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Pro Tips for Perfectly Painted Walls

If you’ve ever wondered how pro painters get that flawless finish on less-than-perfect surfaces, here are some of the tricks of the trade! Follow these, and your paint jobs will have that professional finish, too!
perfectlypaintedARoll Paint Along Edges for a Consistent Finish
Tape your edges! After cutting in close with a brush, use a small roller and immediately roll over the cut-in area for a consistent finish.
Make sure your small roller has the same nap as your larger wall roller. Get as close as you can without bumping the wall or molding you’re painting up against.
Prime Wall Patches to Avoid a Blotchy Appearance
Sheen inconsistency on freshly painted walls usually occurs over the areas you’ve patched with a filler or drywall compound.
These fillers are porous, and absorb the paint, dulling the surface. A quick coat of primer eliminates this problem. Prime the patched area with a roller, feathering out the edges.
Cut Tape Before Pulling It
Allow paint to dry, then cut tape loose for a perfect edge. Once paint is dry, you cannot just pull tape off the trim. Allow paint to dry for at least 24 hours, then use a sharp utility knife or box cutter knife to slice through the paint film on the tape.
Test in an inconspicuous place first to make sure your paint is dry enough. As you cut along the edge of the tape, pull the tape up at a 45° angle. It should come away cleanly and leave a perfect edge.
To Avoid Lap Marks, Roll the Full Height of the Wall
Rolling the full height of the wall, and keeping a wet edge are the two secrets to avoiding ugly lap marks caused by uneven layers of paint buildup.
To maintain a wet edge, paint an entire wall all at once. Don’t let your roller become nearly dry, reload it often so it is always at least half loaded. Keep the open side of the roller frame facing the already painted area. That puts less pressure on the open side of the roller, so you’re less likely to leave paint ridges.
Feather Out the Paint Where You Can’t Keep a Wet Edge
When you cannot keep a wet edge, feather out the paint along those edges you cannot keep wet. The thinner, feathered coat of paint will avoid the buildup that causes lap marks.
Feathering is best accomplished by rolling a nearly dry roller in different directions along the edge, feathering out the paint as you go.
perfectlypaintedBUse Drop Cloths
Even the most careful painter will have spills and spatters. Pro painters use canvas drop cloths in their work areas. DIY painters can pick up drop cloths at their local home improvement retail stores, but wherever possible, cotton is recommended over plastic because plastic drop cloths can be quite slippery.
In large rooms, tape your drop cloths together at the seams to create a continuous protection for your floor.
Even with a drop cloth, spills should be wiped up immediately to avoid getting paint on your shoes, then tracking it around your house!
Clean Surfaces so Paint Can Form a Strong Bond
Grimy, oily surfaces will not allow paint to adhere well. Cleaning surfaces with a deglosser or heavy-duty cleaner (such as TSP) intended for prepaint cleaning will greatly improve the adhesion of new paint. Areas for cleaning include kitchen and bathroom walls, and surfaces around light fixtures.
Apply cleaner in a circular motion using a lint-free cloth or slightly abrasive pad. After the surface is clean, fill in any nicks and holes, then sand smooth and prime prior to painting. Safety Precaution: Wear rubber gloves and eye protection when working with cleaners.

Originally Published by The Chronicle Herald


Alexandra Kelter

Alexandra Kelter is a social media specialist with Central Home Improvements. Her column covers many aspects of home improvement, both indoor and outdoor, and will combine trending styles with practical applications all within realistic budgets. Kelter is also passionate about fashion, travel, living by the ocean and her bulldog.