Preparing to paint for the summer

Painting your home inside and out is one of those things that we have to do whether we like it or not, every few years, so the key is to prepare for the event and that is half the battle.

A good paint job is at least 50 per cent preparation. Scrape minor cracks on walls and ceilings, fill them with spackling compound, let dry, sand, and fill again. Before you start painting, seal every gap or crack with the best quality latex caulk you can find. Look for trouble spots around doors, windows, corners, or where walls meet floors and ceilings.

Invest in good premium paint, brushes, and roller covers. Bargain paint is no bargain if you are looking for better coverage, longer wear, and a more washable surface. Select a professional quality three-inch wide synthetic bristle brush. It's best to use a half-inch nap roller cover when applying flat paint, 3/8 inch nap for semi gloss, and l/4-inch nap for high gloss finishes.

Accent on colour

Choosing the right wall paint colour depends on personal taste, the amount of natural light, artificial light, flooring colours, and furniture colours. You can convey a happy, relaxed, atmosphere by selecting warm colours like lemon yellow, coral, and orange. Warm colours create a cosy atmosphere and blend nicely with neutral or natural shades. Cool shades of blue, green, and purple are restful. Try using cool colours in a sunny room or where brightness and glare needs to be toned down.

Keep your interior trim colour simple and the same throughout your home. For mouldings and doors, ask the paint store to mix a blend of your colour choice cut with white. A common formula for this is one part colour to three parts white.

It’s important to select colours that work together throughout the entire house. Many home stores have a virtual paint visualiser that can help you find matching colours so you can pick out what you like before you make a purchase. If you see a colour you like, go with your instinct. A fresh, neutral colour is usually a safe option, but don’t be afraid to go with something bold if you think it fits your home. A great colour can turn a nice room into a fabulous room.

Do the maths

After you pick out the perfect colour, you’ll want to determine how much paint you'll need to cover the room:

Calculate the surface area to be painted.

Multiply this by the number of coats you expect to apply.

Read the container label to find out how much area the paint will cover.

Divide the area per container into your total surface area to determine how many containers you'll need.

Painting tips

Use painter’s blue tape along edges and corners. It will leave a clean, straight, line and won’t pull up existing paint.

Remember that spreading the paint too thinly on the wall lowers its durability, so don't skimp.

Work in ‘W’ motions to spread the coats evenly.

To avoid a drippy mess, avoid submerging your roller in the paint. Instead, lightly brush the top surface of the paint to coat the roller.

Use a small amount of paint at a time.

Keep your paint cans covered to avoid the skin-layer that forms on the surface of the paint from exposure to air.

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