How to:Painting a Surface

Appropriate surface preparation is equally crucial in accomplishing both purposes. Preparation is the most lengthy and tough aspect of any painting job, although it is also the most important. Correct preparation will produce a finish that will look last and terrific far longer than inadequate preparation will.

Preparation of Walls and Trim

The main prep work for interior painting involves getting the wall and ceiling surfaces and trim prepared to take the new finish. We'll look at some basic, and commonly forgot, actions of surface preparation.

 Sanding wood trim

Remove all paint with sanding pad.


All trim surfaces must be well sanded. It shields by offering "tooth" to the old surface, which permits the new finish to appropriately bond, and it improves by providing a smooth look and feel to the finished surface. I also like to sand all wall surfaces, which leads to smoother walls and makes spackling simpler. It's hard to spackle rough surfaces. Provide all surfaces a light sanding, with great paper, between coats of finish.

Wall Repair.

An idea I will provide ties in with the sanding of the walls. As I'm sanding, I pencil off anything that needs to be repaired, producing a plan to follow when I get to the actual spackling phase. I discover this significantly decreases the misses that require attention in between coats of finish.


Caulk is a flexible product that serves both functions of painting. Not just does it fill open joints, but also it smoothes out the joints where 2 surfaces fulfill. I consistently run a great bead of caulk around the whole room to help in the finish painting, especially when working with high contrast colors.


Usually, most interior finishes are self-priming, and will cover locations that require area priming. New drywall and wood ought to receive a complete prime coat. If you're utilizing a sheen finish such as an enamel, make use of a primer/sealer, which offers enamel holdout (i.e., it doesn't absorb the shine). All topped surfaces require sanding prior to completing. When working with new wood, I prime initially; putty the nail holes with lightweight vinyl spackle, overfilling the holes; sand the whole surface smooth; and then caulk. Important Tip: Never caulk any unprimed, bare surface. It will wick the liquid vehicle from the caulk, which will fail.

Clean-up, like preparation, is a process that continues throughout the task. I'll usually do a rough cleanup when all the bulk preparation is done and a more complete clean-up prior to using the 2nd coat of finish.

Painting the Prepared Surfaces
If our surfaces are effectively prepared, our paint will flow better, streak less, and bond more firmly, and our final completed surface will have a a lot more appealing appearance, while lasting longer. We've completed the more challenging work. The very best general insight I can provide is to buy quality paint tools: Don't skimp, as inexpensive tools make work harder while producing inferior results. Saving $4 on a tool that increases labor by one hour is no cost savings. Also, take your time. Work at a moderate, measured speed.

General Tips When Working with Paint. Pour off a quart into a cut pot, an old paint can, or work container and use this as your brush paint. This tip uses whether you're cutting in walls or painting a window sash.

After putting, clean the rim and sides of the can with your brush. When brushing, dip the brush in halfway or less and tap it back and forth inside the can. Do not wipe the brush against the rim, as this beats the function of the brush. Clean your brush from time to time to keep it fresh. If the paint gets unclean, strain it with a strainer or old nylons to eliminate the debris.

 Rolling paint on walls.

Man getting ready to paint a wall.

General Tips When Rolling Paint. Since paint might spatter, keep your drop fabrics tight to the wall and wipe the top of the wall as you go. Due to the fact that some colors reflect light differently when rolled rather than when brushed (which is called "hatbanding"), I attempt to roll as close as I can against verticals, like doorframes, and keep my rolled line uniform across the top and bottom of the wall.

When Painting Trim, General Tips. Compartmentalize the trim as a series of parts that get tied together. When I paint baseboard, I fill in the joint in between the top molding and the face, then I cut the leading molding to the wall, then I cut the shoe mould to the floor, and then I fill in the face location connecting my 2 cuts. Then I ride across the floor to the next area, constantly brushing back into the previous area. When painting doorframes, I don't paint the bottom number of inches till I do the baseboard. If you go to the floor on doorframes, you get carpeting fibers and dust, which is redeposited on your frames. When painting shoe molding that is tight to a wood floor, take the paint 1/16" onto the floor. When the base is done, your eye will not be able to figure out where one stops and the other beginnings. A cut line is more forgiving of faults in its location than in its discrepancies: this guideline likewise applies to lines at the ceiling.

We're now ready to work, and we'll talk about ideas on preparation and finishing your interior painting job. Painting serves two functions-- to enhance and to shield surfaces. It shields by providing "tooth" to the old surface, which permits the brand-new finish to appropriately bond, and it improves by giving a smooth look and feel to the completed surface. I routinely run a great bead of caulk around the whole room to aid in the finish painting, especially when working with high contrast colors. If our surfaces are appropriately prepared, our paint will stream better, streak less, and bond more securely, and our final finished surface will have a much more appealing look, while lasting longer.


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