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How the Pros Paint

If you wish you could get a professional paint job for little or no cost, the best thing to do is learn to paint like the pros. A few simple tricks will help you learn to do it just like a professional.

Always prime your walls. It’s easy to be tempted to skip priming, but priming your walls creates a fresh surface to start painting on. It also ensures that you see the true color of the new paint and not a blend of your new paint’s color overlaid with the old one.

Ensure you get clean lines with an edge pad. Professional painters pad the edges of things like door frames and window sills to ensure that you don’t get anything you don’t plan to paint smudged.

Plan on one gallon of paint for every 400 square feet. Pro painters usually buy paint according to this assumption, so be sure to measure your walls and buy all the paint you expect to need before you begin painting. If your walls are textured they might use more.

Don’t paint on a rainy day. On rainy or humid days paint dries much slower, so paint on a clear, dry day to ensure minimal wait time for your wet paint.

Clean your walls. Paint needs clean walls to stick to, so wipe down your walls before even applying primer if you haven’t done so recently.

Scrape flaking paint off the walls. If you don’t scrape flaking paint from your walls, your end result will be bumpy and not smooth. A paint scraper can be purchased at almost any hardware store.

Cover doorknobs with sandwich baggies. Taping a sandwich bag around your doorknobs will ensure you don’t get any paint on them.

Use semi-glossy paint if you have kids. If you have small children, semi-glossy paint can be a lifesaver. It’s easy to wipe off and most things can’t stain it. Even if you don’t have kids, semi-glossy paint can be a good option for areas like dining rooms or kitchens, where spills are most likely to occur.

Be sure to cover your entire floor. You definitely don’t want paint drops on your hardwood floors or your white carpet, so be sure to cover your entire floor with a drop cloth. It’s easy to get messy when you’re painting and you can even accidentally leave a trail of paint if you happen to spill it on your clothing, so be sure to cover your flooring so that you don’t have to look at paint polka dots forever.

Don’t paint over a wet area. After you’ve painted a layer, don’t go back over it while it’s wet. This will only leave streaks and won’t help you even out the paint.

Use sandpaper on glossy surfaces. If you’re preparing to paint over a glossy surface, be sure to lightly sand the area first. Paint doesn’t stick well to glossy walls, so painting should rough up the surface enough to ensure a smooth coat of paint.

Use a roller. You’ll be done in a quarter of the time if you use a roller on the largest part of the walls instead of a traditional paint brush.

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