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Painting Technique

PAINT TECHNIQUE 101

 

Prep School 

Before you open that can of paint, inspect your walls for cracks, holes or stains. Give the wall a quick wash with a TSP (trisodium phosphate) cleaner or a non-toxic cleaner like Simple Green to remove dirt and oils which will make your new paint not want to stick. Fill tiny holes left by hanging pictures and peel away areas of chipping paint. Contrary to wishful thinking, paint will not hide flaws like these. Next, lightly sand any rough or patched areas to ensure the wall is smooth, and use a tack cloth to clean up any dust from sanding. If the wall is heavily stained or porous (like fresh drywall) or if it is very glossy (i.e. previously painted with semigloss or gloss paint) you’ll need to apply multi-surface primer first to ensure that your new paint will adhere well and cover perfectly. 

 

Tape and Cover  

It’s easier to prevent paint splatter than to remove it! Use painter’s tape (masking tape shreds when you remove it) and carefully apply it to surfaces that you don’t want to paint, like window and door trim. Press firmly to adhere; you don’t want paint to seep underneath. Cover furniture and rugs with plastic sheeting. Cover the floor with a canvas drop cloth: plastic keeps the paint wet and slippery which can cause you to slip and/or track wet paint everywhere. 

Brushing Up 

A good quality (like Purdy) 2 inch angle brush will help you edge like a pro, paint corners and other tricky areas, and fix “sag” (when paint is applied too thickly and drips) effortlessly. Invest in a quality brush which won’t shed, streak, or do other aggravating things to ruin your hard work. 

May I Cut In? Let’s Roll! 

Two terms the pros use: “cutting in” and “wet edge.” You’ll want to cut in (paint the edges of the wall) and keep a wet edge (don’t let the paint dry) before you roll the rest of the color on in the big open spaces. Work in a 4’ by 4’ area at a time, edging followed by rolling in an overlapping “W” pattern, so you don’t get weird edge lines that occur when the edging dried before your roll. 

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