Paint Job 101: The Basics

By , on August 18, 2013

Painting Basics. Photo by Graeme Dawes from
Painting Basics. Photo by Graeme Dawes from

Before tackling any paint job or project, here are some basic techniques and principles that you should remember for a foolproof paint job.

First, know the kind of paint that you’ll use depending on the surface that you’ll be painting. It’s important to buy specific paint for specific materials, like wood or concrete or ceramics. Matching the right paint with the right surface will make the coat last longer. Second, know the kind of finish that you want. Shiny? Then choose high gloss paint. Do you want it shiny without too much glare? Then paint with a semi gloss finish. If you wish to have a smooth, sleek look, then the matte-finished paint is for you. Third, you also need to check whether the paint you’re buying is water- or oil-based. Oil-based paint is really tough to get out of clothes, or worse, unprotected furniture.

Other than the kind of paint to use, you also need to know the basic tools in painting and make sure you have them with you before starting your paint job. Make sure you have a couple of paint brushes with varying wideness or thickness. An airbrush could also be a wise investment, especially if you are plan on starting crafts or foresee more painting projects in the future. Also, for painting large areas, you will need a paint roller and a paint tray. To cover the floor and other splash zones, you will need painter’s tape and a tarp, which can be made of paper, plastic or cheap cloth.

It’s also important for you to know the alpha and omega of painting: the primer and the sealant, respectively. The primer is applied prior to painting to protect the material. Meanwhile, the sealant is applied after the last coat of paint has dried. This is done in order to protect the paint job that you have painstakingly worked on for hours, if not days. Usually, two coats of sealant is enough. A third coat is added for good measure along high foot traffic areas, like the stairs or hallways.

Painting technique and attention to details are also important in achieving a great paint job. Before anything else, always check for nails or nicks and deep scratches on the surface that you’ll be working on. Remove nails, sand off bumps, and fill in nicks in order to achieve a even surface. After washing the wall with a simple soap and water solution and a damp cloth, you can then put a layer of primer. Once the primer has dried, you may start painting by making a big ‘W’ pattern about 3 feet wide and 3 feet tall, and then start filling this space in using your paint roller. Continue to work in this 3 ft x 3 ft block pattern all throughout the wall or ceiling to ensure an even coat. Never let paint to dry before painting an adjacent block to make sure that you get a seamless coat. Always work from the top going gradually to the bottom so as to avoid paint drip marks. Use a paint brush to get into tricky corners and then use your paint roller for wider coverage.