How to Paint
Painting is the most underestimated trade of all! Quite simply Painters have to leave the job looking perfect which often means fixing up problems created by other trades who have since moved on. Painters have to;
- Check plastering – fill and sand as required which, as you may have guessed, is the plasterers job.
- Check joinery – fill, sand and gap fill as required – boy some of those gaps are huge! Chippy must have lost his nail punch as well.
- Fill holes made by the electrician for non existent sockets – well, everyone makes mistakes!
- Try and make good and paint behind the water heater after the plumber has left – who wants to be in the same room as a plumber bent over working anyway!
This section is all about making painting easier with some tips and tricks from the professionals that can really make a difference.
Step One: Planning
Whether you are getting a Brisbane painting contractor in to do your job or you are going to become a DIY painting hero yourself – you should consider a plan of action. Some things that you need to think about are:
- Order of work – are there any repairs to be done and will other trades such as builders, electricians, plumbers, tilers etc. be required first.
- If you are working on your kitchen or your only bathroom – how long will it be out of action and what alternative facilities can you use. Portable bathrooms are available for hire for longer projects.
- How much mess will there be? – Can the area be sealed off and should your kids and pets stay at home during this process.
- If you are not very handy, try and leave a budget for preparation and painting. DIY painting is popular out of necessity. As the last trade in – people often run out of money and have to live with unfinished projects for months or even years.
- How long can the project take. – Can you take your time doing it yourself and put up with the inconvenience and lost weekends.? A trades person can finish the job quickly and to a higher standard.
Having the right tools for the job applies to any house painter and can make all the difference in how good a job is done. Know how, tools and a focused positive attitude will help you get a top job done right. Here are some of the basics;
- Drop sheets – consider investing in some canvas sheets (available in many sizes including long and thin for walls) as they move under foot less and will last for other projects. Plastic sheets are ideal to cover furniture and dust containment.
- Brushes and rollers – invest in trade quality or better especially for finishing work where a good cutting in brush will pay dividends. An extendable roller pole is an absolute must. Watching people rolling walls with no pole on lifestyle programs makes painters cringe.
- Hand tools – 2 or 3 scrappers including a putty knife, black sanding block, sander with handle (for large areas) and 120/80 grit sandpaper, paint buckets (3) Gap or caulking gun for no more gaps or similar acrylic filler.
- Basic materials – special putty, tube of premix large crack filler, tube of fine filler. Quantity of Premium 3 in 1 primer sealer undercoat (yep that’s the expensive stuff but can be applied to virtually anywhere and sticks to almost anything including high gloss finishes.
Paint and painting cost can vary greatly with what sort of finish you want. The finish of a job is decided at the preparation stage and each job presents its own challenges. Important: Older paints can contain lead (test kits are available at your hardware store) and modern paint dust (any dust) should be avoided by wearing a suitable mask.
- Existing paintwork – As a rule of thumb – if it does not want to come off then leave it on. Sand and feather any high spots and fill (nail) holes and depressions . Dust off well then use a premium quality undercoat.
- Peeling or flaking paint usually suggests an underlying problem with adhesion. Houses are painted many times and at some point suitable prep and undercoats have not been used and/or dirty surfaces were not cleaned and that paint layer is detaching itself from the previous layer. This is the most likely reason where you are able to tear paint off easily and a smooth ,often glossy surface is left behind.
- Calcimine or calcification is the other major cause where the paint (often hard and older) will flake off leaving a powdery surface underneath. In both of these examples all loose paint needs to be removed using a combination of paint strippers, scrapping and sanding. A paint binder (calcimine) or quality undercoat (peeling example) should then be applied after sanding.
- Preparation can be broken down as follows – (1) Cleaning/digging out old flaking caulking/plaster/paint, sanding and dust off. (2) Applying new caulking and plaster as required. (3) Sanding and final dust off prior to base coat.
Interior house painting tips;
- Pay extra special attention to preparation and paintwork that is at eye level as it will be on show.
- Where possible – remove door and window fittings along with power socket covers, light switch covers etc.
- Ensure your floor is covered with drop-sheets and that they lay as flat and square as possible. Use plastic sheets to cover furniture in the middle of the room.
- If you are using 1 or more cans of finish paint of the same colour – box (mix) them together in a large container then return the paint to their original cans. Use a brush to wipe cans and any spills.
- Dust down and wash/rinse (a damp rag or cloth mop) prior to painting.
- If you are not painting your skirting boards tape them with blue painters tape. Use the flat of a scraper to press the edge down which will minimise paint bleed.
One of the main benefits of good quality caulking is that it creates a smooth edge that you can cut-in to or edge with paint. Cutting-in is the term used to describe painting a straight border line between a non painted service and the one you are painting and also brushing a border into corners prior to rolling. Tip; You may want to practice this on a corner that will be painted anyway – just make sure you feather out any fat edges of paint.
- Cutting-in technique – For this example we are cutting the wall into the ceiling. Load a good quality 60-80mm brush (synthetic-about $30.00) up with paint and tap off any excess on the inside of your paint bucket.
- Apply paint in a long stroke about 50mm from the edge of the ceiling and gradually work the paint up to the edge (of the ceiling).
- At the edge of the ceiling the brush will find a groove that works and with slow, steady strokes you will make the cut. Your cut should be about 100mm wide to allow for rolling. Once you have cut-in or framed a wall or walls with paint you are ready to roll it out.
Rolling technique – Tip; If you are using several colours try lining your paint tray with kitchen foil. Use an extension pole, its quicker and will save your back!
Prep your roller – Wrap a 1 metre strip of masking tape around your roller and see saw to remove excess material (hair). If using water based paints rinse your new roller in clean cold water and semi dry off (leave damp not dripping).
Each pass of the roller should overlap the previous. Load your roller thoroughly in your tray by moving it up and down the ramp into the paint. The first one or two loads can take a couple of minutes as the roller is dryish.ne. Reload roller before it runs dry.
Place your roller two thirds of the way up the wall and roll down so you just overlap where you cut in along the skirting then (without lifting the roller off the wall) roll up so you overlap where you cut in the ceiling. Move your roller up and down in narrow w pattern keeping the roller in contact with the wall. Make sure that the paint is spread out evenly across the wall and there are no runs or thick edges.
Lay off the just rolled wet areas by carefully placing the roller at the top (taking care not to touch the ceiling) and lightly roll down to the bottom. Lift the roller off the wall and repeat overlapping previous roll. The ultimate purpose of this last step is to make sure there are no lines of paint left by the edge of the roller and that the paint is smooth.