Interior Painting

Painting is one of the easiest, least expensive interior renovation projects you can do. A small investment and a little elbow grease can create an entirely new atmosphere in your home. Colour is one of the first things people notice when entering a room and can actually be used to create optic illusions. You can open up a small space with a light tone or choose a colour which is complimentary to your furniture (ex. pale yellow paint and a purple sofa) to harmonise the room. The following tips can help you achieve professional results.

  • The first decision you'll be faced with in a paint store is whether to use oil-based or water-based paints. Oil-based paint tends to be longer lasting and smudges wash off quite easily. However, both the paint and the thinner required to clean the brushes produce fumes which can be hazardous. Proper ventilation is essential. Water-based paint dries faster and produces fewer emissions but, in general, is not as durable.

  • Preparing for a paint job can be time consuming but it can save your furniture and floors. Move as much furniture to another room as possible-they will be safe from spills as well as creating more room for you to work. Drop cloths made of oil-cloth or plastic are inexpensive and available at paint and hardware stores. When covering your floors, lay the cloth or plastic loosely and hold it in place using painter's masking tape on the underside and the trim. This type of masking tape has minimal adhesive so that it will not lift off paint when the tape is removed.

  • Good brushes are not inexpensive but will last a long time if properly cleaned after use. Store brushes facing down off a nail and then upright or on their side once they are dry. Bent bristles make even application of paint nearly impossible. High quality brushes also shed fewer bristles which means fewer bristles painted onto your wall!

  • This trick is great for large paint jobs. Fill a bucket about one-half full of thinner for oil-based paint or water for water-based paint. Straighten a wire hanger to be placed across the top of the bucket. When you take a short break from painting, swish the brush in the bucket then thread the straightened hanger through the hole in the handle of the brush. There should be enough liquid to cover the bristles. Ensure that the bristles do not rest on the bottom of the bucket.

  • Invest in an extension pole for your paint roller. This inexpensive gadget will save a lot of time climbing up and down ladders to reach high sections of walls or the ceiling. It also eliminates the need for bending over to paint the lower part of the wall.

  • If you are painting large areas in the same colour, skip the traditional paint pan and try using a bucket with a paint screen. Pour a few litres of paint into the bucket and hang the screen in the pail. Once you have dipped your roller in the paint, roll it up and down the screen to remove the excess.

  • Sometimes two painters are better than one. Divide the task of painting a room into two jobs. One person can use a brush to paint around trim, windows and doors. Once the first person has finished outlining a wall, the other can come along with the roller and fill it in.

  • Don't forget about the sensitive noses of your pets! If the paint fumes give us a headache imagine how your furry friends feel. Move them outdoors or to a different location such as a friend's home or a pet kennel.

  • A new colour or even a fresh coat of the original colour can add life to a room but remember you'll be spending a lot of time looking at the colour you choose. Dark colours can make a dramatic impact but make a room seem much smaller and be harder to cover with another colour. That burgundy paint that looked so good in the paint store might not look the same on four walls!

Everyone can achieve evenly painted walls and professional results by working carefully and using good ingredients such as quality brushes, rollers and paint. Have fun!

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