One of the best ways to add beauty and value to a home is the addition of a fresh coat of paint. For this reason, painting is a popular do-it-yourself project for virtually all property owners. However, there are some essential things everyone must know before beginning such a task. Follow the tips outlined below for your next painting project:
Gather All Tools and Equipment in Advance
Preparation is important to the success of any DIY project. Therefore, make a list of everything you need in advance. This includes items that are sometimes overlooked, such as drop cloths, sanders, scrapers and turpentine. Also, make sure that ladders and other equipment are in good shape and safe for use.
Check Square Footage
When painting the exterior of your home, never attempt to estimate the number of cans necessary for your project. As a general rule, a gallon of paint is needed for every 400 square feet. However, depending on the home’s texture, it may require more. This is because rough surfaces typically need more coats them those that are smooth. Running out in the middle of your project wastes money and time, so it is important to know the exact square footage of your home prior to making your purchase.
Dry, low humidity days are best for painting projects, as the finish may blister otherwise. Most people are aware that exterior painting projects should not be scheduled for rainy days, but some homeowners choose such days to complete tasks of this kind inside the home. Nevertheless, this is not a good idea either, as it is not convenient to open windows to ventilate if it is raining. Never be tempted to paint in a closed space with no ventilation, even if the can’s label says the product is “non-toxic.”
Whether you are painting the interior or exterior of your home, the surfaces must be appropriately prepared to ensure a successful outcome. This means you must carefully scrape and sand any flaking, cracking or peeling areas prior to applying the first coat. Greasy spots should be washed with soap and the walls should be wiped with a dust free cloth.
Maintain a Wet Edge
Depending on conditions, a painted area may begin to dry within a few minutes. Therefore, to avoid lining your walls with lap marks, maintain a wet edge during your project. This is easily accomplished by making sure each new stroke overlaps the previous one.
Plan for Drying Time
Always plan appropriately for drying time. For interior rooms, allow for at least 24 hours of drying before items such as furniture are brought back to the area. For the exterior of your home, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions with regard to drying time.
Properly Remove Tape
Never remove tape too early or pull it off without proper tools. This is because it will pull off the dried finish with it and ruin your hard work. It is always best to wait at least 24 hours and then slice through the film of tape with a sharp utility knife, pulling it off at a 45 degree angle.
Resist the Urge to Rush
There is no way to rush a painting project and still enjoy positive results. For this reason, it is essential to take your time to prepare for the job and move at a slow and steady pace until it is complete.
Some homeowners are not cut out for careful, meticulous tasks, such as painting. If this is the case, simply call a reputable professional to complete the job and enjoy the value and beauty it adds to your home.