How to Paint Like a Professional

Whether you just want to update one room or paint every room in your home, it’s easy to get good results. Painting is an inexpensive and quick way to improve your living spaces. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you paint like a pro.

Prepare for Painting

For the best result, begin by cleaning the walls with a damp sponge and a non-caustic cleaning solution. This will remove stains, dust, and dirt and ensure a smooth finish. Next, check for holes, cracks, and chips. Fill these in with a spackling compound for smaller areas or a joint compound for larger ones. Use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth the wall after filling in holes.

Use Quality Tools to Paint Like a Pro

Purchase high-quality paints, brushes, and rollers if you want to get professional-level results. A more expensive paintbrush uses less paint and you’ll get a smoother finish with less dripping and streaking. This is especially true if you choose high-gloss paint that tends to show more imperfections after it dries. Some of the tools you’ll need are listed below.

• A triangular scraper is useful in narrow spaces for removing paint.
• Steel wool is great for removing rust on metalwork.
• Paint scrapers remove old paint from most surfaces.
• Glazing compound is useful for windowpane repair.
• Purchase spackling compound to fill small holes and cracks.
• You’ll use a putty knife to spread the spackling compound.
• Smooth grit sandpaper and a sanding block for smoothing the walls.
• Gather multiple roller trays to easily apply paint to the roller.
• If you’re buying several gallons of paint, purchase a 5-gallon bucket for mixing.

Protect Surfaces to Paint Like a Pro

Even a professional painting crew might have some accidental paint drips. That is why it is always smart to purchase materials to protect your home and furnishings from paint spills and splatters.

Use canvas drop cloths to cover the floor at the base of the wall and to protect large furniture items left in the room. Remove outlet covers and globes on lighting fixtures before you paint. Use quality masking tape around windows, baseboards, and on any hardware – like handles and doorknobs – that you choose not to remove.

Estimate Paint and Primer Needs

Talk with a paint specialist at your local home improvement store to get advice on how much product you’ll need. If you know the dimensions of the room, the specialist will help you calculate the number of gallons your project will require. This will save you money because you won’t buy too much paint or primer.

Apply Paint

Let the roller do the work for you. If you’ve purchased high-quality paint, light pressure is enough to get good coverage. Always paint from ceiling to floor and worked in a “W” pattern across the wall. This cuts down on drips that you may only notice after the paint has fully dried.

If the area begins to dry, avoid rolling back over it with wet paint or you may see streaks once it dries. For ceilings, use an extendable paint pole with a fresh roller cover. Apply a coat lengthwise and one widthwise, only after the first coat has dried completely.

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