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10 Steps to the Perfect Paint Job

calander Jun 24 , 2020 user-icon Nash Painting

It’s often easy to take a pristine paint job for granted, but we all know a poor paint job when we see it. What accounts for the differences between these two poles, anyway? As it turns out, a number of factors determine the outcome of a paint job, and none can be overlooked if you’re aiming for the best results. With that in mind, let’s outline 10 crucial steps for achieving the perfect paint job.

1. Visualizing the Results

It all starts with a vision. Visualizing what you want your interior or exterior to look like upon completing your paint job will help you choose your colors and finishes with confidence and make other important arrangements. Fortunately, visualizing these results is now easier than ever, as digital tools like (insert) can virtually paint your spaces and even reveal how they might look in different lighting scenarios.

2. Preparing the Space

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: proper preparation is at least half the battle of a paint job. And the better you prepare, the better your results will be. Of course, the prep steps you take will vary slightly depending on whether you’re painting outside or indoors. For a home interior painting, you’ll want to remove or cover furniture, lay down drop cloths, remove electrical fixtures, ensure proper ventilation, set up lighting, etc. Exterior prep work includes steps such as covering shrubbery, light fixtures, and other surfaces below the workspace, ensuring safe ladder use, and more.

3. Picking the Right Time and Day

Exterior home painting in particular also requires careful scheduling. Weather conditions such as extreme temperatures, high winds, humidity, and precipitation can all get in the way of the painting and drying processes. Plus, you won’t want to paint in the dark, so you must give yourself enough daylight, too. Ideally, you want to paint on a relatively dry, partly cloudy day with temperatures between 50 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, and start early enough so you have plenty of light as you paint.

4. Preparing Surfaces

In addition to prepping the spaces you plan on painting, you must also properly prepare the surfaces themselves. Failing to do so will result in poor paint adherence, meaning the new paint job won’t stick around as long as it should. For interior and exterior painting projects alike, old, peeling paint should be removed, cracks should be filled, broken areas should be repaired, surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned by scrubbing with detergent and water and rinsing (a pressure washer can be used on most exterior surfaces), and surfaces should be sanded down.

5. Purchasing the Right Products

A perfect paint job depends on perfect products. Not only must you purchase the appropriate amount of paint for the task at hand -- the paint itself should be of high quality and offer protection from impact, moisture, UV radiation (especially for exterior paint jobs), and more. You’ll also need primer and the right tools for the job, such as trays, sanders, painter’s tape, fresh brushes and rollers, etc. It’s always better to have on an overabundance of the stuff you need than to not have enough.

6. Employing Proper Technique

When it comes to achieving beautiful, lasting results, the importance of technique cannot be overstated. This category includes everything from using the right size and type of applicator (i.e. brushes, rollers, sprayers and their individual variations in size, shape, texture, etc.) to performing specific motions with each type of applicator and soaking them with the right amount of paint. Applying too much or too little paint, painting too slowly or too quickly, and/or doing so without consistent strokes can all result in streaking, bubbling, uneven drying, and more. Take the time to learn the various optimal methods for painting with different tools.

7. Priming When Necessary

Generally speaking, priming surfaces prior to painting them is important for ensuring strong adherence and smooth, even coverage. That said, priming isn’t always a requirement, such as when you’re painting over a previously-painted surface that isn’t severely peeling away. New and bare surfaces, on the other hand, should always be primed.

8. Applying the Optimal Number of Coats

Most paint jobs call for two coats, though more or fewer may be necessary depending on the paint’s thickness, the condition of the surface being painted, whether or not you’re painting over a dark color with a lighter one, etc. Whatever the case may be, you don’t want to under- or overdo it.

8. Sanding Between Coats

If you do apply multiple coats, you must let each individual coat completely dry before applying another. Not only that -- take the time to lightly sand each dried coat before moving on the next one, as this will help you achieve adherent, smooth results.

10. Seeking Help When Needed

Finally, achieving the perfect paint job doesn’t have to be a singular effort -- indeed, it rarely is. Each step outlined above is important to follow, but doing so alone (especially if you lack experience) can be overwhelming, and we’re all bound to make mistakes and take shortcuts here and there. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to hire reliable local painters. Even if you want to handle part or most of the job yourself, these experts can help you choose the right products, prepare your spaces and surfaces, and give you key advice at every step.

The perfect paint job isn’t out of your reach. Let the experts at Nash Painting help you achieve your painting goals. To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!