Painting – Good Results Require Good Technique

February 22, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Of all the DIY projects we tackle at home, painting is among the most common. Many people repaint an entire house when they first move in, and then paint again a few years down the road. Unfortunately, many DIY enthusiasts don’t get the painting results they desire so they spend the money to hire a professional painter.

With all due respect to the pros, any DIY home owner can achieve great painting results if he uses the proper technique.

Priming - Whatever you do, don’t skip the primer step. Priming seems like a waste of time and money in some situations, but it makes the difference between an excellent finished product and a mediocre one. For new wall board, primer is absolutely essential to prepare the surface for painting. Without primer, painting virgin wall board looks uneven, blotched, and faded.

splatter painting Painting   Good Results Require Good Technique

When covering up old paint, or walls newly stripped of wallpaper, some people think primer is not necessarily needed. Again, that’s not true. Paint wears just like anything else in your house to the point where the surface can become uneven in both texture and colour. Putting fresh paint over old paint can result in a less than satisfactory finish if primer isn’t used. Walls that once held wallpaper need primer to cover any residue left behind. In other words, you can’t get away from primer and still expect a professional look.

Use Broad Strokes - The most common mistake among home owners is painting with short, brisk strokes. Whether you use a roller or brush, the more times you change direction the more likely you are to leave marks in the wall. With a roller, use long strokes that cover at least two thirds of the wall, not changing direction anywhere near eye level. Change direction near the top and bottom of the wall so that any marks are harder to see. Furthermore, avoid the temptation to continually go over areas you’ve already painted. The more strokes you apply to a single area the more likely you are to leave marks or create an uneven finish.

Clean Tools - The other big mistake DIY painters make is using tools that aren’t clean. It’s perfectly acceptable to use brushes and rollers for multiple paint jobs as long as you’re careful to make sure they are thoroughly cleaned after each use. A good quality brush or roller can last through several paint jobs if proper cleaning practices are employed. However, if you don’t clean your tools properly, the next paint job you use them on will display streaks, marks, and even small pieces of brush or roller that stick to the wall. If you are unable to get your tools completely clean, or you have no interest in trying, spend a little extra money and buy new brushes and rollers.

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