A Few Painting Tips From a Professional

When you are decorating sometimes you can end up doing more damage than good to a room if you don’t think ahead, here are a few professional tips to help you get the best results when painting a room.

You need something to keep all your paint cans, brushes, rollers and trays in to keep things tidy. The last thing you want is spills and drops sticking to the underside of your shoes and getting tracked everywhere. The solution is to use a plastic covered low sided box or tray that’s covered in plastic, a 24 bottle water case is ideal as it is already covered in plastic otherwise you can use a sturdy cardboard box, the larger the better, cut the sides down to about 4-5” and cover with plastic and tape. This should last the duration and give you something to keep everything in.

An old sheet or bed cover is great to protect your carpet but we recommend you have a layer of plastic under that to give the best possible protection, or a tarpaulin cover if you have one, just ensure every inch of carpet is protected before you even open a can of paint.

Hard to reach areas of wall that you want to paint like behind radiators or toilets are easiest to reach if you glue (hot glue gun does the best job) a paint pad to a flat stick about 18” long then those awkward paint jobs will be a breeze.

If you are painting wooden chairs to avoid the leg bottoms sticking to newspaper etc. you could drive a 1-2” long wood screw into each leg then you can paint the legs and even the bottoms, then simply remove the screws when the paint is dry.

Masking tape can be a real pain when it tears when removing either after it’s been applied to a surface or when trying to unroll it from the roll, it becomes much easier when you apply heat either by placing it in a microwave for 10 -15 seconds or use a hairdryer, this softens the adhesive and makes it easier to peel. When you are masking areas off press the tape in firmly with a plastic knife like a putty knife to seal it down to prevent the paint seeping under.

A great way to stop drips when you are painting is to make yourself a drip catcher to go on the paint can, you just bend some stiff wire like coat hanger wire to give you a straight length of wire suspended over the can an inch or so with arms at 90 degrees each side then simply tape the arms (make them nearly the height of the can for strength) to the side of the can. Then you have something to wipe the excess paint off your brush each time you dip it and it will prevent drips.

Whenever you paint a wall a roller will always make a better, more even job than a paintbrush and give a better finish, so whenever you use a paintbrush always roll over the wet paint after to give it an even finish.

The way to avoid uneven finishes on your walls is to use primer coat first otherwise you can get dull spots in your paintwork caused by areas of the wall that are more porous like areas where filler has been used. These dull spots will be very noticeable when the light hits them and are not visible when the paint is wet.

Another tip to avoid blotchiness is to paint the entire wall at once. If you have several cans of the same colour of paint, mix them together in a big bucket as they can often vary slightly in tone, which will look terrible on the wall. You simply have to mix a bit more than you actually need for the job then transfer your paint back to a tin after you have finished. It’s little details like this that can make the difference to the quality of your finished paintwork and give truly professional results.

For more tips check out TheGuardian's 'DIY Guide on how to paint like a pro' .

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