Brush Up with Tips from the Pros

If you were a house, there would be nothing more important to you than the paint that covers you, inside and out.A few hundred dollars worth of paint can instantly change the way you look and take a home from a suburban-tract tedium to country-cottage romance. The challenge is getting the paint on the walls in a reasonably expert fashion. There are generally two ways to go – hire a team of pros and spend several thousand dollars, or do the job yourself.There’s a reason professional painters are paid well. There is usually a noticeable difference between the quality of work they do and the job the average homeowner or beginner painter does. But you can close the gap considerably and end up with an almost professional looking paint job. Just use a few of the tricks the pros use.

a) Start with good paint. You know the old saying, “There’s nothing more expensive than a can of cheap paint.” Discount paints contain ‘fillers’ which add nothing to the quality of the paint. Spending an extra $10, $20, or even $30 per gallon almost always delivers better results and a longer lasting paint job.

b) Thoroughly prepare all surfaces. This is perhaps the single most- important task. Good preparation ensures a longer lasting paint job.   Skip these critical preparation tasks and you’ll be repainting years before you should have to.    Remember – paint does not stick to dirt. Replacing rotted wood or removing old peeling paint takes time and money.

c) Use an appropriate premium grade primer on bare or exposed surfaces.   Primer helps cover and protect the subsurface and extend its useful life.   Metal surfaces and wood surfaces require different primer products.

d) Use flat paint on bumpy or uneven surfaces.   High gloss or semi-gloss paint dramatically highlights flaws or imperfections.   On the other hand, on flat surfaces such as doors or trim, paint with a bit of a sheen to help the color pop a little.

e) Buy better quality paint brushes and roller naps to produce better results. Unless you are familiar with using a paint spray gun, we suggest you leave this application method to the pros.

f) Latex (water-based) paint cleans up well with water. Alkyd (oil-based) paints require mineral spirits or turpentine for clean up.