Want your room to look like you hired a professional painter, instead of doing it yourself? Below
are some amateur mistakes to avoid when trying to achieve a professional look.
1. Skipping prep. Never skimp on prep time. A wall ill-prepared to receive paint will look
amateurish. Most professionals spend more time on preparing the surfaces, and the
room, than actually applying paint. This is because a well-prepared room makes the jog
flow more easily, and thus more quickly. Wall prep will include not only repairing any
cracks, removing peeling paint, and sanding uneven surfaces, but making sure the
surface is free of any grease or soil. This is especially important in the kitchen or bath,
where you may have to clean the walls with soap and water, and follow with a rinse of
clean water. Wipe down all walls with a damp cloth to remove any dust particle which will
affect the way the paint will adhere.
2. Skimping on brushes and roller covers in order to save money. Many amateur painters
will assume that if they purchase a premium paint, they can skimp on the tools with
which they apply it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even the best paint will look
cheap if it is applied with cheap tools. Invest in quality brushes, which can repay your
investment with years of service.
3. Using masking tape instead of painter’s tape. Pros will spend money on high quality
tape, and you should too. Painter’s tape is low-adhesion, and will not damage freshly
applied paint if used correctly. Use a mini-scraper, or putty knife, to smooth out bubbles
and seal the edges to insure sharp lines.
4. Going without primer. Primer is used to cover small flaws in the surface to give a
smooth, longer-lasting finish. You can get away with using a paint and primer
combination if the wall has been previously painted (within the last eight years), and has
a flat, non-glossy finish. But if you want to paint over a more difficult surface, such as
wood, plaster, concrete, glass, or glossy paint, or a stained or porous drywall, use a
5. Using flat paint in a high-traffic area. A washable satin or semi-gloss paint is a much
better choice for such areas.
See Part 2 for More Tips
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