You may be thinking painting a room isn’t exactly rocket science. And you wouldn’t be wrong, strictly speaking. So many people do it, doesn’t matter if they have some experience or they’ve never even held a paint roller or a brush in their entire life. But let’s also not forget about the other side of that little equation. We wouldn’t have any professionals who offer these services, and people wouldn’t be paying them a pretty penny for said services were it all that easy. It’s much more than just convenience. It’s about quality. There are different levels to this – just like any other skill under the sun.
But here’s good news - you can also unlock this secret knowledge various pros possess and use on a daily basis in their line of work. Now, it’s physical labour and as such requires a certain level of dexterity that often comes with experience. In other words, we cannot literally guide your hand. What we can do is share some truly valuable tips that will get you as close as possible.
Don’t Cheap Out
Yes, we all keep hearing that initial savings will eventually turn into big expenses. So much, in fact, that it often makes us wonder if it’s perhaps just a clever little scheme to get us to spend more money on everything. Well, sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn’t. In this business, it’s like a mantra. Don’t buy cheap tools. Why not? I mean, it’s all about the paint, right? And if I can’t really paint that well anyway, what difference does it make? While these questions have some merit, there’s a simple reasoning behind it. First of all, better tools hold more paint and offer a better finish with less material. Following that logic, let’s say a low-quality brush holds less paint and requires more material to achieve a similar effect, which means there’s a good chance we’ll end up buying more material anyway – and that’s the most expensive bit. Another thing is the price point. Brushes and rollers aren't too expensive so even a higher-class option isn’t going to cost a fortune. Sometimes one quality tool is better than a whole set of cheap equivalents. If that’s what you’re looking for, make that tool a versatile one – like a thicker, ¾ inch roller. Other good alternatives are simply mid-range tools, which can do an adequate job. Because as important as they are, nothing beats paint, and in this case, you should also go for the best paint you can afford. So, make sure you go in with a specific budget in mind and allocate it to the best of your ability.
Protect the Surface
Look, even though the expression “paint the house” is used so often, we don’t mean the entire house, right? Your furniture, TV, laptop, floor… Let’s just say you probably want to leave them intact. And that’s why you need to do your best to avoid paint spilling and splashing. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible – doesn’t matter how careful you are. So, you need protection. Plastic wraps for furniture or special drop sheets offer exactly that. Make sure you’re ready and everything's properly sealed before you even think about opening that first can of paint.
A lot of beginners forget to use a primer – or simply don’t know they should do it in the first place. The fact of the matter is that it should be used before applying the first coat of paint. It’s really worth the effort as it improves the adhesion drastically, making the paint stick to the surface much better and reducing the risk of uneven finish. It also seals the wall more efficiently, which helps with moisture and as a result – flaking and chipping. That’s a lot of benefits in exchange for not a lot of work. Plus it’s better to invest more time and do it properly once than revisit this fun activity in the next few months.
Here’s something you don’t normally expect to see in the article with tips on painting walls, right? Let us explain. Of course, it’s not for painting. But let’s say your project takes a few days or weeks. How do you keep your rollers and brushes in top shape? Just a day-old one gets all stiff and almost impossible to clean. That’s not going to cut it if you’re after a good and even finish, let alone a perfect one. Here’s what you need to do. First, rinse the roller with just water, no soap. Then, add half a cup of fabric softener to a gallon of water and mix it all together. Put them in for 10 seconds or so and lay them flat overnight. You don’t even have to rinse again before using them.
Keeping Paint Odour at Bay
First of all, any indoor paint job should be done only with proper ventilation. And it’s non-negotiable. But what to do to get rid of that very distinct smell that oftentimes gives people headaches? Using low-VOC paints? That’s a start for sure. But this is only a partial solution, plus it doesn’t really change that much when we’re exposed to these chemicals for prolonged periods of time. They’re also more expensive. But no worries, we’ve got a solution for you. And the best part is you can use it and spend barely anything. Add just a few drops of vanilla extract to overpower the smell of darker paints or lemon extract for light-coloured paints. It can work real wonders.
Keeping Things Clean with Q-tips
Again, not what you may think. Picture this. You’re painting the wall, everything’s going great. Finally, you get to the window and just a drop of blue (or any other) paint falls on the white frame. What do you do? You only have a few seconds to take care of it or you’re left with a rather unappealing stain. Easy, Q-tips. These little cotton swabs come in handy for situations like this, so it’s a good idea to keep some of them in your pocket at all times. They also do a pretty good job for little touch-ups or getting rid of some excess paint, making it easier to spread it evenly.