13 painting secrets the pros don't want you to know

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13 painting secrets the pros don't want you to know

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We're not trying to out professional painters and decorators of their job, we promise, but there are some top tips that they might not want you to know. And, being that we can't keep a secret, we're going to tell you all of them today! 

Painting furniture or walls is a DIY task that many of us assume we are fully capable of, but a few poor finishes are enough to really take the wind out of our sails, which is why we wanted to know how you get the professional look, without having to pay a huge amount. 

Come and take a look at all the steps you need to be taking for a perfect paint finish and be sure to bookmark this article so you can refer back when you next tackle some home improvements!

1. Sand away flaws.

If you are planning to paint up some old furniture, you need to sand, sand and sand some more! Work through a few grades of paper and really get all those imperfections out, before you add colour. Yes, this will take a lot longer, but the finish makes it worth it!

2. Use tinted primer.

Paint Store Eclectic style offices & stores by homify Eclectic
homify

Paint Store

homify

We all know that we should be using primer when we paint, but did you know that tinted primer is the professional's choice? Imagine that you've had to fill some wall hole, so you prime over them with a white primer and then paint. You'll get a patch of wall that looks to be a different shade to everywhere else, but that won't happen if you tint your primer to match your finished colour!

3. Press your masking tape flat.

When you apply masking tape to your skirting boards and coving, in order to get a really neat edge finish, use a pallet knife to press it down properly. Your fingers won't get every edge and all it takes is one loose piece of tape to get a splodge of paint somewhere you don't want it!

4. Use paint extender to eliminate brush marks.

You don't want to sit in your newly painted living room and notice a ton of brush marks on the walls, do you? A top tip is to add something called 'paint extender' to your colour choice, as it thins the mix just enough to negate brush and roller marks, without affecting the opacity of the paint itself.

5. Scrape a line next to textured ceilings.

Folk Country style bedroom by Pixers Country

If you have textured ceilings in your home, you need to make sure that you don't get coloured paint all over them! A great way to tackle this issue is to carve a groove where your walls meet the ceiling, as this small and undetectable channel will prevent paint overrunning. So clever!

6. Use canvas as your floor covers.

If you've been using old bed sheets as your floor covers, it's time to stop! The cotton is in no way thick enough to prevent paint from seeping through, into your floor, so reach for something more heavy duty, such as a natural canvas.

7. Finish one wall at a time.

Fabulous colour Diamond Modern corridor, hallway & stairs by Wools of New Zealand Modern
Wools of New Zealand

Fabulous colour Diamond

Wools of New Zealand

Instead of cutting in around a whole room and then going back in with the roller, do one wall at a time, entirely! This technique will eradicate the difference in textures between cut-in edges and large expanses, as the paint will still be workable.

8. Scrape windows.

Don;t be tempted to masking tape your windows, when painting the frames, as that will always leave a residue and an imperfect edge finish. Instead, let the paint fall where it will on your glass, then scrape it off with a scraper or a razor blade. So much easier!

9. Mix more paint than you need.

classic  by Lewis Alderson, Classic
Lewis Alderson

Dresser & Breakfast Table with Bench Seating. Dresser painted in Downpipe by Farrow & Ball.

Lewis Alderson

Whether you're painting furniture, walls or even kitchen cabinets, always mix more paint than you need, to make sure that you have total colour consistency. If you can't finish a project in one day, you can simply pop some clingfilm over your container and get back to it the next day.

10. Wash rollers BEFORE use.

If you need to buy new rollers, be sure to wash them before use. They will always be a little fluffy or need to shed and you really don't want bits of debris on your walls! You don't need to wait for rollers to dry after washing them either, which is great!

11. Degrease walls before you start.

Georgian Farmhouse Country style living room by Etons of Bath Country
Etons of Bath

Georgian Farmhouse

Etons of Bath

When you are prepping your surfaces for paint, take a little extra time to wash them with a proper degreasing solution. You'll find plenty to choose from in your local DIY store, in the painting aisle, and using one will make sure that no greasy spots show through your new colour.

12. Start with a 'loaded brush'.

Blackheath London Townhouse Modern living room by Egon Design Modern
Egon Design

Blackheath London Townhouse

Egon Design

Professionals never scrape their paintbrushes on the edge of a tin, as this reduces how much material you have to work with. Instead, dip your brush halfway into the paint, shake to remove excess drips and get to work. This will prevent you needing to reload as much and give a smoother finish. 

13. Push the paint, don't drag it!

Deep grey throughout Modern style bedroom by Forster Inc Modern
Forster Inc

Deep grey throughout

Forster Inc

When cutting in, we are all  prone to starting at the very edge and working into the wall, but apparently, we should be doing it the other way round. Apply paint a couple of inches away from your edges and then push the paint to where you need it to cover, to avoid splashes and drag marks!

For some more brilliant DIY tips, take a look at this Ideabook: 15 easy DIY ideas to make your home more special.

Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern


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