Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Paint Job

painting tips
Smoother than a fresh jar of skippy
Brace yourself, March 1 is coming.

In less than two weeks, we'll be moving into our little slice of home. I couldn't be more excited to start this new chapter!

We have bought our furniture, put our insurances in order, and are currently wrapping up painting. And I'm glad that we are, because it proved a tough job.

"I worked in an interior decoration shop for four years," I thought, "I have explained countless times to countless people how to go about painting. This will be easy."

Turns out not so much.

As is the case with everything, there's a big difference between talking about something and actually doing it. It took some pointers from my Dad, some trial and error, and a bit of learning on the fly to get it right, but now we're 100% on the right track.

My tips for aspiring painters?

Fix holes in your wall

You obviously want the finished product to be silky smooth. That's why you should first fix any holes and dents there might be with putty. We used Polyfilla, which is probably the most popular product for patching up walls. 

Funny anecdote: I once had a Japenese customer at Tony Mertens who wanted "Something to fill holes and something to rape furniture." To this very day I am glad that he meant Polyfilla and plastic sheeting. 

Anyway, after the putty has dried for two hours, you can sand it without a problem.

Remove dust and degrease

Your working canvas should be clean and dust-free. Otherwise the paint won't stick. Clean your walls with a moistened-but-dry cloth, and use a degreaser if they are manifestedly covered with layers of greased dirt.

Apply masking tape

Paint should go on the walls. You don't want paint stains on radiators, plinths, sockets, and windowsills. That's why you should apply masking tape to protect these surfaces, remove sockets and light switches if that tickles your fancy, and protect the floor with newspapers or plastic sheeting.

Paint corners and crannies

edging paint roller

Areas that are harder to reach with a big paint roller and demand and more precise touch, should get a coat of paint first. We used an edging paint roller (perhaps the most sacred gift from God!) and a mini roller to tackle these areas first, one wall at a time.

Do the large surfaces

As soon as the tricky surfaces had received their special treatment, we brought out the big guns. Working top to bottom, we mentally divided the wall into equal sections of about one square meter, meticulously finishing strips using the "V-technique". Every time we finished a strip, we gave the full length of the wall one more roll-over.


I used to think that the more qualitative paints could get the job done with one layer. I was wrong. Repeating steps 4. and 5. (at least one more time, depending on what paint you ultimately decide on)  will deliver the best result.

So there you have it. I hope my tips help.

Good luck!

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