Painting your home the right way takes the right preparation and time. A professional painter can take from two to four days to prepare and paint an average-sized room. Professional painters also have techniques and tricks they use to help improve their work. Here are some helpful tips to help you paint straight edges in your painting.
Use a Steady Hand, Not Painter's Tape
When you are deciding if you will or will not use painter's masking tape, remember some of the best painters don't mask before they paint. They use their paint brush and a steady hand to cut in around the edges of the wall they are painting. As long as you have a steady hand, you can practice the skill of cutting straight lines on the edges of your painting surfaces. Then, the time that you would have spent masking all the edges in the room, you can use to perfect your paint edges.
Many types of painter's tape do not create a full seal against the surface of the wall. So, when you paint over the tape, the paint can bleed under it. Then, when you peel the tape up, you have an uneven paint edge that you have to repair. Painter's tape can also leave behind a sticky residue when you peel it up. Also, if paint gets on the top of the tape it can cause the tape to ripple and bend, allowing painting leaks to happen.
Use a Screwdriver to Help Cut Near Textured Ceilings
If you are concerned about getting paint onto any ceiling texture at the top of the wall, use this painter's trick to help you: Run a screwdriver along the ceiling's corner where the ceiling meets the wall, to scrape off the texture. Then, as you paint up to the ceiling, your paint brush will fit into the small ridge the screwdriver created and paint doesn't get onto your ceiling.
Fill Your Angled Paint Brush Properly
Use a brush with angled bristles when you are cutting in, which will help you cut in closely in a smooth edge. Then, make sure you fill your paint brush with paint by first, dipping it into the paint, then slapping the brush against the sides of the can. This will push paint to the center of the bristles to fill your brush, giving you a supply of paint in the brush. Lightly scrape paint off the sides of your brush with the rim of the paint can to keep paint from dripping while you are painting.
Using Painter's Tape and Caulk to Create Stripes
If you want to paint stripes on your wall, you can use painter's tape with some latex caulk to give you a straight edge. Because some walls have a bit of texture to them, this can make it difficult to get a full seal using painter's tape.
First, use the painter's tape to mask out where you want to paint your stripes across the wall. Next, Squeeze a small line of caulk over the tape's edge where the two wall colors will meet. Then, wipe your finger down the caulk line to create a thin layer of caulk. Let the caulk dry and remove the tape. Paint the stripes onto your wall, being careful to not cross the line of caulk. When the paint has been allowed to dry for several hours, peel the latex caulk from the wall, leaving a straight edge to your stripes.
Using Painter's Tape as a Guideline
You can use your painter's tape as a guideline to help you paint a straight line, instead of using the tape as barrier to protect the wall. This technique is a good way to practice cutting in a straight line, but with the tape as a backup for any mistakes you might make.
Place the painter's tape along the wall where you want your paint color to end. Paint the rest of the wall, coming within 2 1/2 inches of the tape. Then, load your paint brush and paint the remaining section near the tape, going slowly to create a straight line within approximately 1/4 inch of the tape. This lets you use the tape, but without risking the paint to bleed under the tape and ruining your edge.
Use these tips to help you paint your home like a professional painter. But if you don't want the hassle of painting your house yourself, contact a professional painter like those at J Maintenance Co.