A survey of 1500 renovators shows that 8 in 10 people work with paint and brush. But doing paintwork yourself is not always better.
These ten ultimate tips will guide you to achieve a good painting.
1. Do not start too fast! Is your new home not yet furnished? Then you can quickly start painting. But are your walls and ceilings ready for this? How long do you have to dry plaster? “We assume 1mm per week. For 2 cm plaster this is 20 weeks waiting time. After this you can get started. But do not forget that your construction is still ‘moving’. And that there are probably cracks in your plaster here and there.”
2. New construction? Check your surface, the finish of your walls and ceilings determines everything. You need a primer for fresh plaster or new drywall. “It ensures that the substrate absorbs the paint well and forms the bridge between the plaster and the final finishing layer. Without primer there is a good chance that your paint will not adhere enough.”
3. Older walls clean enough? Did you buy a house and everything has been painted? Then you usually do not need a primer. A layer of finishing is sufficient here. Whether it is plastering or plasterboard.
The exception to the rule: dirty walls after frequent smoking, soot or water damage. “Here you need an insulating primer,” according to De Meyer, “otherwise, dirty circles will appear sooner or later.”
4. Use the correct masking tape, Good masking tape is worth gold: But which do you choose? A cheap tape has two drawbacks according to De Meyer: “The paint can still be used and the adhesive is often too strong. If you pull the tape away, paint may come from your wall or ceiling. Pay extra attention to windows and doors.”
How do you recognize the better tapes? “The well-known yellow crepe tapes are good to stick off your floor or window with. For specific painting works you should inform yourself about custom tapes. The purple and gold tapes give a tighter and more beautiful end result but are a bit more expensive.”
5. Apply enough layers
How many layers of paint do you need? “It depends on the product and the colour”, emphasizes Alex De Meyer. “Two layers usually suffice for light shades. If you go for bright white, you will need three layers before. Same for bright and dark colours. Moreover, it is sometimes better to apply two layers of primer and a layer of finish than the other way around. Your primer is namely a lot better and is now available in the colour of your finish.”
6. Ensure the perfect paint climate: Paint in the summer or earlier in the winter? “Is there ventilation or heating in the house? Then it does not matter that much. If this is not the case, for example during a major renovation, two things are important: the temperature and the humidity.”
“Inside it must be at least 10 °C, ideally 17 to 18 °C. The humidity is best between 60 and 70%. If the humidity is too low, your paint dries too quickly. If it is too high, your paint will remain wet for too long.”
7. Use the appropriate material: Use a paintbrush for small surfaces and corners. For larger surfaces a role will work best. “You use a synthetic brush for water-based products. For solvent-based paints you work with a bristle brush”, explains Alex De Meyer. “For walls you usually use rolls of 18cm wide. For typical wall paints, the appropriate hair length is between 9 and 13mm, depending on the role.”
8. Use all paint in the pot: The paint pot shows how many square meters you can cover with the contents. That has a good reason: “Do you have paint left? Then your coat of paint is probably too thin and the end result is not optimal. Measure well the surface of your walls and ceilings in advance.”
9. Use the right technology: A perfect end result, without streaks, sweeping or unwanted colour shades? Work in three steps: application, distribution and unrolling.
Start with the paint brush. First paint a few centimetres wide in the corners. And around the sockets and lighting buttons on the places where you are going to roll. Remove the cover plates first. Never iron the entire room with the brush, but only where you have to work with the roll at that moment.
Continue with the paint roller. Work in boxes of 1 square meter. Work away from the light. Thus, irregularities are less likely to occur.
Take your paint roller through the paint box until it is saturated and apply a line of paint from left to right. Do these three times per box but switch direction. Is your profession completely covered with paint? Then it’s time to roll off. Make a last, smooth rolling motion, again away from the light. Your paint rollers and brushes can easily last for years. If you take good care of your material, of course.
10. Let your brush soak for a night: Are you ready? Scrape most paint from your brush or roller with a putty knife. Then put everything in a pot of water overnight. Clean the next day with water. Soap does not make much sense.