Andrew Lundin – cabinet maker, joiner and carpenter from andrewlundin.co.za fame, offers some useful painting tips and DIY project advice.
Decide firstly if you are able to do the project.
Painting tips are often about asking yourself the right questions. Do you have the right ladders? Are the paintable surfaces in need of expert repair prior to being painted? Can you complete the project within the time allocated to do the work? Are you looking forward to the work?
If you want a quality finish it’s very important to use a quality product and quality applicators; and if you are not going to do the painting yourself, a qualified painter. Quality preparation products must be used. A good choice is Polycell Polyfilla Flexible Acrylic Filler or Polycell Mendall 90.
The cheaper the brush, the more time will be spent pulling brush hairs off the painted surface, which is just a waste of time.
Use the right roller for the appropriate surface. Generally, a short nap (hair) roller should be used for “smooth” surfaces and a long nap roller for rough/profiled surfaces.
Take a pic of the surface on your phone and show the sales people at the place of paint purchase for roller advice. A qualified painter refers to someone with experience and references, and a happy, pleasant disposition
Where you buy your paint is very important!
Low stock turnover could result in different batch numbers and old paint being sold with new paint. The colour difference may be subtle but you will see it.
TIP: if buying more than 1 tin of paint of a chosen colour, box (mix) the paint together in a clean, empty drum/tin before use. This way you will ensure the colour consistency.
Painters passionate about painting hang around dedicated paint stores that don’t sell braai grids and Fathers’ Day presents. This is where you’ll get the best advice, price and support.
Do a little research regarding the paint store in your area and the products they sell etc. If they been there a while, they know what they are talking about.
Larger paint companies have support teams. Use their paint; some even offer a guarantee on their product. Use their paint.
Painting Tips: Cleaning
Dust is the enemy of every half decent painter. Clean properly; if there has been a lot of filling and sanding, sweep the walls and ceiling. Get a good vacuum cleaner and use it. Clean the room properly.
Painting Tips: Prep
Not enough can be said about doing your prep properly. It’s of vital importance to achieve a quality finish. This is your chance to get up close with the surfaces that you will be painting and a good time to get to know what the best way is to go about applying the paint.
- Pull all nails, fill all holes and open all cracks for filling. If the cracks are as wide as your thumb, it may be time to call a professional.
- If there is any water or obvious moisture anywhere, call a professional.
- Loose skirting boards, cornice, fittings and fixtures should be dealt with prior to coating of walls.
- If you sand down filler with 60grit sand paper, you’ll need to smooth it off with a 150grit after.
- TIP: the lower the grit number, the rougher the sand paper will be. For a smooth finish use a higher grit number.
Painting Tips: Area Preparation
Drop sheets are your friend, but they have a nasty side too. Paint spilled on a drop sheet doesn’t dry; you will either stand on it and transfer it to the carpet, or the ladder rung.
Have a towel or cloth handy at all times. I like to have a damp cloth close by. This is very convenient for wiping up any paint spill. Hamilton’s Absorba drip drop sheet is perfect for solving this.
Layer the floor of the area to be painted with drop sheets. The cheaper the drop sheet, the thinner it is and the easier it will tear. You will have more chance of paint leaking through onto the floor. Newspaper scattered around also helps.
You cannot take enough precautions. While you are up a ladder holding a paint tray in one hand, you will forget what that hand is doing while watching the roller or brush. Before you know it, paint is pouring over the paint tray edge onto the floor below.
Read everything you can on paint tins. The best info comes from the people who make the paint. Follow the instructions on the tin. Do it as they describe on the tin. This applies to all product used on any project. This includes prep products, primers and final tinted coats. Follow the instructions.
Painting Tips: Safety
Respect ladders, wear a seat belt and don’t put your finger in the plug. It’s the same things that are never emphasised enough. Do not take a chance with ladders. If you are holding a full paint tray, it’s not going to end well if you have to jump off a falling ladder. If you’re up a ladder, don’t let kids play around the base. These things should be obvious but accidents happen very quickly.
Ventilation is important. Open all doors and windows unless it causes a draft which may blow dust onto your wet paint surface. In such a case, wear the appropriate mask.
Paining Tips: Patience
Spread the paint evenly (not too thick or too thin). Use the guidelines on the paint tin to determine spread rate, drying time, number of coats etc.
Be patient and enjoy your paint project. It can be a very peaceful thing painting a room or surface.
A Bit About Andrew Lundin:
A natural curiosity for the way things work sustained my childhood career of fixing things that weren’t broken and disassembling things that I could never put back together. I like small spaces (which is ironic as I don’t fit into any small space) and the challenges involved with making them useable and liveable. I do interesting storage solutions, cupboards with drawers, pigeon holes and shelves, trunks and bunks, desks and benches. Everything is designed and made to fit a particular space. I’m happy when I’m designing things, happier when I’m making things I have designed but happiest when I see people enjoying the items I have made for them.