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Tips On Painting Interior Walls

If you are ready to take on the task of painting your home's interior walls, read some of these tricks of the trade to make sure the painting process goes as smoothly as possible.

Posted in Painting Techniques over 8 years ago, 0 replies

The walls of your home are bright white, right? Or some unsightly color that needs a change? And instead of seeing them as the perfect blank canvases to create a masterpiece, you see them as a laborious assignment you must tackle in order to improve the look of your decor. Like the rest of us you probably do everything to liven up your home-hang pictures, throw down a rug or two; everything except taking on what you believe will be the intolerable task of painting.

This is understandable. Because there is so much conflicting information out there about painting you likely don't know what to listen to. Well fret no longer. You have stopped on the right page. Here you will receive some of the best tips that will make painting your interior walls as painless as possible.

First Things First (What You'll Need…)

The supplies you'll need to adequately paint your walls are as follows:

Disposable rubber gloves
3-inch flat brush
Small angled brush to paint the trim and/or corners
Newspapers, plastic or a canvas drop cloth to protect floors from paint spills and splatter
The blue painter's tape that won't take paint off with it when you remove it
Spackle (to fill in holes and imperfections on the wall)
Putty knife
Sandpaper (to sand down the spackle to a smooth, "paintable" surface)
Turpentine (for oil-based paint)
Pail to wash out your brushes
Cleaning rags
Paint Roller with extension rod to reach tall walls and ceilings
Paint tray
Primer

Pick Your Paint

In order to pick your paint you must first figure out how much of the stuff you are going to need. To do this, measure the square footage of the walls you plan to paint. Paint cans are labeled with the amount of square footage they contain in their cans, so bring along the measurements to the paint store and match them up with each other.

Okay, so you know how much paint you need; now, what type of paint do you need to buy?

There are essentially two types of paint you should choose from: Latex-based paint and Oil-based paint. The easiest to work with is latex-based (acrylic) paint. It can go on walls, floors, and wood and metal surfaces. It is also the easiest to clean up; when you need to clean out your paintbrushes or if some latex paint gets on your skin, a little bit of soap and water will do the trick.

On the other hand, oil-based paint (alkyd-based) is harder to clean up and needs a solvent-like turpentine in order to wash out your paintbrushes and clean the paint off your skin. A plus is that oil-based paint is stain-resistant and adheres to walls and ceilings very nicely. This makes oil-based paint a really good choice to use in your bathrooms and kitchens.

Find A Finish

Now that you've picked your paint, you need to decide on a paint finish. Paints and finishes match up in color, so whichever paint color you select get the finish color that matches it.

The types of finishes:

· Flat finish: This finish is the most commonly used. It is good for large surfaces, and will not reflect light. It is recommend to be used on ceilings, and in bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms. Not kitchens and baths.
· Gloss finish: This finish will always reflect light, especially on walls and ceilings and is often used in small quantities (such as on trim).
· Satin or eggshell finish: This finish is terrific for brightening up hallways, common areas, and children's bedrooms and playrooms. It can be used anywhere that a slight sheen is wanted.
· Semi-gloss finish: This finish is easy to clean, which means it is great to use in high-traffic areas such as in kitchens, bathrooms, on doors, etc.

Choose The Color

Never an easy choice to make. Most of us choose a paint color based on a mood or to mimic a photograph we've seen in the glossy pages of a magazine. So let's begin with the basics:

White. If you choose white, you aren't limited to a boring palate. You can still work within its various color shades. Off-whites, crèmes and beiges will bring the same bigger feel to your room that a bright white will, and no matter what shade of white, it still the best bet as the background color to your dynamic decor.

Red. If you'd like something more bold and vibrant in your room color, red is a pretty good choice. Maybe not for an entire room, but putting a nice deep red color on an accent wall will give your room dramatic pause. If you aren't for drama in your room, skip the red.

Blue. You think blue and you think serenity. Blue is a good harmonic choice for almost any room, especially bathrooms. In your bedroom, it offers the feeling of peace and softness. Too much blue can make your room feel cold.

Black. You likely never even considered this paint color, right? Images of a rebellious teen dressed in full black regalia, donning the latest in goth makeup and listening to heavy metal probably come to mind when you think of a black paint on a wall. Although most people will tell you to never paint your walls black, in moderation black could actually be pretty darn cool. You can use black paint on a wall behind your bed as a replacement for a gaudy headboard and take a minimalist approach to your room.

However, I'd say never paint an entire wall black unless you've got something strong in contrast to place against it or hang on it. A white and black combination on a wall does wonders, especially if you are going for a dramatic effect. Tip: work in warm colors too (explained below) with accent pillows, curtains, and furniture to take the edge off this very "in your face" paint color.
Other common paint colors include yellow, orange, green and violet. But to sum it all up, the basic tenets of choosing your paint color are as follows: The deep "warm" colors such as reds, oranges, and yellows will produce a cozy room feeling. The light shades, which are your "cool" colors such as green, blue, and violet, will make a room feel more open. White will also give off this feeling.

Select A Shade

There's nothing worse than selecting a shade of paint that looks great under fluorescent lamps in a home improvement store only to find out later that you've brought an entirely different shade home with you. That's why the best way to select a paint shade is to look at how the color shows under different lighting sources: natural and synthetic. Your synthetic light is whatever bulb wattage you use in your lighting fixtures.

You can avoid making costly mistakes with selecting a paint shade by getting samples of the paints you want, and then using them to paint large sheets of white poster board. You will use these painted poster boards as large, "real world" samples that you can prop up against the walls you plan on painting.

Make sure you critique these poster boards samples throughout the day in order to see how the color shade will look in different light. The poster samples will also give you a sense of how your room will look when it is painted a particular shade and filled with furniture. A word to the wise: deeper paint colors distort more with lighting changes than pastel ones.

Choose Your Paintbrushes and Paint Rollers

This is actually not a hard choice to make. You'll need both a paint roller and a paintbrush. The paint roller will make paint go faster and puts paint on the wall easier. Of course a roller cannot reach into corners and adequately paint trim and unusual surfaces, so this is where your paintbrush will come in handy. Paintbrushes are good for touch up jobs too.

Avoid using natural-bristle paintbrushes if you're using latex-based paint. Natural bristles become limp when they absorb water. Instead, use synthetic bristles and rollers for the job. For example, nylon (good for rollers) is abrasion-resistant, and polyester brushes retain their stiffness in water and will maintain their shape. Natural-bristles paintbrushes are best to apply oil-based paint. And use a lamb's wool roller.

A 3-inch or 4-inch straight-edged brush will handle the general surfaces of your painting project. A 2-inch brush is good to cut-in corners. And an angled sash brush, 1" to 2 1/2" wide, is a good choice for painting trim, around window frames and moldings.

To achieve the best-looking paint job you can, you need to use quality brushes. A quality brush has a wooden handle with long, tapered bristles (bristles that are a bit longer in the center than at the edges) that are attached to the handle with epoxy cement instead of glue. The bristles should also have flagged, or split, ends, which is ideal for holding paint and spreading paint equally, smoothly, and with fewer brush marks left on the surface you are trying to paint.

Comfort

Never purchase a paintbrush without first testing it out. Take the paintbrush into your hands and mimic painting a wall. Does the paintbrush feel comfortable in your hand and not awkward or heavy? Remember that you will have to paint your wall with this brush-so make sure the paintbrush is springy, too.

Pile Depth

Rollers come in different pile depths. The pile depth refers to the thickness of the cover's fiber nap on a roller. It is essential to choose the right pile depth for the surface you plan to paint. In general, a roller with a smoother pile should be used on smoother surfaces, and the rougher piles used on rougher surfaces (to better reach those hard-to-reach areas).

Here's a breakdown of what pile depth you should use on what surface:

For metal doors and plaster-Very Smooth pile depth
For drywall-Smooth or Semi-Smooth pile depth
For rough wood and acoustic tile-Semi-Rugged pile depth
For textured ceilings and stucco finishes-Rugged pile depth
For concrete block, brick and fences-Very Rugged pile depth

The Prep Work (Getting The Room Ready For Painting)

1. First, clear all the furniture from the room, as much as possible. The furniture that can't be removed should be positioned in the center of the room and covered with a plastic or canvas tarp. Make sure that the furniture is completely covered, even the legs.

2. Next, cover the floor with drop cloths, tarps and/or newspapers.

3. Now, remove all pictures, artwork and mirrors from the walls.

4. If you painting the ceiling, take down light fixtures

5. Remove all outlet and light switch covers.

When working with previously painted surfaces:

1. Use a mild grease-cutting cleanser to wash down your walls. It is important to remove any dirt, grease and stains so that the paint can adhere to your walls properly.
2. Rinse the wall very well.
3. Remove loose paint with sandpaper.
4. Spackle holes by spreading a thin layer into each with a putty knife. Leave to dry (at least a few hours) then sand gently.
5. Run sandpaper over glossy or nonporous surfaces to help the paint stick better to the wall. Wipe or vacuum away any dust.
6. Apply primer. Primers allow the paint to grip to the wall better and longer. This means your primer will seal the wall and produce a nonporous surface for the topcoat to stick to. Remember to tint the primer to your chosen color by adding a small amount of the paint color to the primer.

Step-by-Step Instructions to Painting Your Walls

Step 1: If you are painting your ceilings as well as your walls, paint the ceiling first. Allow them to dry for at least 24 hours. If you are only painting the walls, go to Step 2.

Step 2: Using your painter's tape, cover the edge of the ceiling to prevent splattering and protect the trim.

Step 3: Now cover the baseboards and whatever trim not being painted with tape.

Step 4: Paint a 2-inch strip with a small brush along the top of the wall--where the wall and ceiling join.

Step 5: Immediately paint over the cut-in with your roller to keep the paint from drying and leaving a line on the wall.

Step 6: Apply paint to the wall in square-sized sections. With an up and down and across motion, apply a generous coat of paint to the wall. This style will prevent lines when the paint dries.

Step 7: Once the first coat has dried apply another coat.

Repeat the above steps for all walls that need to be painted.

Should You Use The Spray Technique to Paint Your Interior Walls?

The plus side of spray-painting your walls is it's the least costly painting method of the three methods-brush, roller and spray. It is also the fastest way to apply paint to your walls, and you can cover a large area in a small amount of time, especially if the surface to be painted is more irregular than not.

You can buy an airless spray rig (a pumping unit, hose and a gun). An airless spray rig forces paint through a very small tip, which breaks up the paint into different size spray pattern fans. The benefit of airless spraying is there is little chance of over spray because air isn't forcing the paint out, which means the room doesn't become overrun with paint mist.

In general, unless you are a professional painter the spray method is better suited for exterior painting. The spray painting technique must be executed very carefully. However, if you think you can handle the job and choose to take the interior spraying challenge on, you must make sure that you cover your windows, doors and flooring, you have plenty of ventilation, and you wear long sleeves, goggles and a mask before you start painting.

Tips: Paint a small test spot on your wall or surface before taking on the entire wall. Give yourself time to become comfortable with your rig. Point the spray gun directly at the wall. Move the gun in an up and down motion, always moving the painting gun parallel to the surface being painted. If paint begins to run you may be holding the gun too close to surface or wall. Keep a consistent spraying technique to give your wall the best painting job you can.


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