Did you know that painting your home off-white or eggshell is actually a turn-off for future potential buyers? Not what you’d expect, right?
There is plenty of surprising painting do’s and don’ts that, when followed, can really up to the look and value of your home.
To get started on your next home painting project, and paint like a pro, here are 7 painting techniques you’ll want to know for the perfect paint job.
7 Best Interior Painting Techniques
When it comes to painting an interior, precision and technique are a bit more essential than when doing an outdoor job. Interior paint jobs are much more likely to be seen up close and personal.
This is why it’s important not to cut corners or do a second-rate job when painting walls inside your home.
1. Prepare the Wall
Yea… we know this isn’t the most thrilling aspect of painting an interior surface, but it is the most important step.
If you decide to paint over scratches, dents, potholes, even the most expensive or thick paint won’t hide those marks. Cutting this important step out will leave you with an unfinished, hurried look.
So, before you ever dip a brush into paint, be sure to complete the following vital steps to prepare your wall for the cleanest looking paint job:
- Sand rough, scratchy or patchy areas
- Scrape any gunk or dirt from the wall
- Wipe the wall down to remove any dust
- Fill in cracks, dents, or old nail marks
2. Apply Tape
You could have the steady hands of a heart surgeon, but no matter how still you think you can hold a brush, you’re going to want to use painter’s tape. Painters tape will ensure you get the cleanest look.
Once your wall is cleaned and ready for work, apply blue painter’s tape around the areas you don’t want to be painted, i.e. your doorframe, window panes, floor, baseboards, etc.
Blue painter’s tape is great as it can be applied in advance (about a week before you start painting).
It’s also important to remember to remove the tape right after painting when things are still wet. This will prevent you from peeling off any paint when you remove the tape.
3. Use a Dedicated Primer
As with most projects, doing things right the first time will go a long way in saving you time and regret later.
Many paints now come with a priming agent included, so many DIY painters may be tempted to skip the priming step. Don’t.
Most professional painters know that skipping the use of a dedicated primer is likely to leave your wall vulnerable to peeling, bubbling, stains coming through, or simply a more difficult time getting the paint to stick.
Using a dedicated primer makes it more likely you can use just one coat of your main colored paint. Primer is also a great paint adhesive, so your newly painted wall looks clean and uniform in color.
4. Tint Your Primer
This pro painting tip goes hand in hand with step 3. Basically, most professional painters, like this service, mix in a bit of top-coat color to their dedicated primer before applying the primer to the wall.
This way, you still use a dedicated primer and get the benefit of greater adhesive when applying your topcoat.
However, tinting the primer makes it much easier for you to completely cover or hide the primed wall with your topcoat color.
5. Use a Brush First
For areas where your roller cannot reach, it’s often helpful to use a hand brush first.
Using a paintbrush by hand will help you reach those hard-to-access areas on your wall. These places include everything from tight corners, baseboards, and crown-molding to windows and doorways.
When using the paintbrush, try to create a stroke of paint that extends about 2-4 inches out from the area you are not covering.
6. Buy a Paint Grid
One of the most surprisingly helpful painting techniques is that of using a paint grid instead of a tray. Trays can become frustrating and messy.
With a grid, you can roll your paint straight from your bucket. Just fill your bucket halfway with your desired paint color, and insert your paint grid.
That way, when you dip your paint roller into the paint bucket, you can run it along the grid on it’s way out to remove excess paint without creating a globby mess.
A grid is also easier to use when spicing up your interior, as you don’t have to worry about it sliding around in the bucket like a tray often does.
7. Watch out for Lap Marks
Ending up with what are called “lap marks” in your paint job is a sure sign of a painting novice. Don’t do it.
Basically, lap marks happen when you get a ridge built up of paint where a new layer of paint has been laid partially over paint that has already begun to harden and dry. It looks bad.
To avoid this, professionals will always be sure they leave a wet edge when painting. To do this, make sure every stroke of paint you roll slightly overlaps the previous stroke before the paint begins drying.
It’s also important to keep your roller from drying out too much. Just be sure to dip it often enough to keep it at least halfway loaded.
The best painting technique to avoid “lap marks” is to use your roller to create one stroke from top to bottom.
Point the open end of your roller towards your latest stroke or the area that’s just been painted. This also helps prevent paint ridges.
More DIY Interior Decorating Tips
That’s it! You’re now armed and ready with 7 essential painting techniques to perfect your next DIY painting project.
Adding a fresh color or coat of paint to your interior is one great way to liven up any space. If you’re still looking for other fun or unique ways to add a little pizzaz to your home, take a look at our post on the top 5 design ideas for your home.