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Are you having problems with your current painting project? Or maybe you’re looking for tips for painting to help to make your next painting process faster and neater (because the last one wasn’t great)?

Look no further. As experts in current paint technology, our tips for painting will help you from the beginning of your project, all the way up to the drying process. (But we won’t make you watch paint dry, we promise. Well, maybe just primer.)

Let’s get into it!

lap marks

Top Tips for Painting

Painting can be an intensive process, that requires a bit of time for planning and executing the best techniques. The following 10 tips for painting will help you achieve the painting success you desire and create beautiful projects.

Clean Dirty Surfaces


The first tip in our tips of painting is to make sure you clean first. If you paint over dirty surfaces, the paint will chip off easily.

This is especially important in areas such as:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Areas that receive a lot of skin contact
  • Rooms with non-water-soluble markings
  • Above heating registers

Trisodium phosphate or another prepaint cleaner can clean surfaces for the new paint.

Once your cleaner is ready, wipe it on in a circular motion with a cloth.

Start at the bottom and work your way up. Then you’re ready to move on to the smoothing or priming process.

Texture and Prime Walls


Paint will look blotchy if you don’t work to texture and prime the surface before applying paint. To smooth out your walls, you can use:

Fillers

To easily fill in small holes, hairline cracks, and minor damage. They are easy to use, but fillers will shrink when dried. Make sure you add an extra amount so that it protrudes beyond the surface, and then sand it flat when dry.

Base Coats

Perfect for hairline cracks or other minor imperfections. They are also easy to use, and one coat is more than likely to be enough to get the job done.

Skim Coats

Necessary for walls that are battered or have large areas of damage. It requires a thin coat of plaster on top of existing plaster, but it’s easier to have a professional plasterer to get the job done right.

Replastering

This technique is necessary for surfaces with big holes, large cracks, or lots of loose plaster. Again, this might be a job for a professional plasterer who knows how to do the job correctly.

After you have textured your walls, apply a primer so the paint won’t sink in and look dull, and to prevent any texture differences.

Once it has dried, you’re on to the next step.

painting tips

Use Cotton Drop Cloths


No matter how careful you are during the painting process, spills and splatters can still occur.

Protect your flooring and rooms by laying down canvas drop cloths in the work area. The canvas should stay in place and provide great traction as you paint.

If you spill a lot of paint, make sure you clean them right away so it doesn’t turn into a nastier mess later.

Mix Cans of Paint Beforehand


The same shade paint can vary in color, even if the cans come from the same manufacturer, and the differences can be noticeable once applied to a surface. If you have several cans that you’ll be using to paint a large area, you’ll want the same color everywhere.

To prevent unmatched walls, one of our tips for painting is to mix the paint cans together beforehand. This especially applies to paint that was previously opened because color pigments can separate over time.

To successfully mix cans of paint, you will want to place a piece of mesh over a 5-gallon bucket.

Pour all of the cans through the mesh into the bucket, so any sediment or dried paint will be removed. It’s okay to overestimate how much paint you will need if you aren’t sure because you can always pour the paint back into the cans.

Use a wooden paint stick to thoroughly stir the paint, and then you may begin the painting process.

Sand Trim


Between coats of primer, make sure you sand the trim first, to ensure a smooth surface for painting.

Once the primer coat has dried, lightly sand the trim by using a fine sanding sponge to smooth out any areas that were raised. The sanding sponge allows you to apply pressure where necessary and to reach every spot.

Remove the sanding dust by using a clean cloth.

Let the primer dry again, and if necessary, repeat this process until you are ready to apply paint to the smooth surface.

sand trim

Paint the Trim


Once the primer is fully dry, then you can apply the paint to the trim to achieve a smooth finish.

It doesn’t matter if you accidentally get paint on the walls because you will cover it up later when you starting painting the rest of the room.

Once the trim is completely dry, tape it off, and begin painting the walls.

In case you have made a paint mistake, you can use:

  • Dish soap on glass surfaces
  • Olive oil on counter tops
  • Commercial cleaners on carpet and concrete
  • Rubbing alcohol on linoleum
  • Denatured alcohol on wood
  • Paint removing gel on brick
  • Vegetable oil on plastic

Most of the time, the right cleaner and a small knife can remove any paint mistakes that you make.

Avoid Lap Marks


Lap marks are the stripes caused by uneven layers of paint buildup, which occurs when you roll over paint that’s already starting to dry. It can also occur when:

  • There is too much heat or draft during the drying phase
  • There is insufficient paint stirring or thinning
  • No primer is applied
  • Trying to paint an area too large at once
  • Using low-grade economy paints
texture walls

Therefore, another tip in our tips for painting is to always maintain the wet edge, by overlapping the previous stroke before the paint can dry.

Paint in small sections, from top to bottom, so that there isn’t enough time for the paint to dry first. Plan for breaks that will occur at windows, doors, and corners.

If you’ve accidentally created a lap mark, add another finish coat using the same technique, which will hide the lap marks and create a more uniform look.

Feather Out Paint


If you have to paint larger areas, such as ceilings, tall walls, or stairwells, your best method is to feather out the paint along edges that you can’t keep wet.

This feathered coat technique will prevent any lap marks that may occur and prevent any areas from standing out.

You can accomplish this technique by rolling the roller in different directions along the edge and applying less and less pressure as you go, which will feather out the paint.

After completing one section, move on to the next section until you have finished painting the job. If a second coat is required, make sure you feather out the paint in the opposite direction to further prevent lap marks.

Roll Paint Along Edges


The best way to paint along edges or areas next to trim is to roll it on, as those areas may have a different texture than the surrounding areas.

Roll top to bottom, getting as close to the edge or trim as possible to avoid leaving any brush marks behind. Don’t bump into the opposite wall or add too much paint so that it leaves a mess.

Use moderate pressure, as too much pressure can cause mismarking and too little pressure won’t provide an even coat. At the end of each stroke, lift the roller away from the wall to avoid creating any distinct paint strokes.

When you have finished rolling paint in one area, you may move onto the next section.

Expect Touch-Ups


Once you’ve finished painting your walls, you might think that you’re officially done with the painting process. However, you would be wrong.

Accidents will happen and over time, your painted walls might just show their age.

If you’re in this situation, your solution will be to touch up your walls. If you’re in need of a touch-up, try the following:

  • Thoroughly clean any stain first.
  • Use a craft eraser to remove residue on painted walls.
  • Use the feather technique with a small roller if you must paint.
  • Use a brush to easily paint corners.
  • Repaint the whole trim as they require higher gloss finishes.
touch ups

With these tips in mind, you can create beautiful paint jobs that will stand the test of time, regardless of any accident that may occur

Closing Words on Tips for Painting


If you follow through with these 10 tips for painting, your next painting project will be a huge success.

If you’re having trouble with all the brushes and rollers, you should consider a paint sprayer on your next project. They can seamlessly apply paint and create beautiful, professional looks with our tips for painting.

Follow up with us if you have any questions, any painted projects that you would like to show off, or any tips for painting that you would recommend to any painting novices out there.

10 Tips for Painting That Will Take You From Amateur to Professional

by Tyler Saunders time to read: 14 min
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