Painting your house, whether it's interior or exterior painting, may not seem like a difficult job, but it can be harder than you think to get that professional finish. The following tips can help take your DIY paint job to the next level.
Wash Your Walls
Dirt, dust, and fingerprint residue on the walls can actually prevent paint from properly adhering. Before you even begin to paint, dust the walls and make sure there are no spiderwebs hiding in the corners. Next, wipe down all the interior walls in your home with a diluted bleach solution and then let them dry completely before resuming the painting project. If you are painting the exterior of your home, a pressure washer on a low setting can be used to remove dirt and pollen before you begin to paint.
Prep for the Main Work
Professional painters use tape sparingly because they have developed the skills necessary to paint around baseboards and other fixtures with a cutting in technique. As a DIY painter, you may not be as skilled so it's recommended that you take the time to prepare fully before you even open a paint can. Start by removing easily removed fixtures, such as switch plates and outlet covers. Then, tape off around baseboards and trim. Use a blue painter's tape for this task, since it can be removed easily without any damage to the trim or walls.
Strain Your Paint
Small amounts of dust, undissolved pigments, and other debris can result in lumps, bumps, and streaks on a newly painted wall. If you are using a paint sprayer, the debris can even cause clogs in the spray nozzle or hose. Older paint always needs to be strained, but even a brand new bucket of paint will go on more smoothly if you strain it first. There are many paint straining options available. A disposable mesh paint strainer is one of the simplest and most effective options. To strain paint, place the strainer over the top of a clean 5-gallon bucket. Pour your pail of paint through the strainer and into the bucket. You can then toss the strainer and the debris it captured into the garbage.
Don't Skip the Primer
Primer prepares your wall for painting by creating an even surface that the paint can easily adhere to. You can even purchase primer that is designed to lock in odors or cover stains. When choosing a primer, make sure it is the same type as the wall paint you are using, typically either water- or oil-based latex. The primer color also matters — opt for light primer if you are painting a light shade and dark primer for a dark shade. Choosing the right primer color helps ensure more even coverage with fewer coats of the main paint color.
With the right tools, your painting project will look nearly as good as a professional job.