One of the most common DIY projects that a home owner will take on themselves is painting interior walls. Easy project, right? Well, the basics of interior painting may sound pretty straight forward, getting the finished product just the way you want it may not be. For professional painters, who make this task their trade, there is a lot more that goes into getting the job done right. They have secrets to their trade and we are going to let you in on a few of them.
Let’s begin with the paint brush. You might not want to just grab the brush, plunge it down into the paint can and then spread it around randomly. Believe it or not, there is a professional technic to loading the brush, applying the paint, and then smoothing out the paint on the surface.
To load the paint onto the brush, you want to just dip the paint brush into the paint to about a third of the bristles. Don’t completely dip it in. You will end up with too much paint on the brush. Just dip it in to about a third. Then, gently push each side of the brush against the inside of the can, so that the paint on the brush is distributed to the middle of the bristles. An error that a lot of DIY painters do is scrape the brush off against the top of the can or rim. What you end up doing is removing the paint, compacting the bristles against one another, and causing the brush to become less effective when you apply the paint to the surface.
OK, now that the brush is loaded correctly, you are ready to cut in the wall or surface. By cutting in, we simply mean the painting of the perimeter of the wall. For a large surface, you will most likely want to use a roller to fill in the space. But the roller will be ineffective when it comes to covering the outer edges of the wall. So always cut in the wall first.
Starting at the ceiling edge, begin in the corner that is opposite the hand you normally use. For instance, if you are right-handed, you start in the left corner. By doing this, you will be able to see the applied brush strokes more easily as you paint. Use the edge of the brush and gentle pressure to apply the paint in a straight line. Overlap the next stroke slightly, so as to create an even application. Next, you will then go diagonally down the corners where walls may meet. If you are using multiple colors on each wall, you may want to cut in the darker color first, and then cut in the lighter color. Just to keep the darker color from bleeding through under the lighter one.
Now, for the interior area. You can either fill this in by using a paint brush or a roller. Using a roller may be a bit quicker to apply the paint, but using a paint brush can give you great control, especially if you are wanting to create a textured finish. Just remember to apply the paint on the brush horizontally, and smoothly, with a gentle stroke. If you are using a roller, you will want to pour paint into a roller pan. Gently roll the roller pad into the paint, to cover the entire surface of the roller. Then, using a “W” pattern, roll downward, then upward – slightly overlapping the first downward stroke, and then downward again. Continue until the area has been filled in.
Now, to smooth out the paint. This is the step that professional painters will take to really create a great finished project. With a freshly loaded brush, stroke lightly right across the entire wall, from one edge to the other. Use a horizontal stroke and when you reach the other edge, lift the brush completely off the surface. This will correct any brush strokes showing on the paint, from different directions. Just make sure that you are covering wet paint, so as not to leave any visible lap marks.
The end result should be a clean, smoothly painted wall.
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