Answers to common questions provide advice for professional results on your next interior paint job.
Synopsis: In this article a professional painting contractor answers the most frequently asked questions about interior painting. Among other topics, he covers prepping a room, covering stains, and painting windows and doors.
Most people think that painting the interior of a house is a job that requires just a couple of tools, a high level of boredom, and very little experience. Only after they’ve come to the end of their messy first job do they begin to wonder about that old guy in painter’s whites they once saw working at someone else’s house. How could he paint an entire room in a seamlessly choreographed sequence of brush and roller strokes before his second cup of coffee and not spill even a drop of paint? I’m not that old guy yet, but I am a painting contractor. People always ask me how they can improve their painting techniques. If you consider the act of painting on par with a trip to the dentist, the answers ahead will provide some Novocain to ease the pain of your next painting project.
How do I prep a room for paint?
I like to move all furniture out or to the center of the room and cover it with plastic. To protect the floor, I roll out 4-mil plastic and tape it to the baseboard. Unless I’m painting the ceiling, it’s necessary to cover only the first 3 ft. or 4 ft. of floor from the wall. Blue masking tape is best; it adheres to most surfaces and peels off cleanly for up to 14 days. The green tape can stay on even longer.
Next, I make sure walls and trim surfaces are clean, stain-free, and smooth. Nail holes, bumps, and cracks can be patched; for anything less than 1 ⁄4 in. deep, I use lightweight joint compound, which dries quickly.
How do I prevent stains from showing through the new paint?
It’s a good idea to start any job with a quality primer. Stains including ink, crayon, water, and smoke soot can be blocked by a stain killing primer such as BIN or Benjamin Moore’s Fresh Start acrylic primer. After applying the primer, be sure to spot-prime the same area with the finish paint before applying the final coat. Otherwise, the spot will appear shiny when the wall is viewed from an angle.
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