DIY: “General rule” to remember when painting for a “smoother” application and finish

Painting is a common DIY job done by homeowners to enhance their property. Although it may seem simple, it can be difficult to achieve professional-looking results. Michael Rolland, interior expert and general manager of The Paint Shed, shared top tips to make painting less stressful. The expert explained: “It might seem obvious, but making sure your walls are spotless before you start painting will make for a smoother finish and application.

“Use a damp cloth on the surface of the wall, you can also use sugar soap or a mixture of washing up liquid and water if you need a more thorough cleaning of high traffic areas or those that have been exposed to grease.

“Remember to check hidden areas like behind radiators to keep your paintwork as clean as possible. Although you don’t necessarily need to paint this spot, the remaining dust could seep into your paint.

The expert also recommended washing any brushes you intend to use.

This will help remove loose hairs that can ruin the finish on the walls.

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It is recommended to wash them in a mixture of diluted washing up liquid and fabric softener.

Michael continued, “A general rule to remember when painting any room is to paint in the correct order. You should always start at the top and work your way down. This means that ceilings come before walls and walls come before baseboards.

“Start by mixing your paint and then on a ladder cut along the ceiling with a paintbrush. Then, using a roller attached to an extension pole, you can paint the rest of the ceiling. Repeat this process when painting the walls , use a brush for the edges then a roller before going down.

“Keep a clean, damp rag handy to quickly remove any mistakes. If a drop of paint makes its way to the floor on the woodwork, you can wipe it off quickly before it dries.”

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According to the expert, this will get a “professional finish”.

Micheal said: “If you find painter’s/masking tape difficult to remove, especially if it’s been left on too long, then this hack will be a lifesaver. Take your hair dryer and blow hot air on the tape, this will reactivate the adhesive and make it easier to remove!

“Take your time lifting the painter’s tape, pulling it back on itself, pulling it back at a 45 degree angle.”

Painting the walls should always be done in daylight.

According to the expert, this will expose the need for another layer or any missing section.

Michael added: “You may not realize it, but lighting can have a huge effect on the appearance of the painting. You should therefore avoid painting interior surfaces in dim light. The painted surface may look nice at first, but when you uncover windows or turn on bright lights, you’ll likely see fine spots and other imperfections.

“Exterior painting projects should not be done in direct sunlight. This will cause the paint to dry too quickly, meaning lap marks, drips and blemishes are impossible to avoid.

“Be sure to cast out the shade, know roughly where the sun is going to be throughout the day, remember that it rises in the east and sets in the west. If your garden is a sun trap, be sure to start painting early in the morning and later in the afternoon/early evening when the sun is not at its highest.

About Catharine C. Bean

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