Are you preparing for your first big DIY painting project for the interior of your home? We know it’s a lot of work! And if you don’t have a lot of experience with large painting tasks like this, you may not be sure where to start. Here are our top tips on getting ready to paint your home, and what really works. Make sure you spend the time you need getting ready before the big project.
Prepare Your Surfaces
Whatever surface that you are getting ready to paint, make sure it’s prepared. This can involve all sorts of different things. Rougher surfaces or bumpy areas should be sanded down. Holes and cracks need to be patched – the paint can’t do that for you. You should also unscrew and remove all outlet covers and plates so you can paint underneath them – you really don’t want to try painting around them if you can avoid it.
Use Canvas Instead of Plastic
Chances are you are also laying down protective materials for your floors and other areas around your home that you want to protect. You may be tempted to choose plastic for this role, but we highly suggest paying a little more and getting canvas tarps instead. Canvas has many benefits that plastic doesn’t: It doesn’t curl, fold or get trapped in the same way, and it can absorb paint spills more easily instead of just smearing them around. Plus, you can use canvas over and over until the day it wears out.
Buy the Right Accessories
A good painting job is defined by its accessories. Make sure you have buckets, rollers, brushes, scrapers, trays, extenders, paper towels, and painting tape…all before you begin. None of these items are particularly expensive, and you can use them repeatedly.
Use Painting Tape Wisely
Painting tape is designed to cover all the trim, baseboards and edges that you don’t want to get paint on. It’s very effective, but you need to use it the smart way. Put up painting tape early, and watch the edges carefully to make sure it’s doing its job. Use a level when necessary. Don’t tuck the tape in too tightly or pieces of it might stay behind when you’re done. If you’re painting window trim, don’t tape the window – just use a paint scraper afterward and scrape off any paint that got on the window.
Use Plastic Wrap and Damp Paper Towels for Storage
A big painting project will probably last more than one day. What should you do overnight? Try wrapping your brushes and rollers in plastic wrap – try to create an airtight covering. Then put them in a tray and put it in the refrigerator. This will help keep the paint from drying so you don’t have to go through the process of cleaning them more than once.
Box Your Paint for Big Projects
Boxing paint means pouring several gallons of paint into one bucket and using that bucket. This is especially important for darker or more vivid colors: Paint tone can vary from can to can, and switching to a new can halfway through a room can prove very noticeable.
Tint Your Primer
You can tint your primer by pouring a little of your colored paint into the primer and mixing thoroughly. This can help make sure the primer doesn’t bleed through for lighter colors, and will make it less likely that you’ll need another coat.
Use Work Lights
The amount of lighting in an area will absolutely affect your painting job. In areas that don’t get a lot of natural light, or when working in the evening, set up lights so you have great visibility.
Still have more questions about your painting project? Let us know! Tar Heel Painters will be happy to help, whether you need some advice about a particular plan or painting services for your home.