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Using a range of painting techniques is a great way to inject color and life into a drab room.

It’s also faster than using wallpaper, and you can customize the results more easily.

The average U.S. home has appreciated in value nearly 24% in the past five years. Redecorating tired rooms is an excellent way to give your home’s curb appeal and value a boost.

Painting Different Surfaces

But what if you have different surfaces to work with? You’ll need different painting techniques for each one!

Read on to learn 8 techniques that can transform your home today.

1) Color washing for interior walls


Got a smooth living room wall that needs updating? Painting techniques like color washing are perfect for achieving subtle aged effects. Color washing is a great way to add both color and texture to a room. You can even use it on just one wall to create a feature wall.

Start with a base coat. Let it dry before you do anything else. You can use just one color. But if you’re working with two, then try to keep them in the same tonal range. Keep separate containers for each color. Mix one part of your colored paint with one part latex glaze and one part water.

This is a wet-on-wet technique, so you need to start with a damp section of wall. Start off with your first color. Apply it in a squiggly motion. Use a damp sheepskin in circular movements to push the paint around.

Next, use a dry brush to disperse any paint in dark areas. You need to keep working until the brush lines disappear.

Just repeat this technique for the whole wall. Sometimes you can end up with lines if you work over an already painted area. Dilute 8 parts of the base coat with 1 part of water. Brush this mixture over the lines. Diffuse the color with a dry brush.

2) Use masonry paint for masonry walls


Color washing just won’t cut it on exterior walls. You need painting techniques that are up to the challenge of wind, sun and rain. You’ll need good weather – so plan ahead. Buy a masonry brush and a masonry roller with an extendable handle.

Divide your wall into sections that you can finish in one session each. We recommend you use drainpipes or windows as the boundary between sections. And always start at the top, working downwards. You don’t want to ruin a newly painted surface with paint drips.

Wrap drainpipes with newspaper. Make sure you get the brush in behind the pipe. It’s best to use short strokes when you’re outside. Horizontal or vertical strokes are the easiest to use.

Start off by loading your brush with paint. Apply it to an unpainted area. Work backwards to the painted areas. You can also paint in the opposite direction to cover the entire surface. Try a stippling action with a brush on rough surfaces.

If you’re using a roller, change the angle of your strokes. Or use a professional paint sprayer to do the job quickly.

3) Bricks need a different approach


Painting masonry is easy enough. You’ll have a largely flat surface. But bricks require different painting techniques to get the best results.

brick wall

You’ll need to clean the bricks first using soapy water and a stiff brush. If you’ve got a large expanse of bricks, try a pressure washer. Wait until the bricks are completely dry before you apply the latex primer. An acrylic latex paint is the best choice for bricks as it helps prevent mildew buildup. Use a thick-nap roller to apply it.

If you can afford one, or you’ve used one before, then a handheld paint sprayer will finish the job faster. You can afford to be generous with your application since the excess will fill the pitted surface of the bricks.

As with any painting job, overlap your strokes. That way, you’ll get complete coverage and the most professional finish.

4) Vary your painting techniques for garage walls


The inside of your garage is a strange place. It’s not an exterior wall, but it’s not inside your house either. So it needs a different approach to give your garage a new lease of life.

Ditch the satin-sheen paints and opt for acrylic latex paints intended for exterior use. They’re more resistant to mildew. Move the car outside and cover your garage floor with drop cloths. Fill any holes in the walls using vinyl spackling. And use painter’s caulk in cracks or seams. Use tape on anything you don’t want to get paint on. And sweep the walls to remove dirt and cobwebs.

Start off by using a 2″ paintbrush to paint the outline of your walls. You won’t be able to get a roller into the corners so the brush will help. Assemble your paint roller. Use a medium-nap roller and an extendable handle will make your job easier.

Always start in the corner. You’re going to start painting about a foot from the ceiling. Use the roller to paint up to the top of the wall. Then roll down to the bottom. Repeat the process across the wall. Always move one roller width over before you do the next strip.

You can avoid unsightly edges by overlapping the strips, blending the paint with the roller.

5) Liven up your vinyl siding


Vinyl siding is a great way to cover the exterior of your home. It needs little maintenance and its quality has improved over the years.

But no siding lasts forever. Instead of replacing it, you can use these painting techniques to liven up faded vinyl, or just change the color. It’s a good idea to paint in mild temperatures. You’ll need low humidity and an overcast sky.

That’ll make the paint less likely to crack or flake. Choose paints that include acrylic and urethane resins. You need the resins so the paint will stick to the siding.

They shouldn’t be darker than the current color. Dark colors hold onto heat, which can cause premature warping. Once you’ve given the siding a thorough clean, you’re ready to paint! You’ll only need primer if the original color has come off.

Use a roller or an airless paint sprayer to apply the paint. Don’t use too much paint in any one section. Try to add an even coat. Use a brush for corners and edges. Let the first coat dry before you paint a second.

6) Renew your kitchen cabinets with paint


If you’re bored with the look of your kitchen, you don’t need to install a new one. And repainting cabinets can even recoup around 80% value.

Simply try these painting techniques to update the colors and even the texture. Take all of the doors off the cabinets, and remove the drawers. Take off the hardware to keep it clean. Apply 2 coats of primer if your cabinets were already stained. Then sand the primer coat with fine paper and wipe down.

Mix a thinning agent and an alkyd-based enamel paint. The manufacturer will give you directions so follow them. Paint the backs of the doors front. Always apply the paint with the grain. Then paint the fronts of the doors. Try using the color washing technique to achieve a whole new look.

When they’re completely dry you can reinstall the hardware.

kitchen cabinets

7) Update your wood paneling with a new paint job


Like kitchen cabinets, wood paneling can soon look dated or faded. Use these painting techniques to easily change their look. Always clean the paneling first. Use spackling compound to fill any nail holes. Sand the spackling flush when it’s dry.

Use 100 grit sandpaper to take the sheen off. This will help the paint to adhere to the wood strongly. You can hand-sand the wood trim. Just make sure you wipe down the walls to get rid of the sanding dust. Use caulking to fill the gaps where the paneling meets the baseboard. Prime the paneling with a latex primer. You can even tint it with a colorant so it matches the finished paint. Use a medium-nap roller to apply 2 coats of latex wall paint.

8) You can even paint stainless steel!


Stainless steel offers many advantages, not least its strength and durability. But it’s not a homely material, and you might want to warm up your metal surfaces.

The painting techniques we’ve used so far won’t work on metal because paint just won’t stick to perfectly smooth metal surfaces. So run a wire brush over the stainless steel to roughen it up. If your stainless steel is still relatively new, use an orbital hand sander to do the job. Make sure you wear goggles.

Stainless Steel Paint

Use a water-based degreaser to clean the surface. You might need a specialist steel cleaner if you have to tackle baked-on grease. Choose a stainless steel primer that’s designed to work with your chosen paint. A white primer is a good choice. You can apply with a brush, sprayer or roller depending on the size of the item.

When you apply the paint, your choice of tool will depend on the look you want. Sprayers give smooth results but rollers give you a textured appearance. Either way, use 2-3 coats of paint, letting it dry every time. You can use car wax or marine varnish when you’re finished. So there you have it!

8 different painting techniques to suit different paint surfaces. Now your only problem is figuring out which one to try first. And that’s a little nice problem to have!

Have any burning queries? Feel free to shoot us your message!

8 Painting Techniques for Painting Different Surfaces

by Tyler Saunders time to read: 15 min
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