Top 10 Professional Tips for Rookie Painters
There is immense power in colour. Research suggests that color can affect an individual’s moods and behaviours. In addition to beautifying a space, color can soothe, heal and even act as a source of inspiration.
A fresh coat of paint also has the ability to raise the value of a property, protect the property against wear and tear, and even improve the overall indoor air quality of a space. Most importantly, painting is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways of personalizing and revitalizing a space.
However, the benefits of painting are significantly dependent on a number of factors, one of which is the quality of the paint job. While anyone can paint, it takes a combination of patience, practice and skills to achieve success by a professional residential painter.
Fortunately, it is possible to paint like a pro by adhering to the following expert-certified painting tips:
Understand your individual needs
One mistake that people make is painting without having a clear view of what they want to achieve at the end. To remedy this mistake, it is important to research and brainstorm ideas before starting any painting project. Some of the most important questions to consider include:
- What are your favorite colors?
- What wall or space features do you want to enhance?
- Which mood do you wish to create in the space?
- How will the natural lighting of the space affect color?
- What is the purpose of the space being painted?
The answers to these questions will inform decision making and help you determine the resources that you need to achieve your painting goals.
Use images to guide you
One of the most difficult things about painting is choosing the right color or combination of colors. To make the decision process easier, it is advisable to use the internet (and other sources such as home décor magazines) to research and visualize different colors and color schemes. Save or bookmark the images that resonate with your painting needs and desires as well as those that do not. Additionally always remember to make notes on what you like as well as what you do not like about the images that you save.
Visualizing the end result will go a long way in helping to refine your painting needs and goals.
Measure the space
Whether you are undertaking a small or large painting project, you need to know the exact amount of paint that you need. Surface area is the biggest determinant of paint quantity.
To calculate the surface area of an entire room, measure the length of each wall, add them up together and multiply the sum by the height of the walls. For a single wall, simply multiply the length by the height. If need be, remember to subtract the measurements of windows and doors from these calculations.
Generally, a liter of emulsion paint (normally used for indoor walls and ceilings) can cover about 12 square meters. On the other hand, trim paint (normally used as an undercoat or on doors and windows) can cover about 16 square meters.
Nonetheless, the coverage of paint is also dependent on other factors such as:
- The number of coats desired
- The type of paint
- The type of surface being painted
- The condition of the surface being painted
It is worth noting that most paint stores and companies provide their customers with “paint calculators” to help them determine the exact amount of paint they need.
Follow your gut instinct
When shopping for paint, you are likely to come across a wide range of colors and themes which may make it more difficult to make a decision. That is why trusting your intuition is important. Different options will have different effects on your emotions. Following your instinct will ensure that you only chose those options which make you feel good, happy and satisfied.
Also, do not shy off from experimenting or changing your mind on previously made decisions.
Test the paint
Imagine painting a room only to discover that you do not the color of the room at night. Not only would this be a frustrating occurrence, it would also be expensive. After all, you may find yourself wanting to repaint the room all over again.
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To avoid such mishaps, it is important to always test the paint before painting the target space. A simple way to test the paint is to apply it on a thick white card. You can then stick the card on the wall and see how it blends in with furniture and other fittings. You can even move the card around to get an impression of how the paint will look at different spots. Leaving the card stuck on the wall for a few days will also help you see how changes in light affect the appearance of the paint.
You can then proceed with painting the entire space if you like the results at the end of the testing period. Alternatively, you can change the paint if you are unsatisfied with the test results.
Prepare the surface
A well prepped surface is likely to produce higher quality results than a poorly prepped surface. Therefore, it is important to dedicate time and effort to ensure the surface is ready for painting. Prepping includes:
- Removing any hangings or fixtures on the wall
- Patching and sanding existing holes and cracks
- Washing the surface to remove any dirt or grime
- Removing any furniture or décor around the space
Use an undercoat
An undercoat is a type of preliminary paint coating that is applied on a surface before it is painted with the topcoat. Undercoats provide benefits such as:
- Evening out the surface
- Protecting the surface against the elements
- Improving the overall consistency and coverage of the topcoat
- Reducing the amount of topcoat required for a complete finish
- Ensuring a richer topcoat finish
Undercoats are absolutely necessary on new walls as well as plastic and metal surfaces. Undercoats are also vital when painting light colors over dark surfaces.
Use the appropriate paint base
The base is one of the most important components of paint. According to experts, the character of any paint resides in the base. There are numerous types of paint bases, each ideal for different applications and environments.
For example, while white lead paint base is suitable for buildings but not metal surfaces. On the other hand, red lead paint base is ideal for iron surfaces. Similarly, paint bases contain different components which make them ideal for specific uses. For example, a paint base that contains anti-microbial particles is suitable for use on bathroom or kitchen walls.
Use high-quality painting tools
If you are aiming for a quality finish, then you must aim to paint using high quality painting tools as well. Low quality brushes and rollers may leave their hairs and fibers on the wall, reducing the quality of the finish. Poor quality painting tools may also increase the time and effort required to paint a space.
Painting gurus even assert that using high quality tools can improve the durability of paint.
Seek professional help if need be
Although painting is a fun do-it-yourself activity, it is not for everyone. Some people may not feel comfortable in their ability to make color decisions. Others may feel that they are not skilled or patient enough to do the actual paint work. Whether you are lacking in confidence or just in need of some expert advice, there is nothing wrong in seeking professional help.