walls.
3. Loading your brush and cutting in: Now you’re ready to prime the walls.
First dip your paint brush in the primer/paint about 1 ½ -2” make sure enough is on and then on the side of the can or tray tap down to shed excess paint. Don’t wipe because you lose too much paint in the process.
When you apply to the wall start about 1” above your taped area and work your way toward the tape line thinning out the paint. This prevents paint build up at the tape line and ultimately leakage.
4. Priming walls:
Tip: For dark or saturated colours always look at the paint manufacturers recommendations. Often for really strong colours they will specify a coloured primer which helps to bring out the paint colour. I always recommend doing this because it’s the only way to ensure you get the exact colour you feel in love with. I frequently use Sherwin Williams for their bright and bold colours. The primer code is always available on the paint card so take a look before purchasing or ask a sales associate.
Time Saver tip: Two in one primer/paint combinations:
More recently, in our own home we used Benjamin Moore Regal paint line because we were told it had great coverage and you didn’t need to prime because it was a two in one. I was a bit sceptical but being as pregnant as I am I thought my husband could use all the help he could get. We went from a very dark grey to a white. The first coat was a bit dicey looking but by the time the second coat went on I was amazed at the coverage and that it really did only need 2 coats of paint! I highly recommend this product.
5. Painting: So you’ve primed and now you get to fun part seeing the colour on the walls!
Disclaimer: No two paints are created equal, so don’t cheap out and expect to get great coverage. Higher quality paints do provide a better finish and coverage.
Apply paint in a “W” pattern and reverse back over the unpainted area in an “M” pattern. See image below. You get good coverage and no streaks. Always completely finish one wall before moving to the next.
Tip: Paint dries to a different colour so don’t judge it until you’ve allowed it to dry completely. 6 hours is ideal. If something is slightly off you can go back and have them add to lighten or darken if need be.
6. Clean-up: It’s the end of the day and you still have more to do tomorrow. Clean-up will be key.
Completely clean the paint tray, or as a time saver purchase tray liners. Brushes can be wrapped in wrap in cellophane if you plan to go back at it in a few hours. Note roller and brushes need time to dry, you don’t want to paint with a damp or wet roller or brush. It waters down the paint and will look horrible.