Dion Baker answers common questions about painting walls.
1. How many layers of paint should I put on the wall?
It is always recommended to give walls two coats of paint. Even though it may appear like you have covered the wall after one coat, when it dries, there is most likely a few missed spots. There are one-coat paints on the market, however these are also prone to leaving track or roller marks.
2. How do I prepare a wall to be painted?
Doing a good job on a wall surface is all about preparation and taking a systematic approach.
Previously-painted walls in good condition do not need stripping.
For great paint adhesion, it is recommended to give it a very light sand to remove any raised texture or trapped dust. Follow the sanding with a wipe down using a damp sponge, ideally with sugar soap to
remove the dust, grease and grime and then you are ready to paint.
3. What should I use to put the paint on the walls and in the hard-to-reach places?
Always start painting from the highest point to the lowest. Start with the ceiling or top of the walls and work your way down. This way you can catch any drips and it won't ruin a freshly-painted wall.
There’s a basic rule of thumb to follow when choosing paint sheens: The higher the sheen, the higher the shine, and the higher the shine, the more durable it will be.
Flat paint has no shine, whereas high gloss is all shine. In between are eggshell/ low sheen, satin, and semi gloss, each with its own practical and decorative job to do.
High gloss is the most durable and easiest to clean of all paint sheens. It is hard, ultra shiny, and light reflecting. It’s a good choice for areas that sticky fingers touch — cabinets, trim, and doors. However, it has too much shine for interior walls.
Semi gloss is good for rooms where moisture, drips, and grease stains challenge walls. Use it in kitchens, bathrooms, trims, and chair rails.
Satin is easy to clean, making it excellent for high-traffic areas. Its biggest flaw is it reveals application flaws, such as roller or brush strokes, and touch ups later can be tricky. It’s great for foyers, hallways, family rooms and kids’ bedrooms.
Eggshell covers wall imperfections well and is a great finish for gathering spaces that don’t get a lot of bumps and scuffs. It’s great for dining rooms and living rooms.
Flat/matte soaks up, rather than reflects, light. It has the most pigment and will provide the most coverage, which translates to time and money savings. However, it’s tough to clean without taking paint off with the grime. It’s great for adults’ bedrooms and other interior rooms that won’t be roughed up by kids
4. What is the ideal drying time between coats?
Most water-based paints have a drying time of 30 minutes and a recoat time of two hours. This time scale is only if the temperature is between 10 and 25 degrees. If the temperature is above or below this scale then it is recommended that you do not paint. It is also recommended not to paint if it is too humid as the paint will struggle to dry.
Paint the trim last
There's some debate on this topic, but quite often the trim can catch some of the spray that comes off of paint rollers. For this reason, it's best to paint the trim last since it will be done with a brush and excess paint won't get on the walls.
Polka dots look good on fabric, not floors.
Unless you’re trying to paint your floor, we recommend covering it up with a canvas drop sheet It’s the cheap, easy way to save yourself a whole lot of irritation.
Put your sandwich bags to work
Slip a small plastic bag or sandwich bag over your doorknobs and tape the edge to avoid getting paint in places it wasn’t meant to go.
Paint color may vary slightly from one can to the next.
If you have to open a new can in the middle of a wall, the difference may be noticeable. Mixing the paints together eliminates the problem. It’s best to estimate the amount of paint you’ll need and mix it in a 20-litre bucket.
Dion Baker is the owner of Paint Place Collaroy – the Northern Beaches’ premier destination for paint and timber finishes and wallpaper. Phone 99715877 or visit paintplace.com.au.