Painting a room by yourself can be a rewarding experience.
If everything goes right, you not only get a freshly painted room that looks great, but you may also get a feeling of pride knowing that you did it yourself.
I put this page here to give you a few tricks of the trade from a professional painter. Obviously, I can’t predict every contingency you might come across, but here’s a few ideas to get you started…
When caulking seams around windows and doors, between trim and walls or anywhere else in a room, try using a wet t-shirt type cloth wrapped tightly around your finger. This will help give you a smooth bead of caulk and will also help prevent your fingers from getting all sticky with the caulking.
When filling nail holes in trim that’s going to be painted, use vinyl spackle or hardening wood putty. (wood putty dries harder, but vinyl spackle is easier to sand – both are effective). Fill the hole slightly above level to allow for any shrinkage. When it’s dry, you can sand it smooth with fine grit sandpaper. With a little practice, you should have a hard time even telling where the nail holes were once it’s been painted.
If you’re painting the ceiling and walls in a room, always paint the ceiling first. If you paint the walls first, you might lean against them while painting the ceiling. It’s highly unlikely you’ll ever lean against the ceiling while painting the walls.
If you have any heavy-duty screw anchors in your walls from a large hanging picture and you want to fill the holes, it’s often better to push them into the wall and fill a small hole, rather than trying to pull them out and possibly patching a much larger hole if they tear the wall on the way out.
If you’re painting with oil-based paint, don’t waste your time trying to clean the roller nap when you’re finished. It makes no sense spending ½ hour of your time and $6.00 worth of mineral spirits just to clean a $5.00 roller nap. A quality brush is worth cleaning, but just thank the roller nap for its service and give it a proper send off.
Don’t store left over paint in an unheated garage or shed for the winter. Most paint in a sealed container can handle one or two freeze/thaw cycles, but if you leave it out all winter, you’ll have little more than a huge paperweight by the time spring rolls around.
When you’re spackling holes in your walls, it’s better to use multiple thin layers of spackle (allowing each layer to dry before applying the next) rather than laying it on heavy thinking you’ll sand it smooth later. I’ve worked with many so called “professionals” that think they’ll save time by laying the spackle on thick and sanding it later. What usually happens is…
1- They spend the same amount of time sanding, that they thought they were going to save, or
2- It doesn’t really sand smooth and you end up with a visible hump on the wall after it’s painted, or
3- They sand it smoothly but create a dust cloud you’ll be cleaning up for days
It does take a little patience to wait for one layer to dry before applying the next, but with 2 or 3 thin layers of wall patch, you’ll eliminate 95+% of the sanding and you’ll end up with far better results in the end.
(More to come)
If you’re looking for more in depth DIY tips, you can go to our Contact us page and email me directly with any questions you have. I will personally respond to all inquiries as soon as possible. Or if you’d like a little professional help with your project, you can always hire me for a day.
Serving Southern New Hampshire and surrounding areas since 1995