Patience is a virtue, but when it comes to painting it is a necessity. A successful paint job starts long before the first tint is added or bucket is opened; it begins with thorough preparation of the surface. Slapping a coat of paint on an unprepared surface is like applying makeup to a dirty face — it just won’t look right.
A lower quality, less expensive paint can outperform a superior paint if the homeowner thoroughly prepares the surface.
Listed below are some simple tips for a quality paint job:
Be safe — wear eye protection and a dust mask.
Clear the room of obstacles, including furniture. Painting is hard enough without fighting the sofa.
Wipe down the walls and surfaces to be painted. You want paint adhering to the wall, not dirt.
Knock off the gloss on the surface you are painting. Most paints will not adhere to high-gloss finishes.
Scrape flaking paint off surfaces and fill holes and imperfections with spackling.
Cover and tape the floors and non-painted areas to stop paint splatters, drips and runs before they happen.
After the surface is prepared, it is time to start painting. It is very important to take your time. Great home painters work at a good, steady pace — fast usually means sloppy.
Select a good quality paint and begin by cutting in the corners (painting the edges). Once the corners have been cut in, roll or spray the walls with paint. Most do-it-yourself homeowners paint with rollers.
Probably the best tip any professional painter will give for painting a home is to use good tools. It is mind-boggling when a homeowner spends $30 on a can of paint, yet buys a $2 paint brush to apply it.
Real, professional painters use the best brushes and rollers because they understand that great tools produce a superior finish. Remember to keep a dust brush handy and brush every surface off just before painting. It is amazing how paint magnifies surface dust.
Another huge mistake many homeowners make is trying to stretch paint. Generally, a gallon of interior wall paint should provide one coat for about 350 to 400 square feet, which is about a 12-foot-square room. Trying to stretch paint to cover more area than it should will lead to blotching and streaks.
New paint on an old home can do wonders if applied correctly, however, the paint itself will not fix rotten wood, cover wall imperfections or bond gaps in molding. It takes a thorough preparation process with good tools to produce a quality paint job. Homeowners who lack the patience, skills or tools should consider hiring a professional. It will save time and money in the long run.
Don Magruder is the CEO of Ro-Mac Lumber & Supply, Inc., and he is also the host of the “Around the House” Radio Show heard every Monday at noon on My790AM WLBE in Leesburg.