Painting Like A Pro

Read Time: 4 minutes

TL;DR

  • Painting large, exterior surfaces may be best handled with an air-powered paint sprayer, but that usually isn’t done indoors. Exterior paint jobs will also typically require taller ladders and more preparation than interior painting projects.
  • To prepare an exterior surface to be painted, you should: pressure wash surfaces, repair all cracks, holes and abrasions on the surface to be painted. Remove any loose, existing paint. Use a stain-blocking primer on any visible stains or visual defects on the surface. Cover non-painted surfaces with plastic sheeting.
  • There are some best practices you should follow. They include: begin painting at the highest point on the surface you’re covering, avoid painting on humid days or on a surface in direct sunlight, always overlap brush strokes or spray patterns to avoid lap marks and take your time when doing detail work- mistakes will be visible and hard to fix.
  • To prepare an interior surface to be painted, you should: clean all walls thoroughly, cover all vulnerable surfaces such as furniture and carpeting, remove all light switch and outlet covers, measure the surface you’re painting carefully and use a fine to medium-grit sandpaper to smooth any rough patches on the wall you’re painting.
  • Be sure to use quality paint rollers, brushes and painter’s tape to ensure a great finished product when purchasing the proper materials for the job.

 

As the summer months heat up, it’s time once again for homeowners to tackle maintenance tasks that require clear, warm weather. One of those tasks is painting. It’s the quintessential DIY project that almost every homeowner will take on at some point in their lives. Whether you’re looking to give the exterior of your home a fresh coat of paint or are just trying to refresh the décor of a room with a new color (or two), now’s the time to do it.

To make sure you get the best results for your next painting project, here’s a guide to painting like a pro.

Where Determines How

Although the basics of painting are the same no matter where you do it, there are some pretty significant differences between interior and exterior painting projects. Depending on where you’re working, you will need different tools, preparatory work and materials. For example, painting large, exterior surfaces may be best handled with an air-powered paint sprayer, but that usually isn’t done indoors. Exterior paint jobs will also typically require taller ladders and more preparation than interior painting projects.

Preparing For an Exterior Painting Project

If you’re going to be painting the exterior of your home, you may find that preparing the surface will take far more effort than applying the paint itself. To prepare an exterior surface to be painted, you should:

  • Pressure wash surfaces (where it is safe to do so) to remove all dirt buildup. If you’ve never handled a pressure washer, see our guide for some basic training.
  • Repair all cracks, holes and abrasions on the surface to be painted.
  • Use a scraper or sandpaper to remove any loose, existing paint.
  • Repair any damaged caulking around windows or where surfaces meet.
  • Use a stain-blocking primer on any visible stains or visual defects on the surface.
  • Protect non-painted surfaces with plastic sheeting (lights, windows, doors).

Once you’ve completed all of these preparatory steps, you can finally move on to the task of actually painting the exterior of your home.

Tips For Painting Exterior Surfaces

The exterior of your home is designed to stand up to the harsh elements throughout the years. To make sure that the paint you’re applying to your home’s exterior will stand up to the elements, too, there are some best practices you should follow. They include:

  • Always begin painting at the highest point on the surface you’re trying to cover.
  • Avoid painting on humid days or on a surface in direct sunlight.
  • Always overlap brush strokes or spray patterns to avoid lap marks.
  • Take your time when doing detail work, as mistakes will be visible and hard to fix.

When working on an exterior painting project, make sure to be careful on ladders as you work to reach higher surfaces. Try not to rush as you move across the surface or the quality of the finish is likely to suffer.

Preparing For an Interior Painting Project

In most cases, preparing for an interior painting project should be a bit easier than working outside. For one thing, you will have less to worry about from the weather, and interior walls typically suffer less wear-and-tear than their exterior counterparts. Still, there’s plenty of preparation you’ll need to do to end up with the results you want. Steps include:

  • Clean all walls thoroughly, even if there is no visible dirt. Indoor walls can have a residue from activities like cooking that is difficult to spot with the naked eye.
  • Make sure to cover all vulnerable surfaces such as furniture and carpeting to avoid accidents.
  • Remove all light switch and outlet covers in the room that you’re painting.
  • Measure the surface you’re painting carefully to make sure you’re purchasing enough paint to finish the whole job. Remember that paints mixed at different times can have slight color variations, and it doesn’t take much for that difference to show up in a brightly-lit room.
  • Use a fine to medium-grit sandpaper to smooth any rough patches on the wall you’re painting, and thoroughly sweep and vacuum any dust you create.

With your preparations completed, it’s time to get to painting.

Tips For Painting Interior Surfaces

In general, the same painting techniques you’d use for an exterior painting project apply indoors as well. In addition to those, here are some tips that will make your indoor painting project a success:

  • Be sure to use quality paint rollers, brushes and painter’s tape to ensure a great finished product when purchasing the proper materials for the job.
  • Let your paint roller do the work, and avoid putting too much pressure on it. Doing so will ensure an even coat of paint throughout the room.
  • Paint trim and woodwork first before painting the walls. That will give you the best chance for sharp, clean cutlines.
  • Use a putty knife to score the edge of painter’s tape before you remove it. This ensures that you won’t peel off fresh paint along with the tape, leaving a crisp, straight line behind.
  • As with exterior painting, it’s important to take your time when painting interior walls and trim. Rushing might get the job done sooner, but you won’t be happy with the results.

Professional Results

If you take the time to plan your painting project carefully and make sure you have high-quality paint and supplies, you’ll already be halfway to a professional-looking result. That’s because most of the mistakes that homeowners make when painting happen long before the paint gets anywhere near the home. In painting, preparation is more than half of the battle. If you’re thinking about painting any part of your home, contact us today so our professional staff can help you make sure that you’ve got everything you need to get the results you want.

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Doug Ashy

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