What To Do Before Applying Paint

First Things First

You will need to prep your walls and wood work trim before beginning to paint, or else the debris from prepping will settle on the new paint. Woodwork and trim are painted with an enamel or glossy paint, which will have to be roughed up so that the new paint will adhere properly. This can be done by using a chemical de-glossing agent or lightly sand with steel wool or fine-grit sandpaper. If you have to use chemical, avoid those containing ethyl alcohol.

Once you’ve completed scraping off the old paint, fill in dents and gouges with wood putty or patching compound. Once you’ve completed this, sand the trim/surface. Always sand where the old paint is breaking away from the underlying surface.

Tip on how to ‘mask’ smell of paint:

Use 4 drops of vanilla extract for every quart of interior latex paint. Other extracts, such as peppermint, can be used as well as long as the alcohol in the ingredients is methyl alcohol, which is formulated to mix with water. Do not use perfume or other alcohol-based fragrances; they won\’t mix properly with water-based paint. 

This does not work for oil-based finishes.

Applying the Paint

Always remember to prep your surface as this is crucial for a good job done on paint work. Before starting your paint project, make sure that your paint are all properly mixed. Different cans of paint, even in the same colour, may have some slight variation in them. Use a system called “boxing” that will assure that there is no mismatch among the cans of paints. This is done by mixing all your paint into one large container until the paint’s colour and consistency is uniform. Make sure that you gauge how much paint you need as running out and trying to match the colours again may be difficult. 

Tip: As a general rule, a single gallon of paint covers 400 square feet. (length of room x width of  room= square footage)

If you encountered blotchiness on oil-based paints, strain it through a nylon stocking to separate them. When thinning paint, make sure you do it slowly so as to not over-thin it. 

Start by painting your ceilings first as this will ensure that any drips falling on the walls will be covered. Always start painting from top to bottom, for the same reason a forehand. 

Always use goggles and face mask (where applicable like using a spray painter or painting ceilings), and wear old clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. You should also use a hat or scarf to cover your head so that you don’t end up with unwanted coloured hair. 

Cutting In

This is a process of applying paint at all corners where ceilings meet walls or where walls intersect. This is also where paint is applied next to all molding, trim, and baseboards. Use a 3 – 4 inch brush, and always paint these edges first before doing the large surfaces.

A paint edger can also be used. This sponge-type brush has a small set of wheels on the side that enable it to make an even close cut. A paint edger or straightedge can be used next to trim or baseboard to be sure that no paint gets onto the wood.