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If you want a job done right…call a professional. When it comes to painting the difference between a great job and a not so great job is often the little things you do to prep the job. Here are 6 painting prep tips that will help you make sure your next painting project is a success.
1. Clear the room.
Move everything out of the room. Bigger pieces of furniture can sometimes be left covered in the center of larger rooms, unless you need to repair drywall. Drywall dust goes everywhere. Remove doors, light fixtures and hardware, and label everything with masking tape. Buy drop cloths, you’d be surprised how big of a mess a few drops of paint can make on the floor. High-quality drop cloths, like canvas or paper-backed plastic work the best.
2. Fix any damage
Find and fix, cracks and dents. An old lamp with a bare bulb held close to a wall will show you all the minor cracks and bumps. Uses painter's putty or a lightweight spackle for minor cracks and dents. Use plaster of Paris for dents deeper than 1/8 inch.
For damaged wood trim, use painter's putty or a two-part wood filler, such as Minwax's High Performance Filler. Smooth any repairs, bumps, and nibs with a drywall pole sander. For smoother walls and better adhesion, you may want to sand all previously painted walls regardless of the shape they're in.
Sanding not only removes chipped paint but also makes it easier for the next coat of paint to adhere.
3. Clean the walls
Unless you like textured walls, don't paint over dust. Wash the walls with trisodium phosphate (TSP) or a mild cleaner, like Jasco's TSP No-Rinse Substitute. For smoke-stained walls, use a 50/50 solution of bleach and water. To clean a wall, use two buckets. Load up your rag or sponge from your cleaning-solution bucket, and scrub. Rinse the sponge in a second bucket filled with clean water before cleaning again.
4. Use tape
The pros all recommend painter's (blue) tape because it's easier to remove than masking tape. To prevent bleeding, use a putty knife to bed the tape. After letting the paint dry, he scores the edge of the tape line with a utility knife to avoid tearing the paint.
5. Pick a powerful primer
Primers are important they aren't just diluted paint. Primers are formulated to establish a solid, even base, seal stains and make sure that the paint goes on smoothly and bonds securely to the surface. Most homeowners use latex primers, but the pros stick to alcohol and alkyd primers because they'll cover almost anything.
6. Buy quality paint
In general, glossier paints are more stain-resistant and easier to keep clean. But a higher sheen also highlights any imperfections in the wall or in the paint job. Flat paints are fine for ceilings and formal rooms, but for most of my customers, I recommend an eggshell gloss. It's good for hallways, kids' rooms, even kitchens and baths. The key is to not skimp out on the paint quality. Spend at least $20 per gallon for top-shelf paint. Using two coats of paint will result in the best-looking job. Don't skimp on the coverage; if you're covering more than 400 square feet per gallon, you're spreading it too thin. Also, keep 1/4 to 1/2 gallon on hand for touch-ups.
If you’ve decided that all this prep work seems like more than you want to deal with call Empire Painting for a professional paint job that will look great for years to come.