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Ready to learn some painting tips & tricks? Then you’ve come to the right place! Today I’m kicking off my new Friday’s Top 10 series. Every Friday through the month of October I’ll be sharing a Top 10 list with you. I’m starting off today with a very useful list, the Top 10 Painting Tips & Tricks.
I’ve done a lot of painting in my life. I’ve painted everything from dressers and side tables to walls and cabinets. I’ve even painted the inside of a truck bed once. I really could have used some tips that day since I used a can of spray paint, it was a windy day, and by the end of my project I had red legs from the knee down. I was only sixteen at the time so I’ll have to give myself a break, but I will say I’ve learned a lot since then. Since everybody could use some tips, today I’m sharing with you a list of the Top 10 Painting Tips & Tricks I’ve learned over the years. Check them out!
Tip #1: The trick to buying enough paint for your project.
Do you have trouble determining how much paint you’ll need when painting a room? One gallon of paint typically covers about 350 square feet, but you can use the paint calculator at Lowe’s for a more accurate estimate before purchasing your paint.
Tip #2: Which paint finish should you use?
Not sure what paint finish you should use for your walls? Here is a general guide:
- Flat paint has a matte finish and is difficult to clean, so only use it in low traffic areas.
- Satin and eggshell paints have a slight sheen and are best for high traffic areas since it’s easy to keep clean. It’s perfect for living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms. Satin has a slight more sheen and is more durable than eggshell, so be sure to use it in children’s rooms.
- Semi-gloss is very durable, and an excellent choice for areas of high moisture like kitchens and bathrooms. There are even mildew-resistant formulations of semi-gloss paint available.
- Gloss is the highest level of shine and perfect for doors and trim.
Tip #3: Paint samples are your new best friend.
When painting a room, always try a sample first. Doing this has really saved me from making painting disasters, not to mention it has saved me a lot of money! I had to change the last two colors I’d chosen to paint in my home because the sample was either too light or too dark. The easiest way to do this is to paint a large sample on several pieces of poster board and attach one to each wall of the room. Since the existing wall color can change the way you view the new color, be sure to use white poster board and leave a white border around the edge. Attaching a board to each wall of the room allows you to accurately determine the tones of the color in various areas of light/shade. Make sure you check the color at different times of the day, too!
Tip #4: Prime for success.
Not sure when to use primer? When painting walls, you only need to use primer when painting a light color over a darker color or if you need to cover up stains and/or patches of spackle on the walls. When painting furniture it’s always best to use a primer after sanding to make sure the paint adheres well. My favorite primer is Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3. The only exception to this rule is if you’re using chalk paint.
Tip #5: Let it dry!
Always allow paint to dry (on walls or furniture) before applying another coat or you’ll risk pulling up paint. It’s a lesson I’ve learned the hard way, so save yourself from grief and just don’t do it.
Tip #6: Remove painters tape before the paint dries.
When using painters tape, always remove the tape when it is still wet to prevent peeling. I generally remove tape immediately after painting the last coat of paint. Be sure to remove the tape gently at a 45 degree angle to ensure a clean, crisp line.
Tip #7: Grab the Vaseline!
Apply Vaseline to any areas you don’t want to be painted on furniture, like hinges or screws, prior to painting. Once the paint dries you can easily wipe off the paint, revealing a clean surface underneath. You can also use this technique for an easy way to distress furniture. Just rub Vaseline on the areas you’d like to appear distressed, like on corners and in crevices, then wipe it away after the paint dries to reveal the color or wood beneath.
Tip #8: Don’t let your brush/roller dry.
Place your paint brush or paint roller in a sealed Ziplock bag to prevent it from drying in between coats. Or you can buy a handy brush/roller cover.
Tip #9: The key to eliminating brush strokes.
Add Floetrol to paint to eliminate the appearance of brush strokes when painting furniture. This stuff works magic!
Don’t waste your money on high priced chalk paint for your furniture pieces. Make your own chalk paint instead! The recipe I like to use is to mix 1 cup of flat paint and 1 tablespoon of unsanded grout to create your own chalk paint. It’s also a great way to save money by using leftover paint from other projects!
I hope you’ve learned something by reading these painting tips and they help you with your DIY projects around the home. Never estimate the power of paint. A new coat of paint can bring even the dullest room or piece of furniture back to life.