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5 Tips to Avoid DIY Painting Problems

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Painting. It’s something all homeowners have a love-hate relationship with. On one hand, you’re filled with enthusiasm and excitement at the prospect of a room or home with a fresh lick of paint, while on the other you’re dreading making mistakes that will cost you time and potentially money down the track.

While painting the walls of your home does take time to plan, there is no reason the thought of it should fill you with dread. So without further ado, here are 5 things you need to consider before starting your DIY paint job.


Always Undercoat

If there is one rule of thumb you abide by, let it be this one: always prime or undercoat your walls before applying the topcoat.

Why, you ask? Well, a primer or undercoat is a preparative coating intended for the surface of your walls before painting. Priming allows for a better adhesion of paint to the surface, which increases paint durability and provides further protection to the wall itself.

The difference between a primer and an undercoat is simple. Primers cling to timber surfaces and contain stain inhibiting tannin blockers. An undercoat on the other hand is ideal for plasterboard. 

While this may seem like a step you could skip in the paint process, I beg you not to. The last thing you need is for the stunning bold paint you’ve chosen as your topcoat to result in an unsophisticated fluorescent shade of bleh that completely disagrees with your home interior (aka it looks gross).


Good Lighting is a Must

Many homeowners and landlords are already pressed for time as it is, let alone adding a big interior paint job to their to-do list. It’s no surprise then that so many of us plan on painting our walls in the evening… when natural lighting is at its worst. Bad move.

To avoid patchy, inconsistent paint jobs due to a lack of good lighting, you need to do one of the following: paint during the day when natural light is at its peak, or invest in an LED tripod work light.

An LED light such as this not only provides the essential visibility you need to administer your paint to perfection, but is mobile and adaptable – meaning you can manoeuvre it to your liking no matter how big or small the paint job. Good move.


Use Quality Accessories

We all know that premium quality paint such as those that offer a 5-year warranty are well worth the investment. So why then do so many home renovators skimp on quality when it comes to painting accessories?

When it comes to paintbrushes, rollers and painter’s tape, I don’t advise buying the cheapest products on the shelf. Investing in superior paint and accessories is imperative to achieving the best paint job possible.

So regardless of whether it is a brush, roller or paint tray, spending a little extra on quality products will ensure a better painting experience – and one void of issues such as fluff on walls due to budget rollers, or hairs behind paint from cheap paintbrushes. Hands up who has experienced this first hand? My hand is up folks, alas.


Mix the Paint

Think back to the first room you ever painted. How many tins of paint did you use? Did the tins each provide the exact same shade of paint? If the answer to this question is no, the problem likely lies with how the paint was mixed.

If you’ve been stirring your paint with a stick, stop. It’s not going to deliver for you, trust me. The trouble with this technique is that such a thin object doesn’t have the surface area to properly mix the paint.

The first thing you need to do is shake the tin of paint – I advise you to keep the lid shut tight during this! Mix the paint with either a plastic or wood paint stirrer loosely resembling a cricket bat in shape. You may even like to try using a paddle mix attached to a power drill on a low speed setting to get the best homogeneous mix possible.

Either method will guarantee a properly combined substance ready for brushing or rolling onto your walls. It really does make a difference to the end result.


Oil and Water Paints

With so many older houses featuring walls covered with oil-based paints, I can assure you I’ve seen it all when it comes to how homeowners attempt a refresh. From flaky paint to paint that chips far too easily, the walls of these older homes can look disastrous if not repainted properly. Yes, I’ve seen these shoddy results on more than one occasion.

A lot of the issues with the walls in such homes is that people are using the wrong type of paint.

If you’re painting over an oil-based enamel with a water-based enamel for example, you are guaranteed a flaky result.

By sanding the old coat of paint off your walls, doors or skirting boards, you’ll have a fresh foundation to work with, which you can then apply your water-based undercoat to before applying your final and flawless topcoat.


Be the Master Painter in No Time

So, with these 5 simple steps in mind, how are you feeling about your next paint job? Remember, we follow these rules for a reason – and that reason is to save you time and money in the long run, leaving you to enjoy the fruits of your labour with a perfect paint job you can be proud of, not one you cringe about.

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