Tips and Tricks: 5 Handy Painting Tips

Categories: Home Improvement

The power of color is astonishing – one shade can energize and another soothe, one color opens up a room and another makes it feel cozier. Color can even make people feel warmer or colder!

That’s why a new coat of paint is one of the greatest and relatively easiest ways to change the look of your home. So to help you paint your next residential masterpiece, Oxi Fresh has combed the Web for these five great tips.

Tip 1: Test, Test, Test!
As we just said, color can have a huge affect on how a room feels, so it’s important to pick the right one.

When you bring paint swatches home, never just put them against one wall and make your color choice. You need to move the colors around to different pats of the room to see how they look there. Hold the colors against your trim, flooring, and furniture to see if they work well together. You should even check the swatches under different lighting conditions – sometimes colors that look one way in sunlight look another way in low light.

Once you think you have a color or two that could be winners, see if the store you’re purchasing from sells small paint samples. If they do, buy a couple of these and test the paint on your walls. This is a great way to help you make a final decision or double-check your paint choice.

Tip 2: You Get What You Pay For
We all get tempted by low prices, but we can’t let ourselves forget that low price often mean low quality.

This is really a problem when it comes paint. Cheaper paints have lower quality pigments and less resin, which means you’ll have to apply more coats to get a decent looking final product – you may end up having to buy more paint and spend more money in the long run.

Likewise, cheap tools cause problems. The least expensive painter’s tape, for example, can suck up nearby paint and cause color bleed. Cheap brushes will fray and quickly lose their edge. Discount paint rollers will hold less paint and make you spend a lot more working.

It’s much better to spend a little bit more on your tools and save yourself a lot of frustration.

Tip 3: Prep is King
Before a drop of paint hits (or rather is carefully rolled against) the wall, there’s a lot of prep work you need to do.
You’ll need to make repairs, remove outlet covers and light switch plates, clean the walls, lay down canvas tarps, and use painter’s tape on adjacent surfaces (a full breakdown of painting preparation can be found here).

We’re mentioning this less to share a specific tip and more to emphasis how important preparation is. If you don’t clean the walls, for example, the paint won’t adhere nearly as well and may even peel. If you don’t use painter’s tape and don’t have a steady hand, you’ll spend a lot of time cleaning up your baseboards.

All we’re saying is that painting is “80% prep;” if you try to skip prep, you’ll wish you hadn’t.

Tip 4: Edge and Roll
When you begin painting, you’ll start by cutting-in. In other words, you’ll paint all along the outside edges of the walls first in a two to three inch wide pass. This makes painting much easier, because once you’ve cut-in, you won’t need to go right up the baseboard, ceiling, or trim with every single pass of your roller.

You’ll use a brush when edging, as it gives you more control. Once you’ve edged a spot, however, you’ll go over it with a roller to smooth out the paint and ensure an even texture across the entire job. You don’t want your edges looking different than the walls, after all.

Tip 5: Take Care of Your Paint
If you buy two gallons of Renaissance Gold paint, both should have exactly the same color. Should. Unfortunately, sometimes paint can vary slightly from can to can – this is especially true if you get custom colors made.

To prevent having slightly different shades on your walls, “box” your paint, a.k.a. pour and mix your various gallons together in a large bucket and then pour it back into your paint cans. This ensures the pigments are equally distributed among the whole lot and you won’t end up with varying shades.

And that’s Oxi Fresh’s five tips for painting. Thanks to DIYNetwork.com, the Handyman.com’s articles on painting tips and paint roller techniques, James Glave at ThisOldHouse.com, and Brittany Bailey at PrettyHandyGirl.com for the great tips! Click those links for even more fantastic information on painting.