It’s the summer, and we all know what that means – time to do a spot of redecorating whilst it’s warm, dry and breezy. To help you paint like a pro, here is a comprehensive guide about painting for beginners (this also applies to anyone dabbling in interior painting).
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Now this is essential for interior painting – it’s fairly self explanatory. It does matter what paint you choose as this can have a big overall impact on how the room looks once the decorating is finished.
Paint testers – get as many paint testers that appeal to you and take them home to review. You need to remember that a number of factors can change the appearance of a colour that could very well affect your decision – from the lighting, to the finish.
Try the testers in the light – you should pick a wall and test your paint samples. See how they look when dried in natural light and artificial light – they will look different!
Consider the finish – don’t just pick up a tin of paint without reading the label. Glossy paints will reflect the light and look brighter, whilst matte finishes absorb light and will look darker.
What about the ceiling colour – contrary to popular belief, ceilings don’t have to be white. If your wall colour isn’t too dark, you could even paint your ceiling to match.
Picking the Right Tools
The tools you use for painting are very important to consider. There needs to be some understanding of how the different brushes have a separate purpose. Paintbrushes are actually far more complex than you think.
Bristle types – natural bristle brushes are best used with solvent-based paints, as it creates a smooth finish with the characteristic split ends being able to handle the fine paint better, and it offers a good structure to hold onto the paint, and to apply it perfectly. Synthetic bristles are best used with water-based paints as they don’t absorb the water, and won’t cause unsightly track marks if the brush was to swell.
Brush size – size is also a factor with brushes. Brushes that are sized 100mm-150mm being the best suited for walls, and less delicate jobs, whilst 25mm brushes are best suited to around window frames and the trim.
Brush shapes – there are different brush shapes for particular jobs, with the most commonly needed being an angle sash brush for corners and those hard to reach areas – this gives a lovely finish around problematic areas like light switches.
Prepping the Environment
Now that you’re armed with the best tools for the job, it’s time to prepare the room that you plan on decorating. Give the walls some TLC before you start, this will help to ensure the best end result.
Protect your furniture – it is always preferable to completely clear the room of all furniture whilst you’re painting, but this isn’t always possible. This is where the use of material drop cloths is helpful – they’re relatively inexpensive and easy to pick up.
Fill in the holes – if you have some imperfections, like old nail holes, cracks or crevices – use a flat knife to apply some Polyfilla to fill out the holes, this will leave you with a flat even surface to work with. But remember to allow it to dry before moving onto the next steps.
Sand down the walls – your walls might also require some sanding. If you have some glossy areas, you should gently sand them with some very fine sandpaper which will improve adhesion of the fresh paint. Make sure to remove any residual sandpaper dust prior to painting – this can be done by vacuuming the wall or brushing it down.
Consider paint primer – for the best results, applying a paint primer is the best way to get the best adhesive, pigment and durability from your paint. It is a good idea to use primer, if you have used Polyfilla – as the paint can react differently to this as a different base surface. When applying paint primer, treat it as you would regular paint, and allow it to dry fully before applying your paint.
You’re ready to begin the job at hand. This is the most crucial part for painting success.
Mix the paint – mixing your paint is very important, if the paint can has been sitting for a while it is definitely a good idea to stir it as the oil or water in paints can actually separate.
Cutting in – start by ‘cutting in’ the in trims and edges of your walls. This is a simple technique which means that you paint the corners and edges of the walls first.
Paint top to bottom – the absolute golden rule when it comes to painting a room. Always work from the top to the bottom. So, if you plan on painting the ceiling, this has to be done first.
So there you have it, a comprehensive guide to painting for beginners.