When it comes to home DIY projects, painting is probably one of the most universally manageable. After all, anyone with some time, some paint and a brush or roller can, in theory, paint things. However, while that is true, results can and do vary widely, and if you want your DIY painting to look great, there are a few things you should bear in mind:
- Preparation is probably at least 80% of the work and the results. Sanding, dusting and washing walls or anything else that needs to be painted carefully is critical to ensuring a great end result. Spend lots of time removing imperfections, old paint, grease and other surface issues before you paint, and you are guaranteed better results, no matter what your design plans.
- When taping off the edges of a wall where the wall meets woodwork that needs to be protected, use a putty knife to press the tape down firmly. This helps to ensure that the tape sticks properly, and that paint won’t bleed through onto the wood.
- Add a little vanilla extract to paint while mixing to take a bit of the fresh paint chemical smell out of the room when you’re done. This is particularly useful if you are going to be in the room before the paint dries completely.
- Use a paint conditioner to slow down drying time and provide a smoother, more even finish. This product can be bought from hardware and paint stores, and is added directly to the paint.
- Invest in proper canvas drop cloths. Sheets don’t soak up spills and you’ll ruin your floors, and plastic tears too easily.
- Cut in carefully, and then finish one wall at a time. This helps to create a uniform finish, as the cutting in won’t have dried when you start applying paint.
- If you have the dreaded popcorn or textured ceilings, it helps to use the tip of a screwdriver to scrape a groove around the edge of the room, so your brush has somewhere smooth to cut in.
- Don’t bother to tape windows. It’s easy to clean paint off glass, and since tape often won’t stick properly, there’s no real use spending the time taping off the glass before you start. Simply scrape off any marks when you’re done.
- Buy paint in large buckets, or use a bigger bucket to mix smaller buckets together before painting. This is a process called boxing, and it helps to ensure that all of your paint is the same color. Because believe it or not, even the same color code from the same batch can be slightly different!
Those are some of the best general painting tips you can get to make DIY painting projects look professional. We recommend that when you buy paint, you also get a data sheet for the products you’re using, and follow them carefully. Using the right tools and the right sort of application can make a big difference!