decor, diy, home

A Quick Guide to Better Painting

In March, I was sitting in my dining room when I decided it had to be painted– stat!  I regret not taking a before picture at that time.

Here it is when it was finished:

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The ceiling, trim, and walls are painted in Benjamin Moore Simply White.

All was well until I discovered that the walls were still taupe-ish after three coats of paint.  It took me another whole can to make it completely white.  In total, I applied four coats of white paint.

Here’s what I thought before I began:

Thought #1:  “It should cover in two coats because I’m only painting over a neutral.”

Oh, how wrong was I.

  1. Idea: The room had not been painted in a long time.The painting store I went to informed me that paint quality breaks down over time due to exposure to UV rays and accumulation of dust, dirt, debris, etc.
  2. Idea: I repaired the drywall in many spots.Drywall mud takes in a lot more paint than a cleaned, previously painted surface.
  3. Idea: The neutral was much darker than my intended colour, even if it wasn’t a navy blue or bright red.I failed to realize that I was still going from a darker colour to a lighter colour, even if the difference wasn’t as dramatic as black (or navy) to white.
Thought #2:  “I don’t need to use primer by itself.”

I used good quality paint that contained primer and paint together.  I believed I was saving one step.

  1. Idea:  Primer alone covers walls better than all-in-one products.  I like to think of it like shampoo and conditioner together in one bottle.  It works, but not as well as one or the other alone.
  2. Idea:  Specialty primers and sealers cover stains and odours better than all-in-one paints.  Fair warning:  Some of the specialty primers do have a strong odour to them.  These are best used with open windows and fans.
  3. Idea:  Using primer could have saved me some labour.  I may have been able to get away with a coat of primer and two coats of paint, which would have left me more for the kitchen.
Thought #3: “It’s the paint!”

…Or is it the technique?  My technique was to cut in first, and then roll on.  I’ve since learned that cutting in and then rolling on one wall (before the paint dries) creates a better application.

  1. Idea:  My technique of applying paint might be different from others’.  I learned somewhere that professionals are better at applying paint effectively in less coats.
  2. Idea:  I was probably applying the paint a little too thinly to prevent drips and runs.This might explain the lack of coverage on my part.
  3. Idea:  Everyone has a different preference for paint, brushes, and rollers:  inexpensive, expensive, thick, or thin.  Everyone has an opinion on the internet.  Don’t get carried away looking for the most ultimate paint and materials.

The Kitchen

I decided to try something a little different when I moved onto the kitchen.  I applied regular primer first.

It covered up the taupe in the kitchen in two coats.  I even have enough for a third coat.

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Here’s where I could have used some specialty sealer and primer.  The original paint bubbled through and made for some unsightly marks.

In my last post, I shared how the kitchen looked after one coat of primer.  Here’s how it looks after two.

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Work in progress!

Please note:  Benjamin Moore is not a sponsor, though I am a big fan of their paint products.

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