10 Tips For A Perfect Paint Job

Follow this advice from the pros to get a smooth, clean finish

10 Tips For A Perfect Paint Job

Take your painting skill to the next level with these top tips 

1. Roll paint along the edges for a consistent texture 

Corners and areas next to trim that are painted only with a brush have a noticeably different texture than the surrounding rolled-on paint. 

To ensure the finished texture will be consistent, brush on the paint, then roll it out with an 80mm roller. 

Roll as close as you can to the edges of these areas without bumping the adjacent wall or getting any paint on the trim. Work in sections, brushing the paint on and then rolling it out.
 

roll paint along the edges for a consistent texture
Corners and areas next to trim that are painted only with a brush have a noticeably different texture than the surrounding rolled-on paint

 

2. Let paint dry, then cut the tape off 

When you have finished painting, make sure you don’t just rip off the masking tape around the trim. 

Paint forms a film between the wall and the tape, and removing it tears pieces of dried paint off the wall. So before pulling off the tape, cut it loose. 

Wait at least 24 hours for the paint to completely dry, then use a sharp utility knife to slice through the film. 
 

3. Banish mess when doing a paint job 

The plastic-wrapped case that holds bottles of water makes an ideal holder for your paint cans, trays and brushes. Sloshed or dripped paint won’t then spill onto a drop sheet and get tracked all over the house.
 

banish mess
The plastic-wrapped case that holds bottles of water makes an ideal holder for your paint cans, trays and brushes

4. Repair any cracks or holes with filler  

It can be easier just to start painting right away when beginningm a room makeover, but for a perfect job it is important to prep the walls first.

Using a quick-drying, all-purpose filler will do the job. For a smooth finish, wet the palette knife before spreading the filler.
 

reapir cracks, handyman magazine,
It can be easier just to start painting right away when beginningm a room makeover, but for a perfect job it is important to prep the walls first

5. Use a small sanding sponge for the trim  

Sanding trim between coats of paint is the key to an ultra-smooth finish. 

But instead of reaching for the sandpaper, use a sanding sponge. These conform to the shape of the trim and get into spaces sandpaper can’t reach. 

They also apply an even amount of pressure to knock down rough spots over the entire surface.   

6. Paint the trim before the walls and ceiling 

Professional painters usually follow a certain order when decorating a room. They paint the trim first, then the ceiling and the walls. 

This is because it’s quicker and easier to apply masking tape to the trim than to tape off the walls.

When painting the trim, you don’t have to be neat. Just concentrate on getting a smooth finish on the wood. Don’t worry if the trim paint gets slopped onto the walls, as you’ll cover it later when painting the walls. 

Once the trim is completely covered and left to dry for at least 24 hours, mask it off with painter’s tape. Now you can focus on painting the ceiling, then the walls.

feather edges when painting ceiling,
Professional painters usually follow a certain order when decorating a room

7. Feather edges when painting the ceiling  

It’s hard to keep a wet edge when painting a ceiling, but if you feather out the edges it will prevent you leaving lap marks. 

Move the nearly dry roller along the edge in different directions, feathering out the paint. Once you complete one length of the ceiling, move to the next section and go over the feathered edge. 

For a second coat, apply the paint in the opposite direction.

feather edges
It’s hard to keep a wet edge when painting a ceiling, but if you feather out the edges it will prevent you leaving lap marks

8. Clear the room before starting  

If something is too big to remove, put it in the centre of the room and cover it. Use canvas drop sheets as, unlike plastic, they stay put without tape and aren’t slippery. 

clear room,
 Use canvas drop sheets as, unlike plastic, they stay put without tape and aren’t slippery
Start in an inconspicuous area to make sure the paint is hard enough to slice cleanly

9. Elevate chair legs to prevent them sticking 

When recolouring a chair, the legs can often end up sticking to the newspaper or drop sheet you’re painting on. 

Work hassle-free by fitting plasterboard screws about 15mm into the base of the legs. This makes it easier to paint the chair and allows you to coat the underneath of the legs. 
 

elevate chair,
When recolouring a chair, the legs can often end up sticking to the newspaper or drop sheet you’re painting on

10. Avoid marks for a smooth finish 

Roll the walls top to bottom and bottom to top, right to left. 

Keep the open side of the roller facing the side that’s already painted. You’ll put less pressure on that side, so you’re less likely to leave marks. 

Vote It Up: 
10 Tips For A Perfect Paint Job

See also

10 Tips For A Perfect Paint Job

Take your painting skill to the next level with these top tips 

1. Roll paint along the edges for a consistent texture  Corners and areas next to trim that are painted only with a brush...
5 Extraordinary Uses For Paintbrushes

You can use the humble paintbrush for more than just painting. Image: iStock

Sure paintbrushes are designed to you know, paint. But there are a variety of other ways you can use this tool, and none of them...
10 Tips For Painting Edges

To paint a room, start working around the ceiling, corners and trim first

Before you begin rolling the walls, painting the perimeter of a room with a brush, or cutting in as it is called, is an essential...
10 Tips For Choosing Paint Colours

Sample a range of colours on the wall to ensure you make the right choice

Selecting paint colours can be a very subjective, and difficult, process. But there are several practical considerations that...
Exterior Paint Ideas

Keep the walls neutral and paintthe trim white for a classic look. Image: British Paints 

A coat of paint is an easy way to refresh the front of a house to make it more inviting.  If your home looks great from the...
Removing ScotchBlue Platinum Painter's tape
Sponsored article When painting a wall, taping the edges to protect skirting, architraves and cornices is the key to getting a...