Tips for a successful house-painting project are centered around choosing the right tools and materials and proper surface preparation. Different guidelines apply depending on whether the project is for interior or exterior surfaces.
The first step in tool selection is choosing from the wide variety of brushes available. A typical home center offers dozens of styles, types and sizes of brushes. Choices to be made include bristle type, width, shape and style of tip. Natural-bristle brushes are best for applying alkyd paints and synthetic brushes are best for water-based latex paints.
Choosing rollers is a bit easier, but there are still many variations, including corner rollers and pads and synthetic, natural and blended covers. Synthetics are again best for latex paints and natural are best for oil-based paints. Blended covers work with all paints and have the advantage of providing extra pick-up combined with longer life.
Choosing paint comes next. Matte or flat paint is a low-sheen paint that's best for areas such as ceilings. Flat enamel paint has a low-luster appearance and is best for bedrooms. Eggshell enamel has a velvety appearance and works well in living rooms. Satin enamel has a pearl-like appearance and is recommended for kitchens. Semi-gloss enamel delivers a sleek, radiant shine and is typically used for cabinets and trim. High-gloss enamel creates a shiny, glass-like appearance for high-use surfaces.
In exterior painting, surface preparation is critical. All flaking materials must be removed, along with as many previous coats of paint as possible using power tools and pressure washers.