You’ve chosen your colours and now you’re gearing up to get painting. But where to start and how to tackle it? Painting yourself can be a daunting task, especially if you want to do a bang up job…and if you’re doing it with little ones underfoot.
Never fear! Here are 5 things to bear in mind to make sure the whole thing goes off without a hitch, featuring some fantastic tricks of the trade and fave products from Dave Carlisle, the owner of 2 Guys Painting and dad of 2. Who knows better than a pro?
Speaking of pros, if you are considering hiring someone to paint for you, check out these tips.
1. Go to the Paint Store - Before you do anything, head to the paint store. Not a big box store. A real paint store. Your local independent paint retailer is an invaluable resource. They can give you expert advice at the best price… free! Talk to them about what you intend to do. They can suggest colours, types and brands of paint and tools that fit your budget and project. And they will often end up asking you questions, raising issues you might not have considered.
2. Pick the Proper Paint - Different surfaces need different paints (e.g. walls vs. baseboard vs. kitchen cabinets). The sheen of the paint is key. According to Dave, the lower the sheen, the more elegant the paint looks. The higher the sheen, the more scrubable the painted surface is. Painting the walls in an area where you have young kids playing all the time? You might consider a more washable, higher sheen than in other rooms. And with kids in the house, you want to be sure to use a low VOC paint to keep your home healthy for your family.
3. Get the Right Tools - From brushes, to rollers, to stir sticks and paint trays, make sure you have everything you need on hand before starting. Dave suggests investing in a good 2” or 2 ½” brush. Don’t bother with a cheap brush. You’ll just end up with the bristles stuck to your wall. Don’t leave a wet brush out of the paint for long periods of time. If you are taking a lunch break, cover your wet brush with plastic wrap to keep the paint from drying on the bristles. If you clean your brushes out at the end of each day, they will last. As for rollers, Dave says not to use more than a 15mm pile roller on walls – they will end up being dimpled like an orange peel. Not good! And he loves the “whizz” roller. They are amazing for small spaces, doors and spindles.
4. Prepare Properly - As with many things in life, proper preparation will make or break your paint job. Before getting to the exciting part where you see that beautiful colour going up on the wall, you need to fill any holes and cracks then sand them properly. Dave’s trick? Use Drydex spackling. It goes on pink and dries white, so you know it is ready to sand. Genius! After you’ve sanded, you need to prime those spots. Bare wood, new drywall and oil based finishes all need to be primed, too. Remove switch plates and any hardware that you can so you don’t have to paint around them. Keeping Ziploc baggies on hand so you can put the proper screws and pieces together is super helpful. And if you don’t have a steady hand, use painter’s tape to get nice crisp edges. Dave’s advice is to never let the edge of tape touch the wall. Keep it on the trim so the new paint won't pull off the wall when you’re removing the tape.
5. Anticipate the Mess - The truth is that painting is messy business. You will spatter and drip. Put drop cloths down on the floors, especially if you have carpeting. Remove as much stuff as you can from the room and cover what you can’t move with plastic. Keep lots of rags on hand to wipe up any spills. Always pour paint out of the can over a wipe able surface (I use a cafeteria tray). If you add kids into the equation, the odds of a big mess increase exponentially. Do your best to keep young kids at bay around open paint cans. Maybe cash in a favour and send them to Grandma’s for a sleepover or have a babysitter help. Or you can paint after they are asleep!
Want one last tip from Dave from 2 Guys Painting? Always paint ceilings first, trim (doors, door frames, windows and baseboards) second and the walls last.
Good luck and happy painting!