Breaking News

Interior Painting Tips for a Handyman

Interior Painting Tips for a Handyman

For quick results, few do-it-yourself jobs are as satisfying as painting. A quick once over may look good but will not last long unless the surface is properly prepared first.

Which paint you use depends on the surface, generally, enamels are best for even surfaces like doors and trims. Vinyl and plastic paints thinnable in water, suit broad walls and ceilings and also slightly uneven surfaces like cement render. Flat finishes are recommended for ceilings as they reduce reflection and make the surface look more even. Whatever paint you use, choose a good quality brand and apply it to a surface that’s sound, clean and dry.

Follow these simple steps.

A day or two ahead:

  1. Drive any nails right in to the walls. The nail heads and any holes or cracks should be filled with a suitable filler. When dry, sand flush with the wall.
  2. Check the old paint work. As a quick test, press a piece of sticky tape to the paint and pull it away. If any paint sticks to it, scrape or sand away the loose and flaking areas. Then apply a coat of binding paint after all preparation has been completed.
  3. Brush down walls and ceiling to remove dust. Wash with sugar soap or commercial paint cleaner to remove grease.
  4. NOTE: any shiny surfaces including trims should be sanded or rubbed with liquid sandpaper to dull the finish.

On painting day:

  1. Move furniture out of the room or stack in the centre and cover with a drop cloth. Light fittings should be loosened and covered with a plastic bag. Floors should be covered with old sheets or drop cloths.
  2. Mask all trims near wall areas including wall outlets and switch plates.

How much paint will you need?

Measure the length, width and height of all walls and ceiling and work out the area in square meters. Two coats give best results, so all totals should be doubled. The label on the can tells you what coverage to expect. As a guide, 1 litre covers about 14 to 16 square meters per coat.

Now you are ready to start painting. Do ceilings first, then walls and lastly, woodwork. A roller with an extension handle is the easiest way to paint ceilings.

Stir the paint thoroughly with a flat paddle to ensure that colour is evenly distributed. The consistency of the paint should be to be same from the bottom to the top of the can. Knitting needles or screwdrivers do not mix paint properly.

If using a roller pour a quantity of paint into the tray. Replace the lid firmly on the rest to avoid evaporation.

Do edges and corners first with a brush. This is called cutting in. On both walls and ceilings always work against the wet edge and try to do the whole area in one go. If a strip of paint dries it may streak when you paint over it.

Start with the ceiling. Work in strips about half a meter wide, starting away from the window. Work your way down the whole ceiling in strips, not too fast or you will splatter paint. Use cross strokes to smooth out or “lay off” the paint work.

For walls, after cutting in, start at the top and work up and down in strips. Without reloading the roller, run it up and down the strip to lay off the paint then go on to the next strip. Roll sideways across the tops of doors and windows.

Brushes are best for painting woodwork; use a paint aid (moving mask) to keep paint off walls. Do skirting boards first then window frames and doors. Do not apply paint too heavily or it will run. Lay off along the grain and do a whole section in one go to prevent paint forming a hard edge.

The edges of window panes can be coated with soap, wax or Vaseline before painting frames. If masking tape is used, apply just before painting and remove soon after, otherwise solvent will dry out and it is almost impossible to remove from glass.

Before you start, work windows up and g down a few times to dislodge dust. After painting, before the paint sets, move the sash up or down so it won’t stick.

Do doors and door frames last, removing all fittings from door. They can be replaced when the enamel is dry. Clean brushes and rollers soon after use.

Materials you’ll need

  • Suitable filler
  • Drop cloths
  • Plastic bags
  • Wall cleaner
  • Enamel for woodwork and trims
  • Liquid Sandpaper
  • Masking tape
  • Interior paint

Tools you’ll need

  • Hammer
  • Paint scraper
  • Measuring tape
  • Roller tray
  • Rag
  • Roller with extension handle
  • Sandpaper and sanding block
  • Paint aid guide for cutting in
  • Putty knife
  • Screwdriver
  • Mixing paddle
  • Paint brushes