If you’ve decided to paint your home’s exterior or interior walls yourself, read below for 16 painting tips, tricks and techniques to help your do-it-yourself painting project look as professional as possible when done.
For your home’s interior:
- It’s all in the preparation. Clean your walls (vacuum them) and fix dings and place painter’s tape along trim and anything you don’t want to color, and the actual painting will be a breeze. And remember, paint sticks better when a wall has been cleaned.
- Remove all light plate switches and anything else you don’t want to get paint on. Do so before you start painting.
- Don’t throw out those used sandwich bags! Instead, place them (with a rubber band) on doorknobs and other protuberances you don’t want paint drips on.
- The pros use them, and you can, too. Use an edge pad to create clean lines around doorframes, trim (baseboards, chair rails and crown molding) and the edges where your walls meet your ceiling.
- If possible, paint when it’s dry and not humid. Moisture in the air means it will take paint longer to dry. If it is humid out, keep a fan nearby to keep the humidity down.
- In fact, once a wall starts to dry, wait until it is dry before touching it up or painting a second coat. Re-painting when the wall is still wet can leave streaks.
- Do you have young children in the home? Then consider painting the rooms (and walls) they love with a semi-gloss paint. That is, semi-gloss paint is easier to clean, if you get our drift…
- Use a roller rather than a brush for large walls.
- Paint in a W. Roll the paint into the shape of the letter, then fill the spaces in. Continue doing so on down the wall and then move back up for the next section.
For your home’s exterior:
- Wash the walls of your home’s exterior that you plan to paint. If you’re just painting the shutters (many homes have aluminum siding or other faux facades of wood, brick and slate), wash them.
- Make sure the things you’re going to paint are completely dry before starting.
- After cleaning, scrape off any paint that’s cracked or peeling and then sand and prime the area with primer.
- If painting trim, use semi-gloss paint.
- As mentioned above, paint on days when the humidity is low. The best temperature for painting outdoors is between 75 and 85 degrees F.
- Mind the sun. See if you can paint and then have the item/wall painted be in shade; the sun can cause the paint to blister as the paint dries.
- To paint shutters, remove them from your home’s walls and spray paint them at a spot away from the house.
- If you’re going to paint metal doors, place an oil-based primer on the door before hand and let the primer dry for 24-48 hours before starting to paint. Apply at least two coats of paint specifically designed for a home’s exterior.