Top 10 Extensive Tips That Prevent a Mess When Painting
Painting a room can be a messy job. But with care and attention, you can achieve a perfect, error-free finish. Here are 10 top tips to help prevent a mess when painting.
1. Make an Assessment
Consider whether you’re painting just the walls, the ceiling too, or everything in the room including the doors and windows. Think about ceiling height and accessibility, moving furniture and any tools you might need. Also, note static items to be covered such as power points, switches and radiators.
2. List Tools and Supplies
A careful assessment will prompt a list of required tools and supplies, which should help to complete the job in a timely manner with minimal mess. In addition to the essentials of stepladder, primer (if applicable), paint, rollers, tray(s) and good-quality brushes, use the remaining tips to help you compile a list.
3. Remove Obstacles
Remove furniture where possible. If it’s not feasible, move it to the center of the room but ensure you can still reach the areas you need to paint. Cover any furniture collections with old sheets to protect them. Take down photographs, artwork, picture hooks, curtain poles, and brackets.
4. Clean and Prepare Surfaces
Paint won’t stick to dirty surfaces, so it’s important to thoroughly clean the area first. A microfiber cloth is excellent for removing dry dirt and dust. For a kitchen, hot soapy water or sugar soap will remove sticky/greasy residue.
Any problem areas such as holes, dents, or problem plaster work should be fixed prior to painting.
5. Protect and Cover
Protect your carpets with canvas drop cloths, which should shield the floor from splatters and drips (but not large spills). Hard floors should be vacuumed/swept and covered with rosin paper, which won’t slip. Note that rosin will only protect against minor paint mess. Sheets should be taped together and right to the edges of the floor to ensure full protection.
To protect windows and doors against paint fog, cover with plastic sheets at the time of applying masking tape. Cover light fixtures with plastic shopping bags (use a separate floodlight for working), and tape plastic sheets to radiators.
Firmly apply masking tape to pre-cleaned skirting boards and leave an overhang to catch any splatters. For painting skirting boards in a carpeted room, attach the tape to the carpet edge and tuck down between the fabric and skirting using a putty knife. Remove once the paint is dry. Apply cling film to difficult areas such as toilet cisterns to protect against splatters and drips.
6. Improve Your Technique
Knowing the best way to use paintbrushes and rollers can make a big difference and help to avoid mess. For some excellent tips on painting techniques, take a look at this article.
7. Minimize Mess
Keeping drips and spills to a minimum will further help to reduce mess. The bottom of a wire coat-hanger makes a great drip stopper. Cut the long lower part of the hanger and bend it so it crosses neatly over the center of the paint tin, creating an ideal central point to wipe the excess off your brush.
You can also place your paint can inside a bucket to protect further against drips and spills. Finally, use paint pads for difficult to reach areas such as behind radiators or toilets.
8. Fix Spills Quick
Spillages should be cleaned up quickly to prevent permanent stains. Scrape as much of the paint as possible with a putty knife (a cloth will press the paint deeper into the carpet). Using a bucket of clean water, apply a well-soaked rag to blot the spill and repeat with fresh water until the cloth runs clear and the paint is no longer visible. Use dry cloths and a fan to dry out the soaked carpet.
9. Make Good Any Mistakes
Even the most careful preparation may not prevent mess completely. Paint which has dried on woodwork can be carefully scraped off using an angled putty knife or a utility knife for tight spots. You can also use denatured alcohol to wipe off any residue. Facial cleansing wipes can also be used (squeeze off excess first). They shouldn’t harm most surfaces and can be used to remove smears in stages.
10. Tidy Up
Ensure your surfaces have dried completely before removing the tape. Then, use a hairdryer to direct warm air onto the tape. Once the tape is warm (not hot), gently remove Use your putty knife to scrape up any spills from your drop cloths. Pull up and tidy away all drop cloths, saving for your next project. Discard rosin paper, painter’s tape, and any other disposable items responsibly.