When we paint our homes, we want the best look possible. We know that hiring a professional painter and decorator will get a final finish that impresses. The question becomes, how can we ensure we get this same professional edge while painting? Here we offer five tips for creating the best finish to your painting and decorating.
- Tape up
Preparation in any do-it-yourself job is going to be the answer, as there is rarely a shortcut to a perfect job. While using painter’s tape to mark all the edges is essential if you want a clean line, it is especially important when using a paint sprayer. A sprayer offers a smooth finish and prevents drips, but it is impossible to retain a straight line.
When you have taken the time to tape the edges, you can then cut in before you start spraying or using other application methods. One important thing to remember is to wait for the paint to be completely dry before removing the tape. One of two things can happen if you pull away this tape too soon, 1) there can be a seepage of paint, and 2) you can pull away chunks of paint with the tape, especially if the paint is at the tacky stage.
Finally, when layering tape at corners, leave a small tab on the bottom later and pull all the layers off at the same time using this as your leverage.
- The painter’s shield
The painter’s shield is another tool specifically designed to help create clean lines and save you all the time and bother of putting up the tape. When you are cutting in from the edges, you use the plastic or metal shield as a barrier. It is essentially the equivalent of using a ruler to create a straight line in paint.
It is possible to get painter’s shields with extendable handles, so you can use them while paint-spraying or when using a roller on the ceiling.
- An angled brush
Getting a brush with an angled tip is the only effective way to cut in at the edges. Realistically, a normal brush will have a rounded tip, and with all the will in the world, you will not be able to create that straight line.
When using this angled brush, be sure to be sparing with the amount of paint you use. Do not overload the brush, as any drips, runs or splodges will ruin your straight line.
- Choose an edger instead
An edger is a tool that does what it says on the tin. It helps create those clean edges and is particularly effective in those tricky 90-degree angles. You load the pad with paint, and the wheels run along the wall or ceiling to create a straight line. It is another great tool for avoiding the taping up job at the start of any decorating.
Be careful when using an edger that you do not get paint on the wheels. Overloading the pad with paint can lead to drifting of the paint to the wheels, which will create an awful effect on your straight lines.
- Draw a straight line
Sometimes we are painting geometric shapes in our design or painting where there is no guiding line to help. Here, the obvious answer is to use a ruler or yardstick and a T-square to draw a guiding line in pencil. It is best to do this even if you plan to use tape, as you need to be sure of your reference points when setting yourself to paint these lines. When the paint has dried, you can remove any pencil marks with an eraser.
All these tools and tips will leave you with the professional edge you hope for. However, there is one more step in the process to consider. You need to double-check your work. The real quality is achieved when there is attention to detail. So, have a careful inspection of the edges and be sure to do your touching up. Realistically, being bothered to go back and perfect that sets the professional decorator from the DIYer.