Painting is one of the most common DIY tasks. Fortunately, painting is relatively easy, as long as you have the right tools and have done the right preparations.
Painting is straight-forward, if you have prepared the surface. No matter how good you are at painting or how good tools you have, a poorly prepared surface will produce a poor end result. You simply have to take the time to do the preparations before you start to paint. Unfortunately, preparing the surface is seldom fun. The good news is that if you do the preparations right, it is easy to do the painting and it will almost automatically look good.
Obviously, how to prepare the surface will depend on what you are painting. If you are painting wood, a sander will save you a lot of time. A random orbit sander is a very versatile sander which is easy to operate. They are also reasonably priced so if you are going to paint a lot of wood, a sander is a good investment. Concrete and masonry are fastest cleaned using a pressure washer. It is not easy to find a cheap and good pressure washer but a pressure washer is handy for a lot of tasks around the house so it can be worth paying a little bit extra in order to get a good pressure washer. To get rid of dirt such as grime and dust, a mixture of trisodium phosphate (TSP) and water is generally the best solution. Use caulk to get rid of cracks.
Before you start to paint you need to tape. Put painter’s tape around everything you need to protect from paint, for example window and door frames, and electrical switches. Floors and furniture are best protected with dust sheets.
There are lot of different types of paints to choose from. The two most basic categories are exterior paints and interior paints. Like the names imply, exterior paints are used outdoors while interior paints are for indoor use. For painting indoor ceilings and walls, latex paint (known as emulsion paint in the UK) is the best type of paint. It is possible to use exterior paint indoors but most of them are not designed to withstand scrubbing.
A few accessories make the painting more comfortable. A breathing mask prevents dust and fumes from reaching your lungs. A painter’s cap protects your hair and head if you are painting ceilings. Goggles are seldom necessary for painting but can be useful when preparing the surface for the paint. A sturdy stepladder is needed if you are painting ceilings and walls.
For the actual painting, you can use brushes, rollers, pads or paint sprayer. Brushes are best for small areas while rollers are best for large flat areas, such as walls and ceilings. Pads are more difficult to use than brushes but they don’t leave any brush marks.
How many coats of paint that are needed depends on the job, follow the instructions on the paint tin. Remember to always leave the paint to dry between coats. Start with painting the ceiling, then the walls and paint the woodwork last.