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How To Get The Perfect Paint Finish

Do you paint the walls or the trim first? We will tell you everything you need to know to so you can get the perfect paint finish!

Roll Paint Along the Edges for a Consistent Texture.

When you paint the corners and areas next to the trim with just a brush you will notice that they are different in texture to the surrounding paint. To have a consistent texture in all areas brush on the paint first and then roll it out before it dries.

It is best to use a 3-inch roller with a nap that is the same thickness as the rest of the wall. Roll as close as you can without bumping into the opposite wall or getting paint on the trim. Finish by brushing on the paint and then rolling it in one area before you move onto the next section of the wall.

Prime and Texture Wall Patches to Avoid a Blotchy Finish.

You might find that freshly painted walls often look blotchy, the colour is uniform, but the sheen isn’t as consistent. This occurs over the holes and cracks you have patched with either a filler of a drywall compound. The filler will absorb the paint which dulls the surface, this is called flashing. The smooth patch of paint will stand out in contrast to the bumpy texture of the rest of the wall. To solve this all you need to do is use a quick coat of primer which will eliminate flashing and texture differences.

Primer will seal the patch so that the paint won’t sink in and look dull. Prime with a roller and then feather out the edges, this will match the texture.

Let Paint Dry, Then Cut the Tape Loose.

You can’t pull the tape off the trim once the paint is dry because paint forms a film between the wall and tape. Make sure you cut the tape loose before pulling it off as removing the tape tears pieces of dried paint off the wall.

It is best to leave the paint to completely dry for at least 24 hours then use a sharp utility knife to slice through the firm to test it, start in an inconspicuous area to make sure the paint is hard enough to slice through cleanly, you will make a mess if you cut it while the paint is still gummy. When cutting the paint, pull up the tape to a 45-degree angle.

To Avoid Lap Marks.

Roll the full height of the wall and keep a wet edge. Lap marks are the stripes that are caused by uneven layers of paint build up, this occurs when your roll over paint that is already dry, this gets worse if you are using latex paint in a warm and dry weather condition. The best way to avoid this is to maintain a wet edge so that every stroke your roller overlaps is the previous stroke from before, so you can let the paint dry.

To maintain a wet edge, you need to paint an entire wall all at once, it is easiest to start at one end and run the roller up and down the full height of the wall and then move over slightly with each stroke. Never let the roller become nearly dry, reload it often so that it is always at least half loaded and keep an eye on the open side of the roller frame that is facing the area that is already painted as this puts less pressure on the open side of the roller, so you are less likely to leave paint ridges.

Feather Out the Paint Where You Can’t Keep a Wet Edge.

The best wat to minimise lap marks is to feather out the paint along the edges you can’t keep wet as you can’t cover large areas like ceilings or extra tall walls in single continuous stroke. The thinner the feathered coat of paint will avoid the build-up that will cause the lap mark.

To paint a large section without leaving lap marks you will need to roll the nearby dry roller in different directions along the dry edge and feather the paint out as you go. Once you complete the entire length of the wall or the ceiling you can move to the next section and paint over the feathered edges. When applying the second coat apple the paint in the opposite direction as this will criss cross the paint application which reduces or eliminate the lap marks.

Use Cotton Drop Cloths Instead of Plastic.

No matter what spills and splatters will happen even if you are really careful you are, it is easier to prepare for spillages than ruin your carpet or wooden floor. All you need is a canvas drop cloth as they stay in place and you can use it to cover any surface. Plastic cloths are slippery to walk on and if you are setting it on a ladder it will not stay in place, also the paint spills will stay wet and could end up on your shoes. Always clean spills with paper towels or cloth rags.

Sand Trim Between Coats for an Ultra Smooth Finish

If you don’t sand the surface smooth before adding coats, then your finish may have a grainy texture and one coat of paint usually won’t hide the underlying colour and sheen on the trim. For a smooth finish make sure you sand the trim before applying each coat of paint. Use a fine-grit sanding sponge as they will get into crevices where sandpaper can’t go. Let the first coat of paint dry for at least 24 hours then lightly sand it for a smooth surface and apply the second coat. After each sanding vacuum the trim then wipe It down with a cloth to remove the dust.

Mix Several Cants of Paint in a Large Bucket for a Consistent Colour.

Paint colours vary slightly from different cans and if you have to open a new can in the middle of a wall you might notice the change. If you mix the paints, then you will eliminate this problem. Try and estimate the amount of paint you will need and mix It in a 5-gallon bucket, add more rather than less when you can’t find the exact coverage as you can always pour the left overs back into the cans.

When doing a large job use the bucket and a roller screen instead of a roller tray as it is faster to load your roller with a screen instead of a roller pan.

Clean Dirty Surfaces so the Paint can Form a Strong Bond.

When painting on dirty and oily surfaces the paint will easily chip or peel off so before painting make sure you clean grimy areas with a deglosser r a heavy-duty cleaner. These work well to clean painted, varnished or enamelled surfaces to improve the adhesion of the new paint. They’re ideal for cleaning greasy or oily areas like kitchen or bathroom walls and then removing hand marks around switches or doorknobs.

Start at the bottom and work your way up and then wipe on the cleaner in a circular motion using a lint-free cloth or abrasive pad. Once the surface is clean you can start filling in any nicks and holes then sand them smooth before painting.

Paint the Trim First!

Most pros paint the trim first, then the ceilings and the walls last. This is easier and faster to tape off the trim then to tape off the walls as you don’t want to tape them both off.

When painting the trim concentrate on getting a smooth finish on the wood, don’t worry if the trim paint goes on the walls as you will cover this later!

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