DIY - How To Paint Like A Pro: My Top Five Painting Tips
Let’s face it, you’re putting a lot of sweat equity into your painting project, and you want professional results. Here are a few tips that will help:
1. Resist the urge to take shortcuts. I know how tempting it can be to just grab a brush and try to get the thing painted, but in the long run you are doing yourself a disservice by rushing. I allow as much time for prep as for painting and am rarely wrong in this calculation. Think of the project as an investment, in money (the cost of paint, roller covers, brushes, etc.) as well as your time. Maximize your investment by doing it well, not as quickly as possible.
2. Stir, stir, stir! Buy paint as close as possible to when it will be used so that it does not sit around longer than necessary—stirring is imperative, but using paint soon after it was shaken is the best of all. Even so, stir before using, then stir often while working. Paint settles very fast, especially dark or highly saturated colors, so keep stirring as you work.
Nothing beats a good How To Book!
3. Use the right paint. Do some research and ask for advice at the paint counter. Be especially diligent about the finish type that will be best for the job. Paint no longer comes only in flat, semi-gloss and high gloss, there are now many gradations available, and each will give a different result.
4. Learn how to finesse and feather paint with a brush and roller. The most common mistake people make is to load the brush or roller with too much paint. Try to paint more gently, thinking of the paint as a beautiful, delicate, expensive substance with which you are caressing the wall. Seriously. I know that sounds idiotic, but it can help you respect the paint and not be tempted to slather and slop it on, but spread and smooth it on, instead. For delicate work, hold the brush down on the broad part of the handle just above where the bristles start. Likewise, move your grip downward on the roller handle to exert more pressure on uneven surfaces. Vary your grip to avoid repetitive stress injuries, as well.
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This is my favorite brush for cutting:
5. Use the right tools. Brushes are not created equal, nor are roller covers. Most often, it’s not how much it cost as much as what it was designed for that will be the most significant factor. Do a little research before you buy and match the bristle content and texture (soft? stiff?) to the paint you are using as well as the surface and the type of application.
Take your time, do research before starting, choose the best tools and paint, and above all enjoy the experience, because there is nothing like the satisfaction of not only doing it yourself, but doing it well!
Copyright © Roberta Lee 2012. All rights reserved.
(I am an artist and the author of the Suburban Sprawl series of novels as well as two nonfiction books. Find out more about my work at RobertaLeeArt.com.)