1. Start with the Right Tools
Whether working on an interior or exterior project, be sure to use the right tools – especially the appropriate tape – to ensure a professional-looking result. For indoor projects, make sure you read the label to find a tape that is appropriate for the surface you are working on and that has EdgeLock technology to ensure sharp, clean lines.
2. Scrape and sand before washing
When there is a lot of scraping and sanding to do, as there was on the house featured here, we like to do it before the house is washed. Many painters make the mistake of washing first and then doing a lot of heavy sanding afterward. The dust left behind makes it hard for the paint to bond. After the scraping and sanding are done and the house has been washed, check all scraped areas to make sure the washing didn’t loosen any more paint.
3. Cover plants, cars, and exterior light fixtures
We use lightweight canvas drop cloths to cover plants. They don’t break branches, and they let the plants breathe. Plastic covers can heat up like a greenhouse and kill plants. We cover lights, windows, and doors with Cling Cover plastic. Unlike with traditional poly sheeting, the tape sticks well to the lightly textured surface.
4. Stick to low pressure when washing
We add about a tablespoon of dish soap to our mix of TSP (trisodium phosphate) and bleach. Dish soap creates suds that help the solution to cling to the siding and trim instead of running off the house. Then we rinse the house with a pressure washer on a low setting. Never use high pressure, which can force water into the wood and damage siding and windows.
5. Pick the right primer
With so many primers out there, it’s easy to get confused about which one to use. We almost always use a slow-drying oil-based primer for exterior wood. Because it dries slowly, it has time to penetrate the wood and provides the best base for all types of paint. Many people think that if they are going to use latex paint, then they must use a latex primer, which is incorrect. As long as the primer has time to dry, it’s perfectly fine to topcoat with latex paint.
One often-overlooked step is to wipe these materials with denatured alcohol to remove any manufacturing oils before priming. When priming new wood, watch out for mill glaze. I’ve heard carpenters and painters say they don’t believe in mill glaze, but if the wood appears shiny or especially smooth or if it’s been in the sun for a few weeks, sand it lightly before priming.
Ideas for Impressive Interiors
When approaching interior projects, use these tips to make them flawless:
– When painting big surfaces, such as a wall, use a roller and paint in “X” and “W” patterns for even distribution of paint. This helps you avoid “lap marks” where paint builds up thicker in some areas due to overlapping.
– When using a brush, load your brush and start by painting strokes in the middle of the paint area – working your way to the edges. The goal is to lightly whisk the paint on. The brush has more paint on it than you think, so let the brush do the work.
You’ll be amazed by how beautiful your home can be when you take the time to tackle those painting projects and do it right. Incorporating these tips into your painting routine will get you painting like a pro in no time.
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