Tips for Painting Your Home

  • Walls should be clean, dry and dull.
  • If your existing surface was painted previously with semi-gloss or gloss paint, the surface should be lightly sanded to a duller finish and all sanding dust removed.
  • For previously painted walls, thoroughly wash them with a mild soap and water solution, then rinse with clean water and allow them to dry.
  • If there is loose or peeling paint, scrape and sand the area.
  • Be sure to apply appropriate patching material to cracks, nail holes, or other surface imperfections, then sand smooth and remove sanding dust.
  • Pay close attention to drying times for patching materials before priming or painting.

A base coat of primer should always be used to protect bare, unfinished drywall. Applying primer to your walls can ensure that the paint will last longer on your walls. If paint has previously been applied to the walls using primer can help cover the color so that you can get the color you really want on the walls.

Use high-quality paint, brushes and rollers. Using these items always saves you time and money in the long-run. If you are using the wrong tools for the job it can take twice as long; make sure you are using high-quality rollers so there is no residue (fluff) from the rollers left on the walls.

Create a clean, open working space. Be sure and remove all furniture possible from the space. If large furniture items can’t be removed from the room, be certain to cover them and the floors with a canvas drop cloth or plastic sheeting. Avoid using sheets or newspaper, as they can allow paint to soak through and could be a slip hazard.

Tape it off. Using painter’s tape to keep paint off the trim and windows will help provide clean, straight lines. Be sure to press the tape down well along the edge to prevent paint from bleeding under. Also, be careful when taking the tape off after your finished painting. If you pull too hard the paint will stick to the tape and leave a place on your wall that no longer has paint on it.

Have a painting strategy. The ceiling should be painted first, followed by the walls, then the trim, doors and windows, and lastly the baseboards. After painting the ceiling, paint the edges of the walls where it meets the ceilings. It’s important when cutting in ceilings or walls to feather out the paint to avoid a common painting problem known as hat banding, where the paint you cut in dries before the paint you roll onto the walls. Painting one wall at a time will also help eliminate the problem of hat banding.

Apply two coats of paint. Don’t rush the process by applying a second coat too soon. If you’re using latex paint, wait at least four hours before you apply a second coat. Wait at least 24 hours between coats with oil paint. Allow freshly painted surfaces to cure for 30 days before washing with a mild, non-abrasive cleaner and water.

Clean it up. If you’re only taking an overnight break don’t bother to clean the brush, just squeeze the excess paint out and wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. Use a rubber band to secure the foil at the base of the handle. If it will be a few days before you resume your project, toss the wrapped brush into the freezer. But, don’t forget to defrost the brush for an hour before you start painting again.