Secrets to the Perfect Paint Job: 3 Tricks That Everyone Should Know Before Painting

Home renovations have been on the rise in Australia since 2010, increasing by 147%. Home renovation projects are not necessarily large and extensive, such as adding a completely new wing or compartment to your home, but can be something as simple as repainting the walls.

If painting your walls sounds like an ideal way to revamp your living space, know that painting the walls is not as easy as it looks. Here are 3 secrets to the perfect paint job that everyone should know before starting.

Use a Bigger Swatch to Find the Ideal Color 

Although many paint stores offer small swatches for you to see how the color will end up, professionals know that those swatches are not an accurate representation of how the paint may end up. The truth is that you can't expect a small thumbnail-sized color swatch to give you a sense of how the color will look on your walls, particularly since the color will change based on the lighting installed, the colors that are present in the room, among many other factors.

To find the ideal color, make your own large swatch in order to make a better decision. Most paint stores will give you a sample of the paint for you to bring home. You can paint two coats onto a rather large slab of foam core, and hang the slab up on the wall. Throughout various times of the day, the hue of the paint will change dramatically, especially if the lighting in the room is tinted. You can get a better idea as to whether or not that's the color or shade you really want.

Clean the Walls First

Most people aren't aware that the walls need to be cleaned before any paint is coated on. Why? Your walls are coated with an invisible layer of grease, oil, dirt particles, food particles and other particles that will negatively affect how the paint adheres onto the surface. If you don't clean your walls before painting them, the paint will likely adhere unevenly for a tacky and patchy job. 

Most professionals recommend cleaning the walls with trisodium phosphate (TSP). The powder is to be mixed in with water, and the solution can be used to lightly scrub the walls. It is also important to use remove any cobwebs or dust bunnies that may cling onto the trims and corners of the walls, and also wipe the trims and the baseboards, as these locations tend to harbor dust.

Sand the Paint Between Coats

You should apply several coats of paint for optimal results. One trick that most homeowners often overlook is sanding the paint between coats for a smoother look that will last longer. You want to choose sandpaper that is coated with silicon carbide for the best results, as the silicon carbide won't gunk up as quickly. Some experts recommend finding sponges that are coated with the material instead, as a sponge may allow you to better get into the corners. A grit between 220-320 is most ideal.

For more painting tips or assistance, consult resources like Chris Hoole & Staff.