PAINTING LIKE A PRO: GETTING STARTED

Wow! So, you’re all geared up to paint. But it doesn’t mean you should pick up a paintbrush and paint right away. You’ve got to be prepared; it’s key! Ok, the first thing is, get a big table and display the following tools on it:

  • Filling knives and filler
  • Dusting brushes
  • Dust mask
  • Sandpaper (available in different grades)
  • Masking tape
  • Paint scrapers
  • Mixing board made of MDF
  • Paint (including white emulsion for the miscoat)
  • Painting brushes (a good brand is Purdy brushes)

All these tools can be purchased from any DIY store.

Put on your old painting clothes and old trainers as well (to protect your feet). Take most of the home furniture out of the room and roll up the rugs/carpets. You can place the remaining furniture at the centre of the room and cover it with a dustsheet. Cover the bare floor with newspaper in the section you’re painting.

As a painting specialist in London, kindly follow this guide to become a professional in painting.

Let’s say you’re to paint the walls of a room. Start by removing the radiators from the wall for free movement. Ensure you shut down the heating system and allow it to cool, then turn off the radiator valves and drain it before removing it. Alternatively, you can buy a radiator roller set to save yourself the trouble.

With masking tape, join skirting boards to the floor, around door frames, windows and ceiling.

Before painting, use decorator’s caulk to fill in voids between the skirting board and walls, and the length of window frames.

Get the walls prepared with sandpaper and dust them off with a brush (preferably one with a lily bristle). Work on a section of wall per time and if you’re sanding the ceiling, use a tall ladder for easy reach or a pole attached to a pad on top and covered with sandpaper.

You may like to whitewash the walls after sanding with a miscoat of white emulsion. This provides a blank surface to begin with and spot places that require filling. Prepare the miscoat by mixing one part emulsion to three parts water in an empty bucket. If you want to have any hole filled, pour the powder filler on the wooden board, make a hole at the centre, add water and mix it into a paste. When the filler has dried up, sand the wall and dust it off. Apply the filler to wall edges when painting, especially along the top and bottom of walls and rub it down. This gives you a nice clean edge for smooth painting.

Professional Painting Tips

  • Cutting in – This technique is great for painting the internal right angle of a wall, where the wall and ceiling meet. To achieve this, paint along the upper part of the wall in a horizontal direction, making sure to maintain a tight contact with the edge of the paintbrush and the ceiling using strong and consistent strokes to get a lovely vertical edge. This style is best when the ceiling has a different colour from the wall. Also, adopt this style along skirting boards and windows.
  • Pantyhose preserver – You’ll discover a top layer of skin has formed when you open a tin of paint. Strain the paint to remove this. Cover your paint bucket with pantyhose, cheesecloth, or any tight materials to strain the paint. Alternatively, try turning the paint bucket upside down with the paint inside, the lid tightly shut for a few seconds.
  • Nap selection – For paint roller, the thickness of the sleeve is the nap. So, when you want to buy a roller, adhere to this rule. For non-uniform and rough surfaces, use a greater nap.
  • High roller – For painting areas that are high like the ceiling, get an extension handle for your roller. These are easy to come by. Transfer some quantity of paint from the bucket to a smaller pot or container when you’re high up on a ladder.
  • White magic – This paint can be confusing because you may not know where you’ve painted. Fortunately, magic white paint exists. It looks pink upon application and turns white as it dries. Give Dulux Magic a try.
  • Buy George – George or paint shield covers the skirting board from sprays of paint. Hold it against the skirting while you paint at a height.
  • Paint spills – Clean up spilt paint with cat litter; it works! But try containing the spill first before applying a good amount of cat litter to it. Should there be dried paint on the flooring, apply paint thinner before pouring the cat litter. Clean up the spot the next day.
  • Care for your paint – Store paint always in an airtight container. Note down the colour and room it’s been used to avoid confusion. Paint is not durable under extreme conditions (too cold or hot). Avoid storing paint in your garage. Try preventing your paint from drying out by covering the tin with a layer of clingfilm underneath the cover. Store paint upside down.
  • Don’t throw leftover paint away – Never trash your leftover paint down the drain. Give it out to a recycling scheme in a sealed paint tin with the colour indicated on it, especially when the label is not visible.
  • Spruce up your paintbrush – Excess paint on brushes should be rubbed off on newspaper. If it’s emulsion paint, wash the brushes with soapy water, rinse with warm water and paper towel dry. For oil paint, rinse brushes with white spirit and press them dry using paper towel. Dip brush in paint remover for softening in case of hardened paint. Avoid soaking brush for a longer time; it may damage the bristles. Repeat the process and rinse brush in hot soapy water and let it dry with bristles facing downwards. Keep brushes or roller in baking foil or clingfilm for long-term storage.

Which weapon?

Roller

Commonly used for painting wider sections. For use, dip the roller in paint tray without overloading it and apply with light, uniform pressure

Paintbrush

Dust off the bristles of your brush against your palm before use to remove any loose bristles. Cover up to one-third of bristle with paint, rub it against the side to remove excess and apply to surface

Or paint pad?

A flat rectangular tool with a foam front to spread the paint. They’re less messy than rollers, giving nice uniform coverage, but you should dip them in paint regularly.

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