House Painting How To Manual
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Painting Interior Surfaces

Wrapped Cieling Fixture Image
Before paint can be applied, you should first protect the areas not being painted and prepare the surface that is to receive the paint. Protect furniture and floor by using drop cloths and throwing newspapers over floors, rugs, and radiators. Wrap sconces and lights in plastic bags which can be twist tied into place (be sure not to use these particular lights until plastic is removed). You can remove the base of ceiling lights and fans and wrap the entire fixture in plastic (see image).

Remove the covers of receptacles and light switches. Cover the thermostat with newspaper. You should mask the edges of your work to create crisp clear lines. If you are spraying, tape newspaper over any area you do not want hit by overspray. Windows should be masked as well.

Repair holes in drywall or wood. Often this can be done with a bit of plaster smoothed over a nail hole and then lightly sanded. (For bigger drywall repairs visit the Dry Wall How To Manual website.) Cracked corners of moulding and trim can be filled with plastic wood, spackling compound or even caulk.

Old paint that is flaking should be removed with a putty knife or scraper. Uneven surfaces where some paint still remains can be smoothed over with spackling compound. For deep ruts in wood, wood putty can be used as a filler.

On surfaces that have never been painted before, be sure to apply a primer coat. If painting over old wallpaper, use an oil-based paint, or at least an oil-based primer. Wallpaper will often bubble up if water-based paint is applied directly to it.

With your surface area prepared, your paint purchased and your tools at hand, it is finally time to begin painting. Painting walls or ceilings use a roller as it will evenly cover large surfaces and will do it much more quickly than could be done with a brush. Nevertheless, you will need a brush for part of the job. Begin with the cutting in, which is painting the corners and edges where a roller cannot reach. When applying paint with a brush, try to use the end of the bristles not the side to apply the paint. Only dip the brush about one inch into the can or tray.

When the cutting-in is complete you can use the roller on the rest right away. After pouring paint into the tray, run the roller up and down the tray, covering the roller cover completely. Put on the paint evenly, though not thickly. At the same time don't keep going when the roller is short of paint. By pressing hard and running fast you will spray paint all over any uncovered surface and yourself as well. Trying to save paint by pushing hard will ultimately gain you only a mess. You can use a zig-zag technique to lay on the paint. Make an "M" figure on the wall about two feet in height and about three feet wide, without lifting your roller fill in the gaps. This will spread the paint evenly and allow you a regular period for loading the roller in the pan.

When a paint is laid on, it will have a slightly different color than its final appearance. Allow it to dry completely before applying additional coats.

Next Page

Drywall How To Manual - To learn how hang drywall.

Learn how to paint over silicone caulk.

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