Tips and Tricks for Painting Your House

Painting is one of the easiest ways to make a change to your home without too much additional work. You can change the whole feel of a room just with a fresh coat of paint, making it the optimal DIY home improvement project. For many, it is one of the first things done when they move into their new home. For others, it is the easiest update to make before selling their home.

However, when you decide to take on a new painting project it is important to understand everything that will need to go into that update. To get the best results out of your next paint job, follow these tips and tricks for painting your house.

Paint Preparation is Key – Take Your Time 

Tip: Before You Even Think About Painting You Need to Sit Down and Plan. 

Understand what all will be required for you to complete your project – 

  • How much paint will you need? 
  • Will you need a ladder to complete the work?
  • What kind of paintbrushes do you have vs have to get?
  • Will this be a weekend project or a few hours?

Understanding the amount of work you are looking at and what materials you will need sets you up for success. Nothing is more frustrating than going to the store halfway through a project to get more paint and if that new paint doesn’t match perfectly. Then you could really be in some trouble. 

Tip: Gather Your Tools for Painting

After evaluating your workspace you should have an idea of what tools would be needed, at minimum we would recommend –

  • Paint Brush
  • Paint roller (handle, and actual rollers)
  • Painting Tray
  • Tarp or plastic sheets
  • Old clothes you don’t mind getting dirty
  • Painters tape
  • Ladder 

However, you might find these other tools helpful – 

  • Paint Tray plastic covers
  • Additional brushes and rollers
  • Extension for the paint roller
  • Handheld Paint holder

Tip: Prepare the Room for Painting

Before you think about painting, you need to prepare your room. Remove any furniture in the room that you can and cover the area you are painting with plastic or a tarp – you want something that will keep any paint droplets from seeping through and getting onto your floors (this is why you shouldn’t use sheets). 

Wash down your walls with some dish soap and a wet cloth and allow it to dry, this will take off any built-up dust and will give you the best possible surface to work with when painting.

Using painter’s tape, tape off the edges of the walls – around baseboards, ceiling, windows, etc. Basically, anywhere you want the paint to stop – tape off. This helps ensure that you not only get a clean steady line when painting, but it helps avoid paint bleeding into those areas you do not want to be painted.

Tip: Prepare Your Walls

Preparing your room goes far beyond the initial setup. You need to make sure that your walls are in tip-top shape as well.

Remove any small holes from the wall by using spackle. This will ensure the cleanest finish after your paint and help maintain the integrity of the walls. Follow these simple spackling steps to inspect and repair your walls – 

  1. Inspect and fix cracks and holes in the walls. When you find a small hole, use a spackling compound with a putty knife to smear them over the imperfections. 
  2. Remove any of the excess putty from the area. 
  3. Use gritty sandpaper or a sandpaper sponge to smoothen out the areas that you repaired. 
  4. Clean the surface with a damp towel or sponge and allow the compound to dry for an hour or two. 

Take the time to do the following steps, and not only will your walls look better but the paint will also last longer on them.

Start with Primer, Not Paint

Primer is basically an undercoat that you apply on your surfaces before applying the actual paint. While primer is primarily used as a base coat before your initial paint job to help you use fewer coats of paint, primer has other benefits including:  

  • Better adhesion of paint onto the surface.
  • Makes paint last longer.
  • Additional protection on the surfaces that you’re going to paint.

Tip: Always Start with Primer.

Consider primer like preparatory paint; it’ll help you apply the subsequent paint much faster and with little to no fuss. There isn’t a whole lot of a difference between painting with a primer and paint with your actual paint. It just acts as that initial base coat for your walls. 

You want to use a primer the same way you would use paint, so follow our tips for painting below. However you really only need one coat of primer on your surface before you start, unlike paint where you might need a second or 3rd coat. Allow the primer to set and dry for 24 hours before you start painting. 

Now It’s Time to Paint Your Walls

You are now all prepped and ready to paint your walls.

Tip: Start with the Edges and Corners using a Paint Brush

Using your paintbrush, paint around the edges and in the corners of the room. You want to get in all of those areas that require detail and that are hard to reach first before you start with your roller. 

Make sure to paint out a few inches as well so your roller doesn’t have to get too close to the edges at any point. This will allow you to avoid any extra paint on the floors or ceiling once you break out the roller. 

For extra precision, wipe away any access paint that could start to drip or pool on the wall. This will help you maintain those clean lines and avoid the paint from seeping under your painter’s tape. 

Tip: Use a Roller for the Larger Areas of the Wall

Using a roller allows you to save so much time and energy painting your home. Make sure when you are painting with a roller you follow the below – 

  • For the best coverage, dip your roller slightly in the paint and use the painter’s tray to remove any access paint and coat the roller, this will help you avoid “spray off” and drips from the roller as you begin painting the wall.
  • Work within sections rolling in W and V-shaped strokes until your current section is covered.  Move back over completed sections to pick up any access paint drippings that might be caused by the roller for the evenest coat.
  • Start on one side of the room and slowly work your way around. 
  • After you complete your initial coat for the entire room, take a short break and then start on your second coat in the place you first started painting. This will ensure you are starting with the driest part first allowing you to get the evenest coats.

Using these tips, you will want to put on 2 to 3 coats of paint depending on your paint quality. If you can still see the old paint peaking through you likely need another coat.

Cleaning Up Once You Are Done

When you think of the word “clean up”, chances are you’re thinking of all the paint splatters you’ll have to remove after a hard day’s work. There is more to the procedure, however. A paint cleanup must be completed with precision so that you maintain the new look of your paint job. 

Tip: Remove the Painters Tape with Precision

You expertly placed all that painter’s tape to help ensure you would have clean lines and no access paint on any of your windows or baseboards. Now to remove the painter’s tape and make all that initial effort worth it, you need to take your time. Only when the paint is completely dried do you want to remove the tape. Use a utility knife to ease the tape off while pulling it at a 45-degree angle to get the cleanest lines. If the paint is still wet and elastic as you pull the tape off you can chip away your new paint as well. 

Tip: Seal and Properly Store Your Leftover Paint

Life happens and there is bound to be a scuff or scratch that will need repairs, having leftover paint on hand is a great way to keep your new paint looking great for years. So make sure to seal the remaining paint tightly and store it in a temperature-controlled area.

DIY Home Painting Made Easy

Mastering the steps to painting a room is rewarding. It allows you to take control of your home projects and make big changes to a space with minimal work. For the best results though always remember to follow the above tips from initial preparation all the way through to cleanup. Avoid headaches, multiple visits to the hardware store, and redos when you prepare, paint, and clean up properly. 

Painting your home can feel overwhelming and time-consuming and with so many different products to buy and things to consider you might decide that painting your home isn’t for you. That’s perfectly okay! There are people who can take over the job off your hands. 

Here at Catalyst Painting, we provide expert-level service for anyone looking to paint the inside or outside of their home and we can help you with your next home painting project. If you are looking to start your next painting project give us a call at (913) 549 – 9885 or fill out our form online for a free quote on your next home painting project.