Hacks for DIY home-painting
Update a room with a fresh lick of paint using these handy tips that will make you look like a pro
THINKING of painting a room in your home? Spring is the best season to make a change! But while most homeowners may know basic DIY paint prep – sanding, patching, laying down drop cloths and so on – other nifty tricks can make the job easier. Who knew, for example, that heating masking tape in the microwave will make it more manageable?
Follow these tips to make the job go smoothly so you end up with a professional-looking finish.
WAIT FOR DRY WEATHER
Humidity means slow drying and paint dripping down the walls, so avoid painting on a rainy day.
If you must paint when it’s humid, take your time.
BOX YOUR PAINT
Ask your salesperson to help you estimate how much paint you’ll need so you can buy it all at once.
Then, instead of using one tin at a time, combine all the paint into one large container and mix it thoroughly.
This is known as “boxing” your paint, and it keeps your colour consistent from beginning to end.
OPT FOR CANVAS
Plastic sheeting is a cheap way to protect floors and furnishings from paint spatters but they can become slippery when sprayed with paint.
You’re much better off investing in canvas sheeting. Canvas is durable, presents much less of a slipping hazard and absorbs paint drips. Plus, most plastic drop cloths must be discarded when the job is done while canvas will last a lifetime.
REVIVE YOUR MASKING TAPE
If you’re using an old roll of tape, it can be difficult to peel without tearing or sticking. Revive old masking or painter’s tape by heating it in the microwave for 10 seconds. This will soften the adhesive, allowing it to pull away from the roll easily.
TINT YOUR PRIMER
You probably already know using a primer improves the overall finish of your paint job.
But professional painters often also tint the primer by mixing it with a small amount of
topcoat paint. This trick enhances the ability of the topcoat to hide the primed surface completely.
AVOID LAP MARKS
Lap marks are those ugly stripes caused by uneven layers of paint build-up. It happens when you roll over paint that’s already partly dry.
To avoid them, keep a wet edge by painting the full height of the wall then moving over slightly so you can overlap the last stroke with the next.
PAINT FROM TOP TO BOTTOM
Amateurs often have telltale drips and spatters at the end of a paint job, but pros paint right over their mistakes as they work their way down the wall.
Once an area starts to dry, it’s best to leave it alone. Going back over it can leave marks and colour streaks in the paint surface.
STORE YOUR BRUSHES PROPERLY
If you’re done for the day but still have more painting to do tomorrow, there’s no need to go through the laborious process of cleaning your paintbrushes and rollers.
Instead, simply brush or roll off the excess paint, wrap the brushes and rollers in clingfilm and place in the fridge to keep them fresh. The next day, simply remove them from cold storage 30 minutes before painting – they’ll be supple and ready to use.