We know painting can be a daunting task, especially if you've never done it before, but the ability to apply a fresh coat of color to your space (and have it look like it was done by the pros) is a great way to switch things up. That's why we partnered with the experts at Miller Paint and asked them to give us their top paintings tips and tricks. Whether you're a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a first-time painter, this expert advice that will help you achieve professional-looking results and make your next painting project a breeze.
First things first, how would you recommend going about choosing the right paint color (and finish) for your walls?
The two biggest things that can affect color are light and scale. It is for that reason I always recommend painting a sample of the color you are interested in prior to doing the whole project so you can see how the light in a specific room affects the color and if hidden undertones start to appear once the color grows from a little chip to large swatch. Choosing the right finish comes down to where you will be painting. For higher traffic areas or rooms with more moisture, look at an eggshell or satin sheen for extra protection. For surfaces like ceilings where you do not want a lot of light reflection, we recommend a flat sheen.
Is there anything that needs to be done to the walls prior to painting? If so, what steps are involved?
Preparation is the key to a good paint job. Make sure that the walls are clean and free from dust. You may need to use a primer if you are going over a glossy surface or transitioning from a dark color to a light color. Also be sure to fill any nail holes and other imperfections on the wall to ensure the end result looks perfect!
What tools and materials do you recommend using?
One thing to check is to make sure that you are using the correct nap on the roller cover for the surface you are painting. Smoother surfaces require less nap (1/4” or 3/8” ) and textured surfaces require more (1/2”) in order to put the appropriate amount of paint on the substrate and ensure an even finish. Also, a high quality, angle brush will be your best friend in any painting project as it will help you paint straight lines, get into small spaces, and reduce the amount of brush strokes visible when the paint dries.
How many coats of paint should one apply for an even and smooth finish?
We recommend 2 even coats for solid coverage. It is very challenging to achieve a smooth, opaque finish with just one coat. Plus, it can even slow you down as it is challenging to apply paint perfectly in just one coat. Adding another coat allows room for any imperfections to disappear the second time around.
Are there any specific environmental conditions, such as temperature or humidity, that one should consider while painting?
If a room is too hot, paint can dry too quickly making it difficult to work with and humidity can negatively affect a paint’s cure time. An ideal interior painting environment is around 70 degrees with good airflow.
Can you provide any tips for achieving a professional-looking finish?
Taking care to apply an even amount of paint will make a big difference on whether your paint job looks professional or not. Varying amounts of paint with an inconsistent spread rate can lead to thin areas that may not reflect an even sheen and thick areas that can leave an unwanted texture when dried.
How would someone calculate the amount of paint needed for their walls?
A good rule of thumb is to multiply the square footage of the area needing paint by 2 (for 2 coats) and divide that number by the square footage per gallon on the paint can. Most wall paints cover 350-400 square feet per gallon.
Can you give us some tips and tricks on choosing the right white for a space?
The key to choosing the right white for your project is to pay attention to a color’s undertones in order to make sure it is complementary with the rest of your color palette. Undertones are not always readily apparent and can be hard to see from a little paint chip, but they can be the reason why colors do not look as expected once painted.
There are so many different whites out there that the best place to start is to decide if you want a cool white or a warm white based on your existing color scheme. If you want a cool white, look at colors with gray undertones and if you want a warm white, look at colors with golden undertones. One way to better identify undertones is by holding a paint chip against a piece of white paper and the undertones should become easier to see.
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