Perfect Your Painting SkillsWhether you’re looking to spruce up your home for the upcoming warm summer months or you are about to put your home on the market for sale, painting interior rooms or your home’s façade undoubtedly increases curb appeal.
Painting supplies doesn’t tend to break the bank, but hiring a professional painter is where the real costs lie.
When trying to tackle a painting job on your own, what techniques do you need to know? MainStreet asked paint experts to share insight on how to paint the perfect room and select the best colors.
Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver
1. Use a Color WheelSelecting the right color is the most important part of painting. And there are tools to help you.
Mary Lawlor, manager of color marketing for Kelly-Moore Paints recommends the use of a color wheel: “Use it to help find colors that work well with your existing elements. Most color wheels offer helpful hints for putting schemes together.
Even if you are only using one paint color in your room, the colors of other items in the room will create a color scheme,” she says.
Pick the wrong color and your painting project could easily turn into a nightmare.
“Heavily saturated colors make great accents, the smaller their use the better. For an overall color, look for more neutralized colors,” Lawlor tells MainStreet.
Photo Credit: cplu
2. Choosing the Right FinishIt’s not just the color you need to decide – the finish of the paint is important, too.
According to Barry Abraham, founder of Pure Home, “If you need to cover imperfections in your wall, a low-gloss flat finish is your best bet. If you need to paint high-traffic areas like hallways and bathrooms, use paint with a semi-gloss finish. For interior walls, painting with a satin or eggshell finish will be durable without being too glossy.”
Now you know!
Photo Credit: schipulites
3. Painting TapeIf you’re only painting the walls in your living room and not the ceiling (or vice versa), painting tape is essential to prevent paint from staining the ceiling when painting those hard to reach corners.
But how do you apply the tape for the perfect paint job? Jeff Malmer, Senior Technical Service Representative, 3M Construction & Home Improvements Markets offers the following advice: “Simply using your finger or thumb along the edges works well. With, larger wall surfaces we can use putty knives, but with smaller and/rougher surfaces, you need to use your fingers to achieve the best results.”
Photo Credit: mechnine
4. Paint Like a ProThe goal is to paint on your own to save money, but still have your work look as if a professional completed it.
Shannon Kaye, a paint color expert and consultant for CertaPro Painters has a technique to accomplish this goal: “The best tip for making your paint project look like a professional job is to cut in (painting along the trim) the edges first then use a roller to paint the rest, while making sure to roll as close to the edges to cover the brush marks from cutting in.
The result is a clean even finish that looks professional every time.” Photo Credit: mrsdkrebs
5. No Touch-UpsWhen you walk into your bedroom, you may realize that only a few areas of the wall need some attention – which might prompt you to simply paint over those areas, rather than the entire room.
But Mia Melle, President and co-founder of Fixd Construction Company cautions this easy-way-out “solution”: “It's virtually impossible to match paint that's already on the wall...I don't care what Home Depot says! If you have an area on the wall that needs paint, you need to paint the whole wall. While you’re at it, you might as well paint the whole room because now the unpainted walls will probably look dirty and dingy in comparison.”
Photo Credit: Phillie Casablanca
6. Number of CoatsEven after you have finished painting, the work doesn’t end there – because you may find that you need a second (or third) coat of paint.
Melle mentions how there is no rule of thumb when it comes to the number of coats a wall needs (she says it depends on the type/quality of paint, color, etc.): “You should continue painting until you have a smooth surface, free from roller marks, paint splatters, uneven color areas or any bleed through.” Photo Credit: wharman
7. Exterior PaintingPainting the outside of your house gets tricky – if you have a two-story home, you’ll need a ladder to reach the second floor. Chris Ring, Vice President of Operations and Training for ProTect Painters, offers the following guidelines when tackling an exterior painting job:
- Avoid painting during times with extremely high humidity.
- Exteriors must be completely dry before applying paint.
- Do not paint a surface when it is more than 90º F (this may mean painting exteriors during cooler mornings and late afternoons)
- Avoid painted exterior surfaces that are exposed to direct sunlight.
Photo Credit: Accretion Disc
8. Paint FastAt first, painting seems like a daunting task, especially when you’re doing the job yourself.
Joe Kowalski, Training Manager and painting expert for Glidden, recommends a simple action plan to complete your painting project in less than three days: “Reserve Friday to gather supplies, clean the walls and protect furniture with drop cloths. Be sure to repair cracked surfaces and remove mold or mildew with household cleaning products. Saturday is the day to paint. Read paint labels to ensure proper application. On Sunday, remove the painter’s tape and drop cloths.”
How’s that for efficiency?
Scott Gamm is the founder of the personal finance website HelpSaveMyDollars.com. He has appeared on NBC’s TODAY, MSNBC and CNN. Follow Scott on Facebook and Twitter.
Photo Credit: srwsrwuk
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