At a glance, a paintbrush and a few cans of paint are all it takes to refresh the color of your room. But if you want to get the best results, the process actually involves a bit of prepping.
To help you avoid making the costly mistake of a splotchy paint job, below is an easy step-by-step guide on how to paint a wall like a pro.
1. Clean the walls
This step may sometimes be overlooked, but cleaning your walls is actually the first step to making the paint last longer. Since it removes any accumulated dust and stains so the paint adheres better to the surface. To do this, you just need to wipe the walls with a damp cloth. You might need to use a bit of elbow grease when it comes to removing stains and gunk, but your efforts will be worth it. If you have to, you can even use a bit of dishwashing liquid to scrub away any stubborn marks and wash them off with water. Once you’re satisfied, make sure to allow the walls to dry completely before moving on to the next step.
2. Repair holes and cracks
Holes and cracks on the walls are unavoidable especially when your house has stood for a few years. But to get optimal results, repairing and filling in the cracks will make a big difference. You can use spackling or wall joint compound to refill the damages. But if you’re dealing with a bigger hole, use a bridging material to create sturdy support before covering it with the patching compound of your choice. Once the patches are dry completely, sand the areas to create a smooth surface for painting. When you’re done, don’t forget to go through the areas with a damp cloth to remove any dust.
3. Apply painter’s tape
Aside from giving your walls a neat look, painter’s tape will prevent you from painting or splashing any areas that shouldn’t have a new coat. From moldings, trims, doors, or window casings, it’s better to cover them carefully now than to scrape unwanted paint later. If you’re painting a wall that has any light fixtures, light switches, or sockets, it’s also best to cover the base with a few strips of tape. To prevent the tape from peeling off your new paint coats, the trick is to remove them once the wall is dry to the touch. But remember to remove them slowly instead of ripping them off like a band-aid to avoid ruining your project.
4. Prime the walls
Although priming a wall isn’t necessary for some surfaces, applying primer will actually help the paint stick longer. That’s because it creates a sturdy barrier against the elements so moisture won’t be able to seep through the surface and cause the paint to chip and peel. White primer will also make the color of your paint appear more vibrant, so this is helpful when you’re transitioning from a dark hue to a lighter one. For interior walls, one coat of paint will often be enough. But if you’re painting humid areas like the bathroom or exterior walls, two coats of primer is highly recommended.
5. Cut in corners
Once the primer is completely dry, you’ll be able to move on to the fun part – which is painting! The best trick to get those crisp corners is to cut in twice for every coat of paint you apply. This will ensure the color of the paint appears smooth and even instead of having random dark spots. A small brush is recommended for cutting in so you won’t get paint on areas where you’re not supposed to. Once the first layer is completely dry, don’t forget to cut in a second time before applying the rest of the paint.
6. Paint the walls
When you’re done with the edges, you can finally move on to painting the rest of the wall. A roller will do best for this process since it can cover a larger area faster than using a brush. Remember to only apply a thin layer of paint at a time to ensure you’ll get an even coat. Thicker paint will also dry longer, unnecessarily extending your project than it’s supposed to. When painting, make a ‘W’ shape across the wall without lifting the roller. This will spread the paint consistently, and you can fill in the gaps by running the area over with an ‘M’’ shape. Once you’re done, let the first coat dry completely before applying the second layer.
Looking for a painting contractor?
If your walls didn’t turn out the way you were expecting, maybe it’s time to turn your project over to the pros. Soho Painters has a team of professional painters ready to help you. Whether you need to liven up a residential or commercial space, they’re equipped with the best technology, tools, and training to give you flawless results. For any questions or inquiries, reach out to their team now and request a free estimate.