Steps to a Successful Painting Project

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  • Step One: Choosing color is MOST important. Your style of furnishings, flooring, textures, room size,  lighting and accents are just a few necessary things to think about when choosing the perfect color for any project.  I suggest you look through magazines, online stores etc,  actual pictures or the scematics of the rooms you desire to change, then take any pictures you have gathered to your local  paint store to fine tune the colors that are pleasing to you.  The more information you have the easier it will be for your trained professionals to assist you with your color possibilities. Be careful with “Trendy” colors unless you plan to change color within a year or two.

  • Step Two: What materials and tools will I need?  How much paint do I need? The manufacturer has given an estimation on the back of all product latex interior wall paint is typically 350 to 400 sq ft per gallon.  Check your label, and know the amount of wall space you have to cover.  Through your planning you have found the different materials you will need, roller covers, types of paint, primer, sand paper. You may need extension poles, roller pans or bucket grates, a couple of nylon/ poly, angle sash brushes to do your “cut in” lines, plenty of drop cloths, masking paper, plastic and tape, some music and possibly an A-frame ladder with a friend attached. (many hands…   light work.   It’s always more fun with a buddy)   Don’t hesitate to call or ask a trained sales person for their opinion.  Be comfortable  with what you are using    ASK QUESTIONS.
  • Step Three: Where Do I Start? Do you paint ceiling, walls or trim first? None of the above … until you have properly prepared the room and surfaces you plan to paint! All surfaces should be clean and free of any grease or prints.  Cover your flooring, caulk open spaces with latex type paintable white or clear caulk. Use interior spackle for any small nail holes or cracks in the middle of walls or ceilings, putty holes and tape and/or paper areas that you do not want your new color on.  Priming your surface is not always necessary but it does assure you of getting the best possible intensity and hue of your color choice.    WATCH for dry times, don’t get rushed it can cause problems with your finish and needed touch up.  Make sure you have the proper applicators for your wall texture type.  Typically, I  encourage you to paint the ceiling first. The ceiling is messy and the most difficult to roll.  Be mindful of the amount of pressure you apply… keep your stokes light and even.  When you hear a slight “sucking” noise you are actually pulling paint off of the surface… re load your roller with paint.  Manufacturers are not just looking to sell paint when they give you approximate coverage. Buy the appropriate amount or you will not end with a clean solid surface when you are finished.  If your ceiling is smooth or lightly textured use a smaller  roller cover  3/8″ nap .   If your ceiling is textured you will need to go to a heavier nap roller to penetrate the rough surfaces and spread coats more evenly — 1/2″ to 3/4″ roller cover will make the job easier.  Also,  if your ceiling is a “popcorn” type,** using a brush and roller is extremely difficult. I encourage the  use of an airless paint sprayer to paint this type of ceiling.    Next paint the walls.   The same preparation applies.   But, if your existing wall colors have a semi gloss finish or are a deeper tone than the color you will be painting, you will need to prime them first.   A  latex primer/sealer will do the job nicely.  Any water, ink, or crayon stains that can not be removed through cleaning will need to be painted with stain blocking primer.  Last,  prepare and paint the trim.   Most trim is painted in a semi gloss or satin finish, some people prefer an oil base product but many paint lines carry very durable water soluable paints too. Trim preparation may require sanding or scuffing with light grit sand paper (180 to 220 grit is fine) before primer is applied.       JUST A NOTE  ask to have your primer tinted about 1/2 strength to give you your BEST color results!
  • Step 4: Painting

You have already planned this out so it should be easy. Remember when painting, all areas should be covered twice. Start with a paint brush and paint all the edges in first then come back with a roller and fill in the middle. Make an “N” on the wall or ceiling with your roller. Then with more paint on your roller, paint over it by rolling up and down, moving left to right then right to left. Repeat this pattern across the wall or ceiling. Then go back over the whole surface with a light coat by rolling up and down across it.

When painting the trim. Use long straight brush strokes. Go with the grain of the wood whenever possible and do not overload your brush with paint. When choosing a brush find one that is comfortable in your hand and appropriate for your finsh. Stains are applied more evenly with natural bristle brushes and Latex paints with a nylon/poly bristle. Be smart in your choices. Using cheap equipment always shows in the final product.

  • Step 5: Clean up and touch up

 It’s almost time to relax and enjoy your hard work!  Of course, youhave to clean up after you are finished. Always remember leave a little bit of paint, spackle and caulk available as you clean. You will most likely find little flaws in the your job while cleaning. This is normal so just touch them up as you go.  Use mineral spirits for cleaning brushes used for oil-based paints or stains. Cool water for latex and warm water and soap for acrylic latex paints. When storing leftover paint, be sure to label what it has been used for in case you need it for touch-up in the future and pour the paint  into a smaller airtight container.  Store in a cool dry place that does not drop below freezing temperatures and/or is on an outside concrete wall or on concrete floor.