Prep is key to painting a house, inside or out – Part 3

painterNot every job needs a primer. If you have a flat, light-color paint on the wall already, you can skip the priming step. If you have dark colors and want to go to lighter colors, use a primer. If your walls have a semi-gloss or another paint with a sheen, priming will make painting easier. If you’re painting light colors, you can use a white primer. If you’re painting dark colors, use a gray primer. Your paint store can help you determine whether you need a primer and what kind.

More paints are coming as paint and primer combinations. Most professional painters say this is just a marketing tool. It’s basically a high-quality paint that will cover well, but it’s not that much different from what was already available in high-quality paint.

Don’t go cheap on interior paint, because you’ll just have to do more coats. Some of the higher-end latex paints can go as high as $60 to $75 a gallon but will take only one coat with touch-ups, or two at most. You don’t have to go that high-end, but at least go with a premium, or professional grade paint; otherwise you will be painting again and again. Some of the new higher-end flat paints are scrubbable, so you don’t have to go with semi-gloss if you have children.

Low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) or no-VOC paints are becoming more common, but ask whether the tint is also low VOC or no VOC. Some brands have low or no-VOC in the base paint, but not in the tint, which means you’re still getting VOCs.

Don’t scrimp on brushes either. Instead of an $8 brush, you want to choose a $16-$20 brush in either nylon or a nylon and polyester blend. Avoid straight polyester. Immediately wash brushes with soap and water and dry after use. Treat a good brush like a screwdriver. Hang it up in the paper or plastic case it came with to protect it for the next job. If you clean your brushes well, you can get many jobs out of them. Even rollers you can get three or four jobs out of them with proper care.

You’ll use the brush for detail areas around trim and windows. Use rollers for large, uninterrupted areas. Professionals use sheepskin, but you don’t have to go that high end. You do have to make sure you know which type of nap (that’s the thickness) you need for the texture you have. If you have a light texture or smooth walls, you’ll use a nap of 3/8 inch. For thick texture, you need Âœ inch.

Now for the actual painting: Most people get a pan to pour paint into and then use a roller or a brush. That can make for a messy job with a lot of drips and the constant need to refill the pan. Actual painters will use a 5-gallon bucket with a grid and mix the gallons together to make sure the color is the same; one gallon could be a slightly different tint. Then dip your brush and roller in the paint and then knock off a little of the excess paint on the edge of the bucket.

Most professionals use an up-and-down stroke, but a lot of home improvement television shows recommend a W stroke. That stroke works well if you have a lot of texture and are using cheap paint. With good paint and the right roller or brush, you can just go up and down.

You want your roller or brush to have a lot of paint on it and frequently dip it back into the paint to avoid painting with a dry brush or roller. Make sure the brush and roller have an even coat to avoid streaking. You will be able to feel it on the roller if it’s too dry or needs more or needs less paint, you can feel it in your arms and the sound the roller makes against the wall is a dry sound.

Seal up unused paint and store it in an air-conditioned space so you can use it for touch-ups later. A hot garage or attic will destroy the paint.

If you do need to get rid of the paint, check with your city or garbage company about how to do so.

Burk’s Custom Painting is fully licensed, insured and bonded.  If you need help with your painting project, call us at 714-402-3132 or fill out the form below.

burks team