There are several essential techniques you will want to learn and follow when it comes to completing a successful paint job. Below are some thoughts and ideas to keep in mind before you tackle your next paint project.
Always start with the ceiling. Paint around the edges of the ceiling first, using a two-inch brush. Start at the wall, and come out about three inches or so, then paint in the opposite direction to smooth it. This will be the lines you will also paint between and over a little bit when you start using the roller. Paint around light fixtures, using the brush and coming out three or four inches. Also use the brush to paint around any moldings or trim that could not or was not removed.
Once you have edged the ceiling with the brush, it is time for the roller. Set up your paint tray and affix your long handle to your roller. Start rolling paint on the ceiling, making sure that you paint in the same direction at all times. Begin in a corner, roll in long strokes. Each time you start a new strip, cut into the last strip you painted by about an inch. This will keep brush marks from appearing or you leaving any gaps.
It is important to work quickly, adding new strips while the last strip that you did is wet. Again, this will reduce any streaks or gaps in the paint. It is not always easy to see white on white, but if you have chosen ceiling paint that starts out pink and then turns white, you will be able to check more easily as to whether or not you have missed a spot.
Before you paint further, allow the ceiling to dry, and see if an additional coat is needed. Get on the ladder and look at the ceiling closely to ensure that all areas were sufficiently covered. While you are waiting for the paint to dry, you can clean up any paint spatters. Read the label on the paint can to see how long you should wait between coats. You want one coat to dry before you add another coat, for best results. You will also need to take into account the heat and relative humidity to be sure that the ceiling is dry.
You will need to do the ceiling first so that there are no spatters coming down onto the walls. Again, using your brush, edge outwards about 4 inched on the ceiling, 2 to 3 inches on the walls, and then paint downwards in the opposite direction. Someone who has the patience to do this can stand near the wall, edge down by the baseboard, and stand on the ladder and work in a methodical manner.
Following this, use a roller, and paint up and down. Make sure that each strip covers the last strip by about an inch. Try to get as far into the corners as possible and as far up and down the walls as possible to integrate your brush work with your roller work. Continue painting each wall, one at a time, until all walls are painted.
Wait for the first coat to dry, and then add an additional coat, if needed. While you are waiting on the walls to dry, you can start painting any trim that you have removed from the walls. Before you start painting trim that has been left on the walls, it is vital that you let the wall paint completely dry. This is because you have to tape again. Once the wall paint is dry, remove all of the tape, and then apply tape on the wall, above, below, and beside trim work. Don’t forget the floor as well, or tape down some newspaper onto the floor to help with clean ups.
In most cases, you will use a brush to paint trim, not a roller, though there are small ones that you can use for quick little tasks. The only time a roller would be appropriate is if you have removed the trim. In most cases, a brush will do a far better job of getting in tight corners and giving good coverage than any roller.
When painting windows, make sure you remove all of the hardware first, if possible. If this is not possible, tape the hardware to keep from getting paint on it. You should also tape the panes of the window, or use newspaper and tape around the edges. Then use your different brushes of various sizes to get into these tight little spots, the ledges, the top of the window frame, and more. If you have a recessed window, you will paint almost all of it with a brush for edging and perhaps a small roller for any space between the edges.
Paint the doors last. Remember when painting doors and baseboards, you can put masking tape on the carpet as well. Ideally, you should use a drop cloth, and tape it to the floor at the wall. You will paint the doors last simply because you will be moving them around quite a bit while painting other surfaces and do not want to handle wet paint or smear them.
Once you are finished painting, now is the time to start thinking about cleaning up and putting everything back the way it was before. In most cases, you will want to remove the masking tape while paint is still wet. This must be done slowly and carefully. If you leave the tape on until the paint has dried, you risk pulling dried paint off of the wall with the tape where you painted on the tape as you painted the surface.
Do not use a fan to dry your paint. Let it dry naturally. Using a fan to dry the paint will only serve to blow debris into the wet paint. Also, if your home retains moisture a great deal, avoid painting on rainy or humid days.
When you think you are finished, inspect your work to be sure that you have covered everything and that it looks the way you wanted it to look. Then start to replace outlet and switch covers. Replace window covering hardware, doorknobs, and window locks. Replace newly painted trim. Re-hang pictures, but this time use special window hangers, instead of nails.
Before moving anything large into the room, make absolutely sure that the paint is dry. For best results, wait at least twelve hours to fully allow the paint to ‘set.’ Finally, move your furniture back into the room carefully so as not to damage any of your freshly painted walls.
Now that your room is freshly painted, you will want to keep your home looking nice for as long as possible. Read the paint manufacturer’s instructions for keeping your painted wall maintained. Most glossy and semi-glossy paints can be wiped with a damp cloth to get rid of finger marks and other dirt.