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DIY Painting Do’s and Don’ts

There are few things you can do to revamp your home more simply and effectively than a new paint job.  And, though working with professional painters is a great way to go, sometimes you’ll want to save a bit of time and money by doing it.  But, there are a few pitfalls the unwary can fall into along the way.  if you want to make sure you like what you get at the end of the project, here are a few tips to help the job go off without a hitch:

1. Do Your Homework

For best results, you have to know what you’re dealing with.  Not all paint and primer types are compatible.  So, for example, so your previous paint job is acrylic.  To paint over it effectively, you’ll either want to use an oil-based or acrylic primer.  If you’re working with an oil-based paint, you’ll need a primer as well.  Ideal for this purpose is shellac.  And, if your paint is lead-based, you’ll want to sand it of the walls, but only with proper protective equipment.  Interior or exterior paint?  Satin or semi-gloss?  Find out what you’re dealing with before making any purchases or beginning work.

2. Plan out the Supplies Thoroughly

The last thing you want is to run out of supplies when you’re in the flow of the job.  You either end up having to run to the store in the middle of the project or skimping where it hurts.  If you run out of primer, you might be tempted to paint a section of the wall without it, and that will almost certainly show, either in the colour, the texture, or the life of the paint job.  If you run out of paint, you’re almost guaranteed to have a slightly different colour for the next batch.  To avoid these problems, make sure to calculate your square footage before you begin.  This will also help to budget both your money and your time before you begin.

3. The Right Tools for the Right Job

Another thing that you’ll be certain to regret is cheap tools.  Start with the rollers and roller trays.  Make sure you have access to water (and maybe a bucket) for rinsing brushes and rollers during breaks, if you want them to survive for another round.  Trim brushes are also important, and, like mentioned above, proper painter’s tape for those tricky sections of different colour trim, or when walls and ceiling meet.  If you have some height to work with, you’ll definitely want high rollers or scaffolds, depending on the height and whether you’re working with interior or exterior.  For the more expensive tools, remember that you can often rent them from painting contractors or home improvement stores instead of having to buy them outright.

4. Proper Preparation

Here’s one place where you don’t want to skip steps.  Cover or remove the furniture, and use drop cloths to protect the floor.  Bust out the painter’s tape for windows and trim to avoid unsightly brush marks.  If you’re working with doors, you can either remove the door or repaint with the new colour.  Another important aspect of preparation is to fix imperfections, sand down rough spots, and replace cracked panels before you begin painting.  Fix cracking or peeling in the old layers to make sure you don’t have the same problem in the new coat in a few months.  This is one of the key steps that differentiate the experienced residential painter from the amateur.

5. Take Your Time!

How often have we heard that haste makes waste?  And yet, it’s tempting to rush through the job and get it knocked out as fast as possible.  If we cut corners like leaving off the second coat, we’re left with an inferior job.  Or, we can rush through and leave over-brushes on the trim or corners.  Or bring the furniture back into the room before the paint has dried.  Avoid painting from the can, even when doing trip.  One misstep can lead to gallons of wasted paint.

Another way that we might be tempted to cut corners is to paint over wallpaper.  The problem is that the paint will often strip off when the wallpaper is finally ready to go.  Instead, dampen the wallpaper and remove it, and then scrape off what remains.

Finally, the job’s not over ‘til it’s over.  That means that the paint is dry, the tape is removed, the drop cloths are packed away, and the furniture is replaced.  This is another step that makes the difference between a professional job and an amateur one.

Follow these tips and you’re definitely headed in the right direction for a higher quality project, on budget and within schedule.  If you have any questions about your projects or you’d like more tips about how to do a professional job, feel free to contact us.  At J&E Kogan, we are dedicated to offering every client the highest standard of service and care.

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