Let’s face it — painting can be a royal pain. It can also be a challenging project to take on by yourself. Between finding the right type of paint, preparing your walls, and breathing in those nauseating paint fumes, you may feel like you can’t manage the task alone. But before you hire a team of professional painters, check out these Painting Tips and Tricks. These simple hacks will have you painting like an expert!
As an added bonus, these tips will save you time, money, and a massive headache.
Painting Tips and Tricks #1: Ready Your Walls!
A successful painting project begins by preparing your walls for a fresh coat of paint. Consider using the following tips and tricks before you apply your paint.
Is the existing paint oil or latex-based?
If you are painting a room that already has a coat of paint on the walls, you will need to find out if the existing paint is latex-based or oil-based. There’s actually a very simple way to check. First, cover a cotton ball with alcohol. Then, dab it on the wall. If any paint comes off, that means the old paint is latex-based.
However, if no paint comes off, that means that you will be repainting over oil-based paint. Before painting over oil-based paint, you will need to use a special primer. KILZ Original Multi-Surface Primer is the perfect choice for this task; it is easy to use and costs less than $10 per can.
Not sure if you need to scrape and sand first?
Scraping and sanding the walls can be a huge hassle. But the good news is that you may be able to skip this step! To find out if the previous coat of paint will accept a new coat without you having to undergo the exhausting task of scraping and sanding, simply stick a small piece of duct tape to the wall. After removing the duct tape, examine the “sticky side” for paint. If there are more than a few tiny specks on it, the wall won’t take kindly to a new coat and you’ll definitely need to scrape/sand before putting any new paint on the wall. However, if little to no paint comes off, you can jump right into painting!
Clean and prep those walls!
If the walls have cracks or dents in them, you should fill those in before you begin painting. For small dents or cracks, you can use painter’s putty or lightweight spackle. 3M Patch Plus Primer is an excellent and cost-effective choice for filling in these small gaps.
Dealing with a bigger dent? Use plaster of Paris. Dap Plaster of Paris comes in a generous 8lb tub that won’t break the bank at only $8.00 per container.
If you are painting on a wooden surface, use wood filler. Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Filler is a reputable and reliable product with a small $5.00 price-tag. But remember– regardless of what you use to fill in those pesky dents, you will need to scratch and sand the surface down after it dries. You don’t want to paint on an uneven surface!
Finally, you should never paint a wall that isn’t clean. Cleaning up that dirt and dust makes the difference between a beautiful, smooth wall and a scratchy, clumpy mess! To clean your walls like a pro, wipe them down with a clean Swiffer pad or use some degreaser. STANLEY Degreaser is an excellent choice; it’s a cleaning chameleon that can be used for many purposes around the house, even after the painting is complete.
To clean smaller parts of the wall before painting (such as the trimmings or window sashes,) use a beeswax-coated TCP Tack Cloth. Just make sure that you do not press the cloth in too hard– too much wax can affect the paint’s adherence to the trimming.
Painting Tips and Tricks #2: Prepare Your Supplies!
Your walls may be ready for paint now, but you won’t get far without well-prepped materials. Follow these tips and tricks to prepare your materials like a boss!
Mix that paint!
If you’re painting a whole room, odds are that you’ll go through a few cans of paint. The tricky thing about using multiple cans of paint is that each and every can has a slightly different hue, which may end up giving your walls a splotchy appearance.
But this can be easily avoided! To create a flawlessly even color, use a stirrer to mix each can of paint into a four or five gallon bucket. Even if you don’t use up all the paint, you can pop the lid back on and save it for future touch-ups!You may think that mixing all that paint will create a nasty chemical smell…but there’s an easy way to avoid that! Try adding a tablespoon of vanilla extract or peppermint oil to the paint. This will help negate the effects of those toxic fumes.
All about that tape!
Got some old painter’s tape that won’t peel without tearing up? Experts recommend placing the tape in the microwave for 10 seconds. Then, that old tape will be as good as new!
If you are painting window sashes, don’t bother taping over the window. It’s difficult and messy to remove tape from windows. In fact, it’s easier to remove paint from them! So don’t be afraid to get some paint on those windows; after it’s dried, you can easily remove it by scratching it off with a razor blade.
Ready your rollers!
Before you begin to paint, make sure that your rollers and brushes are clean. One great tip for cleaning your rollers is to brush them off with a sticky lint-roller. Alternatively, you can pat them down with a piece of tape.
Don’t want to deal with a drippy paint tray when you’re done? Line your tray with a plastic bag or some aluminum foil before pouring the paint in. This easy hack will make clean-up time a cinch.
Painting Tips and Tricks #3: Get the Right Technique!
With your walls and supplies ready to go, you can now begin applying your paint. The following tips and tricks are sure to leave your walls looking clean and professional!
Painting tips and tricks for walls and rooms
When it comes to painting walls, make sure to paint the trimmings before moving on to the walls. Once the trimmings dry, apply painter’s tape to the edge of the trimming. It’s easier to remove tape from trimming than it is to remove it from a wall. By painting the trimming first, you’ll save yourself a big mess and an even bigger headache.
Once you’ve started painting the walls and ceilings, use the “zig zag” method to create an even and consistent appearance. It’s easier than it sounds; apply the paint to your roller, then roll the paint onto the wall in an “M” or “W” shape (without lifting the roller from the wall). To fill in the blank spaces, make small vertical or horizontal zig zags (again, without removing the roller from the wall). Remember to always maintain a wet edge on your brush; this keeps the roller from creating that unappealing “streaky” paint look.
Painting tips and tricks for those hard-to-reach places
Anybody who’s ever painted a bathroom knows that it can be a huge hassle to paint behind the toilet. One simple tip can turn that hassle into a breeze! Glue a paint edger pad onto a stirrer or a popsicle stick. Once the glue has dried, apply some paint to the pad. Now you can get those hard-to-reach spaces with minimal effort!
Painting a wooden chair or table? It can be awfully time consuming to wait for the whole piece to dry before moving on to the feet. One time-saving trick is to lightly tap nails into the centers of the chair/table’s feet. This will prop it up just enough for you to paint the bottoms of the feet. Just make sure to take the nails out once the paint has dried!
Create a rustic look!
If you are trying to create a rustic, faded appearance on a wooden surface, try rubbing a candle over the parts where you’d like the wood to show through. Painting over the candle wax will create a quaint and charming “worn” look. If you don’t have a candle, you can use a little bit of chapstick or a dry soap bar.
If there are small metal parts that you don’t want to paint over (such as keyholes or nailheads,) brush some vaseline on them before you begin painting. Once the paint is dry, wipe the surface off with a towel. The paint will slide right off, revealing a shiny “paint-free” surface.
Be Ready for Touch-Ups!
A good painter knows that touch-ups are inevitable. So last on the list of painting tips and tricks is how to make your touch-ups a breeze. Invest in a Slobproof Paint Pen. These handy little pens cost a mere $10.00 and are incredibly easy to use. Simply put the paint inside the pen and seal it up; when it’s time for your touch up, you can apply the pen directly to the wall.
If you would like to save the paint roller for bigger touch-ups, slide it into a grocery bag or Pringles can. Then, pop it in the freezer! The roller will be ready for any future touch-ups…just be sure to thaw it out before using it!
Frequently Asked Questions: Painting Tips And Tricks
Are there any tips and tricks for lessening paint fumes?
Absolutely! When mixing your paint, pour in a tablespoon of vanilla extract or peppermint essential oil. This will greatly reduce that migraine-inducing paint odor.
How much money will I save by painting a room myself?
On average, hiring professional painters costs a whopping $350. Doing it yourself can easily be done for approximately $50, saving you $300 dollars or more!
What painting a room, in what order should I paint the ceiling, walls, and trimming?
Although there is some debate about the best order in which to paint a room, we recommend starting with the trimming. It’s much easier to remove painter’s tape from the trimming than it is to remove it from the walls. As an added bonus, you won’t have to worry if a little bit of the trimming’s paint gets on the wall!