Tips for a Perfect Paint Job

Painting a wall blue with a roller

Interior painting doesn’t have to be a chore. These tips for a perfect painting job will not only help make your interior painting easier, they will ensure success.

Preparation for Painting

Before you paint, make sure that you repair any nail holes in walls or any areas where there is cracked paint. Remember to use a paintable, fast-drying, shrink-free, patching compound. Once the patch is dry, sand it smooth so it will be ready to paint.

If you have an unsteady hand, or are not experienced at ‘tucking in’ to the edges of walls and ceilings, take the time to lay out masking tape to ensure that your edges will be straight and even. Cover floors and furniture with drop cloths. Canvas drop cloths are more expensive but they are also more effective and less messy.

The Perfect Paintbrush

Be sure to choose the appropriate paint brush. A quality brush makes it easier to apply paint evenly and accurately. Use a one to two inch, high quality, nylon/polyester, angled brush because they can be used with all coatings, hold paint better and provide better brush control.

If you’re using a roller, the rougher your painting surface is, the longer the nap (or depth) of the roller covering. For a semi-gloss or gloss paint to be used on very smooth surfaces, choose a roller between 1/8-in. and 1/4-in. nap. For flat paints, on medium surfaces, such as lightly textured drywall, choose a roller between 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch nap.

Choosing the Right Finish

Matt Finish has a matte surface. This paint finish is usually used on interior walls. It’s good for camouflaging small bumps, cracks, or other surface imperfections, because it does not reflect light. Some flat paints are washable, though you may need to touch up scratches or marks by covering with a bit more paint, so be sure you have some left over when you’ve finished the initial job.

Eggshell Finish Eggshell paint acquires its name from its low sheen, like the blush of a bird’s egg. It has only a slight hint of shine or gloss; this makes it good for walls that need to be cleaned from time to time.

Satin Finish Satin finish paint has a smooth, velvety look with a bit more sheen. It is most often used for windows, doors, trim, or ceilings, but can also be used as wall paint. This is a good choice for children’s rooms, kitchens, or bathrooms, or in areas which get a lot of traffic. Paint with a satin finish is formulated to hold up to cleaning and light scrubbing.

Semi-Gloss or Satin Semi-gloss paint is most often used on doors, trim, and cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms. It is easily cleaned and has a nice sheen, without being too dazzling.

Gloss High gloss paints have an almost reflective quality, as their shiny finish mimics the look of enamel or plastic. Gloss is becoming more popular on cabinets, trim, and furniture in very formal and very contemporary settings. This finish will magnify any surface imperfections, so careful preparation and sanding is essential before painting.

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