A little bit of paint can quickly transform any room in your home. While painting is a relatively simple process, it’s still remarkably easy to mess up any painting project with a few careless missteps. Fortunately, there are 8 things you can do to ensure your painting projects turn out perfectly without the help of professionals.
1. Don’t skimp on tools: After shelling out good money for paint, you might be tempted to buy cheap brushes and rollers as a way to cut costs. However, in order to get professional results, you’ll need to invest in good quality tools.
2. Proper preparation: Painting should always start with a blank slate. Make sure you wash your walls and complete all necessary repairs before applying any paint. Your walls should be clean, dry and free of any loose debris in order for paint to go on smoothly.
3. Take the time to tape: Painter’s tape is a must if you want clean lines and professional results. Make sure the tape is sealed tightly around baseboards, windows and molding to prevent the paint from bleeding.
4. Protect your surroundings: Before you open your first can of paint, make sure your entire work zone is protected by plastic or drop cloths. It’s best to move all furniture out of the room, if possible. Make sure the entire floor is covered with a drop cloth.
5. Use a primer: Always start with a primer (this is crucial!). Primers allow paint to stick more easily to the wall’s surface. Even better, primers help the paint’s true hue shine through without having to pile on layers of paint, which will save you both time and money. You can even buy a two-in-one paint and primer to cut down your painting time.
6. Stop dunking your paintbrush: Only dip your paintbrush about a third of the way into the can. Submerging your paintbrush entirely can cause unwanted dripping and also runs the risk of paint drying in the bristles, which is more difficult to clean after-the-fact. Likewise, loading up a paint roller with too much paint can mat down the roller, resulting in paint drips on your walls.
7. Let the first coat dry completely before adding more: Don’t let impatience ruin your entire paint job. Make sure you allow the first coat of paint to dry completely before adding a second coat. Check the instructions on your paint can for a suggested drying time, and if you’re still unsure, give it a full 24 hours.
8. Protect your extra paint for touch ups: Take proper precautions to ensure your touch-up paint doesn’t dry out. For water-based paint, cover the top of the can with clear plastic wrap before sealing it up. For oil-based paints, add a half-inch of water to the surface of the can before sealing it shut.