Century 21

10 Interior Painting Tips & Tricks

By Carlee Noel on 14-06-17

Written By Carlee Noel

Doesn’t the summer sunshine make you want to freshen up your home? Let North Bay Property Shop help you with these 10 tips to make your painting projects go quicker and provide for a more professional looking finish that you will be proud of. We have also included some tips to help cut your cleanup time and allow for more freedom to enjoy the sunshine that got you started on this project in the first place!

  • To avoid overlap marks, roll from floor to ceiling (or vice versa) to always keep a wet edge
Lap marks are the lines that you see in the paint when there are uneven layers of paint built up. They occur when you roll over paint that has begun to dry (latex paint can begin to dry in less than a minute). The key to avoiding lap marks is to be sure you always keep a “wet edge” so that each stroke overlaps the previous one before the paint starts to dry. To maintain the wet edge, start in a corner and roll the full length of the wall, moving over slightly with each stroke.
*Keep the open side of the roller frame facing the area that’s already painted, this puts less pressure on the open side of the roller so you are less likely to leave paint ridges.
  • Mix the “same” colour paint cans in a large bucket for a consistent colour
The colour of your paint can vary slightly from can to can. This is hard to see with the naked eye but it becomes noticeable when the paint is applied to the wall, especially if you have to start a new can on half of a wall. By mixing the paints together you have eliminated the problem. If you aren’t sure how many cans of paint it will take, add more rather than less. You can always pour the leftovers back into a can.
*For large jobs, use the bucket and roller screen. It is much easier to keep the paint in a bucket than transferring it to a small tray and hoping not to spill any. Dunk the roller into the paint bucket and roll it on the screen to get off the excess paint.
  • Once the paint is dry, cut the tape away with a sharp utility knife for a perfect edge
Always use tape for a straight edge! Once the paint is dry, (at least 24 hours) it is time to cut it away.The paint forms a film between the wall and tape and removing it can tear pieces of paint off the wall or leave behind small pieces of tape. Using a sharp utility knife or box cutter slice through that film. Start in an inconspicuous area to make sure the paint is hard enough to slice cleanly. If it hasn’t dried properly it can clump up and make a mess as well as a jagged line. Take your time with this step. As you cut the paint, pull the tape away at an angle.
  • Paint order: trim first, ceiling second, walls last
Professionals will usually follow a certain order when painting. First the trim, then the ceiling and finally walls. If we can create a mental image for you: imagine first painting the trim. You don’t have to use tape for this step and if you get some paint on the wall we can fix that later. Once the trim is good and dry (at least 24 hours) you can now tape it. Now is the time to move up to the ceiling (you may splatter the walls a bit but they will be painted next) and finish up with the walls. To get the nice crisp line between the ceiling and the wall? You’ve got it, tape it.
  • Prime any patches to avoid an uneven finish
Most walls require some patching before getting a fresh coat of paint. Apply the appropriate filler and sand away the excess. Now be sure to prime those areas. Without the primer, those spots absorb paint differently that the painted surfaces, creating a dull finish. This happens because filler is porous and paint is not.
  • Clean your walls properly so paint can adhere properly
Painting over dirty surfaces, especially if there is any oily residue, will limit the paints ability to adhere to the wall. If you do have oily surfaces, use a degreaser or heavy duty cleaner intended for repainting. These types of cleaners can be found at your local paint stores and home centres. Make sure you wear gloves and eye protection when using these products.
  • Roll paint along the edges for a consistent texture
Areas beside trim or corners are often painted with a brush but then you can notice brush strokes and the texture is different than the rest of the wall. We agree that using the brush can be much easier to cover these areas. Here’s our trick to maintain that professional finish you are going for: brush on the paint and then roll it out immediately before the paint dries. It is much easier to use a small roller for these areas. Try to get as close to the corner or the trim as possible.
  • Use cotton drop cloths instead of plastic
No matter how careful you are, you will have splatters and maybe a spill or two. Using a drop cloth is much easier than wiping paint off your floors later, especially if there’s carpeting. Canvas drop cloths are inexpensive and can be reused for other projects (such as covering your furniture on moving day to avoid scratches and dings if you decide to sell your home [and we would love to help you with that!]). The thick canvas stays in place better and the paint can dry on the fabric in the event of a splatter or spill. With a plastic drop sheet, the paint doesn’t dry and if it ends up on your shoes it can get tracked through the house. Plastic sheets are also more slippery for you and for your equipment, such as a ladder….need we say more?
*Clean spills with paper towels or rags, especially large spills so they don’t seep through.
  • For those larger areas where you can’t keep a wet edge, feather out
For larger areas like ceilings, extra tall walls and stairwells it may be impossible to have one continuous stroke. The best way to minimize lap marks on these areas is to feather out the paint along the edges that you can’t keep wet. A thinner, feathered coast of paint will avoid the sort of buildup that causes lines and lap marks. To paint a large section without leaving lap marks, roll the nearly dry roller in different directions along the dry edge. This creates the “feathering” of the paint. Move to the next section and paint over the feathered edges. For the second coat, apply the paint in the opposite direction. By crisscrossing you are greatly reducing the chance of lap marks.
  • Sand trim (and even walls if you wish) between coats for a smooth finish
If you don’t sand surfaces in between coats you are likely to have a grainy finish. A light sanding with a fine grit sanding sponge can make for a beautiful finish. Do this between each coat of paint and wipe down after the sanding. Your final coat of paint should not be sanded.
After all the work is done and you stand back to admire your handiwork you should be very proud of the work you’ve done. Now it’s time to get outside and enjoy some of that beautiful weather.

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