How to Apply Paint

by Karen Sheviak
Applying paint can be a straightforward job if you follow a few basic tips.

Applying paint can be a straightforward job if you follow a few basic tips.

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Proper preparation and painting technique will give you a professional-looking finish. Before you start painting, cover any furniture and flooring in the room to protect them from paint splatters. Choose the type of paint carefully. Latex is most common for indoor use now because it is washable, has minimal fumes and is easy to work with. Oil-based paints may be slightly more durable but have strong fumes and spills are more difficult to clean.

Items you will need

  • Cloth and bucket
  • TSP, or trisodium phosphate
  • Spackle
  • Scraper
  • Painter's tape
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint roller
  • Paint tray
Step 1

Clean the area to be painted. Use a degreasing soap or cleaner -- such as TSP, or trisodium phosphate -- to make sure that all grease and residue on the surface are cleaned off. A dirty surface will prevent the paint from adhering properly, which can in turn leave an inferior finish or lead to peeling paint.

Step 2

Repair the surface. If there are flaws in the surface, such as picture holes in a wall, fill the holes with spackle, using a scraper so that it goes on evenly, and then let dry thoroughly. Sand until smooth, and then wipe down with a damp cloth to remove any remaining dust.

Step 3

Tape the edges of the area you're painting. Professional painters don't usually tape because it takes a lot of time. They carefully paint the edges first with a brush and then complete the job with a roller. However, if you are not very precise with a paintbrush, take the time to apply painters tape so that you end up with crisp lines at the edges of the painted area.

Step 4

Paint next to the tape in a small area with a brush, dipping the brush lightly into the paint first and letting the excess drip off. This is called "masking," which allows you to paint precisely with the brush near the tape. Then roll the paint on with a roller, using vertical and diagonal strokes to prevent lines on the finished painted surface. Roll the paint on one area at a time, each about 2 by 2 feet, so that you get adequate coverage and one part of the wall is finished before you start on a new area.

Step 5

Let the paint dry for an hour or so, and remove the tape while the paint is still damp. This will prevent the paint from peeling off with the tape.

Step 6

Apply tape again, and apply a second coat of paint. You may need to repeat this again to apply a third coat, depending on the color you are applying and the coverage you are looking for.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images