Painting a wall, a room, or even a whole house is deceptively simple: all you need is the right paint, a brush or a roller, maybe a ladder or two, and you're done, right? Not so fast. While we all think we can do a passable job of painting, the pros know that the key to a job you can be proud of is choosing the right paint and primer, preparing the surfaces with care, and applying the paint with the correct technique. In this comprehensive project guide, follow along with the painting pros as they share their top-level advice about paint selection, preparation, and painting a house inside and out by hand or with spray equipment.
Intro to Painting
Let's begin by debunking the myth that there's nothing new to learn about painting. In this opening chapter, we'll give you a quick overview of the whole process, with up-to-the minute tips on preparation, paint selection, and cleanup. And we'll also introduce you to two painting pros whose work isn't just their job, it's their passion.
Tools & Materials
Latex or oil? Do you need a primer? Exterior paint or solid stain? And what about caulks and sealants? Brush, roller, or sprayer? With so many questions, even before you start to paint, it can all seem overwhelming. Don't worry, in this exhaustive chapter on tools and materials, you'll find the answers you need, including advice on how to clean all that equipment.
Preparation is the key to a first-class paint job, whether you're painting the interior of a room or the exterior of the whole house. The surface to be painted has to be clean, dry, dull, and sound. Follow these guidelines on washing down walls, repairing damage, caulking baseboard and trim, and everything else you need to do before applying primer and paint. Also included is important safety information on lead-paint containment.
Painting Walls, Ceilings, and Trim
When painting a room, it's always best to work from the top down: ceiling first, walls next, and trim last. Learn from the pros as they show you how to roll out a smooth finish, use proper brush technique, and cut in trim and corners. Along the way, you'll pick up tips for sanding between coats and using masking tape effectively. The chapter ends with information on staining millwork for a flawless finish and painting walls with glazes.
With a growing range of designs, colors, and types, wall coverings (and wallpaper in particular) are back in fashion again. As with painting, preparing the wall surface is super important, but beyond that you'll need to learn some new skills for applying wall coverings. These include estimating and layout, hanging and smoothing wallpaper, dealing with inside and outside corners, and working around trim and outlet boxes. You'll also find tips here for removing old wall coverings with minimal mess and damage.
Windows and Doors
Windows and doors require their own special preparation and painting techniques. The order is everything: As a general rule, paint window sash and doors from inside out to avoid messing up work you've already done. This section of the guide includes invaluable painting tips and techniques and concludes with an in-depth video series on finishing an exterior door with dye, stain, and varnish.
Spray Painting Interiors
Many people are familiar with spray painting the exterior of a house, but spray equipment can also be used to good effect on the interior. Although spray painting interior work on-site is time-intensive in terms of preparation and setup, a spray finish is actually faster to apply and lays down a near-perfect coat of paint. The tips and techniques presented here will help you achieve a high-quality finish inside that's smoother to the touch than a brushed or rolled finish.
Don't be confused by the title of this last section of the guide. While "painting" is a critical step in beautifying the outside of a home, there's so much more involved than just brushing or spray painting the exterior. Scraping and sanding, possibly paint removal and siding/trim repair, power washing, and priming are some of the time-consuming tasks you'll need to complete before even opening that first can of house paint. Follow along with our painting pros as they share their tips and techniques for the whole process from preparation to final coat.