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Tips for Painting the Interior of Your House

Painting your house? Do it like a pro.

Before you grab your roller, plan your approach, and know these useful tips for painting inside your house.

Clean the Walls

Clean dirty surfaces before doing any painting. If you paint on dirty or oily surfaces, the paint can peel off quickly.

Wipe grimy areas with a deglosser or other pre-paint cleaning material. Any good interior painting company will tell you that this is the first step.

Make sure you don’t miss anything. Check all greasy areas like the kitchen, bathroom walls, and areas around light switches and doorknobs.

Sand the Walls

Sand away the flaws of the walls after eliminating the grime. You want it to be as smooth as possible.

Sanding takes away the spackles, patches, and ridges around nail holes. It also removes rough spots in your trim.

Use a sanding sponge, and don’t put too much pressure on the sanding pole, or you could damage the wall.

Use Canvas Instead of Plastic

Canvas and cotton drop cloths are more effective than plastics when it comes to spills and splatters.

For one, the canvas can stay in place while you paint, whereas plastic can move and be slippery. Also, canvas absorbs paint, while the paint stays wet when on plastic.

Box the Paint

And by boxing the paint, we mean mixing paints to avoid having to open and mix a new can in the middle of the process.

Boxing the paint helps you avoid inconsistent colors on walls, which can be glaringly obvious and painful to the eye.

Estimate the amount of paint you’ll need. Mix it in a 5-gallon bucket. If you’re not sure about the estimate, remember it’s always better to have more instead of less than you need.

Use Tinted Primer

To avoid the dull-looking problem called “flashing” when you patch cracks and holes, prime your walls before painting.

And use tinted gray instead of white primer. You may also use any color that’s similar to the finished paint.

Tinted primers cover existing paint colors better than plain primers. The wall will look more vibrant and require fewer coats.

Use Paint Extender

Paint extenders are effective when you want to avoid laps and brush marks. They slow down the drying time and level out the paint so visible strokes are hidden.

Professional painters use paint extenders (or “paint conditioners”) to gain a longer window of time to overlap newly painted areas without the ugly lap marks.

Cut the Tape before Peeling

And finally, do not peel away the tape for the trim after painting the wall, or you may tear pieces of dried paint off the wall.

Instead, cut the tape loose using a sharp utility knife or box cutter to slice it cleanly. Do not cut the paint while it’s still gummy.

As you cut the tape, pull it up at a 45-degree angle.

These tips are tried and tested by professionals and following them may make all the difference between a nicely painted wall and an ugly one.

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