Preparation Before Beginning To Paint a Room
Before beginning to paint, first clear the area as much as possible. Carpets should be rolled up and, if possible, removed. Curtains should be taken down and any furniture covered with dust sheets or paper.
Collect together all the equipment you will need. This includes brushes, paint kettles, clean rag, dusting brushes, a tack cloth and bigger items such as ladders, steps or trestles and, of course, the paint.
All equipment should be as clean as possible and dust-free. After pre-painting preparation there is likely to be quite a lot of dust in the air and on sills, picture rails and skirtings. A vacuum cleaner will remove the dust on the floor. Wipe down all doors, window sills, rails and skirtings. Before opening the paint tins, wipe the lids to remove dust. If the paint is not new, stand the tins upside down for a couple of days before using, to help loosen the settled pigment.
A well-ventilated environment is essential when painting as some paints have pungent odours. Unless it is very windy and dust is likely to be blown in, keep a window or door open to ensure circulation of air.
Paint, other than thixotropic paint (gell), should be stirred before use to mix together the pigment, thinners and binding agents in the correct proportions.
When opened, the paint should have a layer of oil or thinners on the top. If it is old paint, there may be a layer of skin which must be removed. Do not attempt to mix it in with the paint. Stir the paint from the bottom of the tin using a piece of clean wood or a paint-mixing attachment on a power tool.
The paint is at the right consistency when it flows evenly from the tip of the stirrer or stick without leaving lumps adhering. If lumps remain, the paint needs further stirring.
It is important to work with small amounts of fresh paint. To do this, paint can be dispensed from the tin into a paint kettle. Strain paint through a fine mesh, such as an old nylon stocking, into the kettle. Dispense about a 25mm depth of paint at a time. A kettle is easier to handle while working. Replace the lid of the main tin to keep the paint clean and prevent a skin forming.
Paint can be thinned with the solvent recommended for the particular type of paint. Usually, paint is supplied in the correct working consistency.
When painting a room, the areas are usually painted in the following sequence: picture rails, if any, window frames, skirtings and, lastly, doors.
If the surface is stripped bare or previously unpainted, a primer or sealer should be applied to the surface.
Separate primers are made for wood and metal. Some polyurethane paints can be applied straight on to wood surfaces, but metal must always be primed.
Obtain enough paint to complete the job. It is better to over-estimate as spare paint can always be used for touching in afterwards.
Painting should not be undertaken in a moist or frosty atmosphere. Surfaces to be painted should always be dry. When painting outside do not prepare a greater area than can be painted in one day or spell of work. Unprotected wood is particularly affected by rain, dew and frost and should be primed if left overnight. Primers do not weather well and ideally surfaces should be undercoated if they have to be left for any period.
Polyurethane paints have a limited ‘wet-edge’ time. If there is paint drag on the brush the remedy is to add a little paraffin to the paint.
Rubbing down between the coats of paint will give good intercoat adhesion. If painting on to an existing gloss surface, this should be smoothed with a wet-and-dry abrasive paper or fine glasspaper to give a matt, slightly roughened, surface.
There are two methods of using topcoat paints. It is easier to use one coat of eggshell finish, followed by one gloss coat. Two gloss coats give a higher sheen but are slightly harder to apply.
Full gloss, semi-gloss, eggshell and flat-finish paints can be used on interior woodwork. Areas of paint that are subject to condensation and sunlight, such as sashes, window ledges, frames and reveals will last longer if a full-gloss paint is used.
External woodwork that has to stand up to weather should be painted with hard gloss paint, using the appropriate undercoat recommended by the manufacturer.
- Decorating Indoors: Painting Woodwork (easydiyinfo.com)
- Tools for Painting and Decorating (mydiyinfo.com)