How to paint a wall

Dear Max,

Painting is not a easy task, but its fun to me. You have to be very careful or you’ll be looking at a messy wall until the point you decide you’re going to fix it or have someone else do it.

I hope you’ll decide to fix it yourself. Whenever I’ve finished painting, it’s more enjoyable for me to sit in that room and say I did that. There’s a sense of pride, a feeling of accomplishment, and you also save a bunch of dinero.

Here’s my step-by-step guide:

  1. Wipe the walls down with a slightly damp wash rag to take away any dust or cobwebs.
  2. Tape off the room, remove light switch covers, and cover the entire floor with plastic sheeting.
  3. Sand all of the walls. It may seem unnecessary at first but if the person before you used a lower grade roller cover, the little bumps will get much larger.
  4. Fill any holes with mud or filler.
  5. Sand those areas in long strokes until they appear flat.
  6. Apply the filler again. Use a larger scraper with a thin layer of mud.
  7. Sand one last time.
  8. Prime your walls. It creates a great base. If your walls are already light colored you may be able to skip this step except for the spots where you filled holes.
  9. Allow 24 hours for the primer to dry. Yes, its necessary. Sometimes you may have to make slight wall repairs again. The primer will show where all defects are in the walls. If that’s the case, mud and primer again.
  10. The next day, start with your first coat of paint. Using a great paint helps alleviate many issues down the line so don’t be afraid to go to a premium paint store.
  11. Cut-in around all of the edges of the walls first with an angled two-inch paint brush.
  12. Once your make it around the room, start again but this time with the roller.
  13. Move in fluid up and down motions that overlap by half. Don’t push the roller too hard on the wall or it will create lines and bare spots. Make sure you have enough paint on your roller and spread it evenly.
  14. Give the first coat time to dry. Touch a small inconspicuous spot to see if its still tacky. When it feels dry to touch you can start with cutting in again and applying the hopefully final coat.
  15. Some paint jobs that three coats but you’ll never know until you’re finished with the second one. For darker colors or a drastic color change, more coats are usually necessary.

There a lot more steps than some realize, but once you do it a few times it gets easier.

Love, Dad



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