Interior Painting Basics
Well if there was ever a perfect time to paint the walls in your house, it would be right now. Now normally I would not advocate for doing super large painting projects yourself. But considering the fact that most people are going to be trapped in their homes for the foreseeable future, I feel talking about things to do that are healthy and productive is a good thing. So let’s see, there are plenty of tips and tricks to go over, if not just the simple process of how it’s done. So, if this is your first time ever painting a wall in your home, then pay attention, this part is for you! First you want to make it fun, so figuring out your color scheme is an exciting and important step. Picking a simple color you like, going for a theme, or getting wild and trying something totally new and different. Either way, it’s your home and your choice. You’ve got your color, and you go to the paint store, usually Lowe’s or Home Depot, or even your local Ace, and you pick out the kind of paint you want. This is an interesting point that some people are completely unaware of. There are not only different brands of paint, but there are also different sheens of paint. So, whatever you are painting there is a good or bad choice when it comes to sheens. There is flat paint, that is a very basic, cheap, and dull coat of paint. There is no shine at all to it. I would call it boring even, it doesn’t clean up very well, and is clearly not my favorite sheen of paint. Next up is eggshell, I usually prefer eggshell when painting interior walls of my home. The name itself very well describes the look of the sheen for this type of paint. It pretty much looks and feels just like the shell of an egg! Also known as satin, is a mixture of flat and semi-gloss and is good for most because of it’s soft look combined with how easy it is to clean. Again it is my preference for most home paint jobs. Next is semi-gloss. Semi-gloss can really come in handy when painting trim and molding, for the fact that the shinier a surface is, the easier it is to wipe down. I usually would not use semi-gloss or gloss on any interior walls, mostly because for one it looks pretty tacky, but also because it shows almost all imperfections and just looks bad. Semi-gloss is also a good paint for cabinet cupboards and things like that, but that’s about it. Last there is gloss. Gloss is for sure the most durable and easiest to clean, but again not a good choice for interior walls. I would consider using a gloss based paint for projects such as floors, stairs, and handrails. Cabinets are another gloss based paint project, especially if you have rough and tumble kids! So now you have your color and your base chosen. If you are starting a new project on either a fresh drywalled wall, or even a wall that is currently painted in a bad way, you might have to use a good primer to get the flat and clean canvas to start. There are also plenty of paint and primer combinations if you like to do things quick and simple. But to get the best look out of any painted wall, you will most likely have to do at least 2 or sometimes 3 coats of paint to cover any underlying issues. Okay, you’ve got your paint and primer or combo of the two. It’s almost time to start, but before you do, think ahead to all of the possible things that might come up that you will want to have on hand to make sure you don’t have to stop in the middle of your project and potentially ruin the whole thing. Things you will definitely need include a paint roller, extra rollers, a paint tray and liners, a drop cloth of some sort to lay under your project to keep the floor underneath clean, an angled paint brush for all of the corners and for trimming out the ceiling, and something that it easy to forget but always comes in handy, is paper towel that you can easily grab if you make a mistake or need to wipe up a quick mess. Then there is tape. I think that the blue tape works best and even though some people don’t think they need it (my spouse), if you want to have clean sharp lines and a job well done, than do yourself a favor and take the extra time and tape off your trim and molding, and also cover your switches and plugs, after removing the covers of course.
Alright recap...you’ve got your paint, your drop cloth, your trim is taped, you have your tools, hopefully you have a ladder, I probably should have mentioned that first, I’ll digress, if you do not have a ladder, you will either need to go buy one, or borrow one, or you’ll probably want to call a pro. Otherwise, it sounds like you are ready! I don’t think it really matters, but I usually start with the trim and cutting in the ceiling. Now the ceiling can be tricky, but I’ll tell you a secret: when you are up there looking at it close up as long as you keep the lines straight, you won’t be able to tell the difference down on the floor when you look up. So if you find yourself touching the ceiling a couple times, just straighten out the line of the mistake and take notice next time you are down off the ladder that it looks just fine. Do not, I repeat, do NOT try to wipe paint off the ceiling, because all you will do is smudge it all up and make it look way worse in the process. Just do like a said and make it a straight line and you’ll be good to go. What you should focus on most is going slow, taking your time, and the excitement of how pretty it will look when you know you put all your effort into making it look great! Once your trim is all cut in, it’s time to roll. Make sure you get your fresh roll nice and coated before starting so that you know you will be applying the paint evenly. And just go up and down nice and even and slow. Be careful to not go too far up and accidentally touch the ceiling, or too far down, and get paint on the trim or the floor. Slow, even strokes are the key to a great looking wall, with no mess. Another thing to remember is letting your coats of paint dry completely before starting the next coat. If you are painting a whole room, it usually seems like by the time you finish on one end of the room, when you come back around it will be dry and ready for the next coat! Next thing you know, you’re done! And you have a fresh new looking room. And please tell me you agree it is one amazing feeling when you know you did something to make such fun and needed change! In my eyes, it’s good for the soul! Now go make it happen, and GOOD LUCK!!
Painting the Concrete!
You’d think painting concrete would just be, sweep up the dirty and get to rolling. But unfortunately it is a little bit more complicated than that. If you want the paint to last and look good for a long time, you have to put in the extra effort and do it by the book. First of all the concrete needs to be CLEAN. And not just broom it off clean, but really clean...like get alllll of the dirt, all the grease and power wash away anything else, kind of clean! After it’s really super clean, it’s time for primer. Side note: I’ve never seen a painted concrete driveway, but I am very interested in how that would look! Okay anyways, you have to make sure you get an actual concrete primer, not just regular primer. And from what I’ve heard, the primer will be dry in about two hours, but the pros say to wait atleast 8 hours to make sure it realllllly sticks! When it’s finally time to paint for real, you should probably use a masonry paint, since that is what it’s for, and not use just any old wall paint. I feel like that should go without saying, but you never know. Another handy tip I’ve learned is to resist the temptation for using a paint sprayer, since this type of paint is going to be a little bit thinker and have more of a texture to it, it will most likely ruin any basic paint sprayer. So you’re going to have to do this the good old fashioned way. Then there is the topic of what roller you want to use. If you try to cheap out and get a bunch of the thin, chincy rollers, it’s going to cost you more in the end because they will get ruined so much faster from the rough concrete that you will go through them like toilet paper! So opt for the thick, durable high-capacity roller. It will apply a much more even coat and you won’t be replacing the roller every 15 minutes. Yet either way, you want to make sure that if you are applying multiple coats you are letting them dry in between each layer. It will ensure a long lasting, and chip proof paint job, which I’m sure is what you are going for. Most of all, I feel like I must add that if you are taking on a project like this as a DIYer, you must have fun. After all, what's the point of doing anything if you aren’t enjoying it as you go. This is your one life, have fun with it, even if it is hard and tedious work.