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    Painting a room.
    How to paint a room from start to finish

    It probably isn’t the first time you painted a room yourself but maybe you wonder how a professional painter would paint it…
    In this article we’ll explore all steps that are taken by a professional painter when he is faced with the every day challenge of painting rooms.

    #1 Clearing the room.
    Clearing the room is the first task a professional painter & Decorator will do before he does anything else. You should begin with the loose small stuff like pictures, pens, cups and other belongings that will be in your way when painting. It is advised to put them in a small containers to be able to find them when you’re finished. Professional painters always leave the contents of the room in the same room, you can follow that practice. Next comes the larger items such as wall clocks, pictures and pedestal units. Painters always move them out of the way if possible out of the room, if the room is small. A good painter & decorator will also remove any hooks from the walls and replace them when the painting is done if that is required. Lastly painters bring all movable furniture to the centre of the room allowing for access to the centre light on the ceiling for painting around it easily (you don’t want to move the furniture twice.) While clearing the room, painters also inspect the walls and take note of the areas that may need special preparation before painting such as stains and holes. Once the clearing is done and surfaces are inspected it’s time for the next step.

    #2 Masking and Covering
    Good painters spend more time preparing the room than painting it. You need to make sure that the paint goes only where it’s intended to. (Look! I got a lovely pair of magnolia shoes!)
    Masking tape is a painter’s best friend. Start with the light switches and sockets and furniture sides and door knobs. DO NOT tape the walls that are to be painted. A common mistake an amateur painter makes is masking unnecessary surfaces.
    Tip: glass can be easily cleaned with a Stanley blade if it has been painted with emulsion. This is handy if you have a frameless mirror and you need to paint around it.
    Any painter should avoid painting plastic unless it is absolutely unavoidable in which case a special primer should be used… ask the paint shop for advice on that.
    After all masking is done, cover all large areas that should stay paint free like the furniture which should be in the middle of the room by now and the floor. Don’t forget to cover the built in wardrobes…
    Tip: make sure the corners are covered properly to avoid fun time cleaning the floors in the corners after painting the room.

    #3 Preparation and Priming
    Preparation is the most important step when painting a room. During this stage the true painter shows his ability to deliver a perfect job every time. As you should have inspected the room when clearing and masking, you should have a fair idea where the main problems are if any. Painters always make sure the surfaces are sound, dry and free of any dust or other contamination. All holes must be filled in and smoothed out.
    All rough areas are to be sanded and brushed or wiped clean. If there are any stains on the ceilings or walls they need to be inspected. Painters will always tell you that if the stain is caused by a leak on the floor above, then that leak must be sorted at least 2 weeks before painting the room so by the time the painting is done, the stain is dry.
    Always prime/stain block the stain and let it dry before commencing the painting. Sometimes it takes more than one coat to block the stain, so allow for that possibility too.

    #4 Ceilings
    Professional painters always begin with the ceiling when they paint rooms, that way if you splash on walls (which you will.) it will be covered when you paint the walls next. It is always recommended that the walls and ceiling receive 2 coats of paint at least. Exceptions are when the painting is done very recently and the same colour is used.
    Tip: When Painting the ceiling don’t cut in at the corners. All professional painters know this and paint in the corners so they can apply the wall colour on a clean, white background of the ceiling.

    #5 Walls
    Painting walls begins with cutting in. Painters do it in different ways starting on the bottom or the top but they all do it with a brush. Cutting in is a skill that comes with practice and even professional painters and decorators take their time when doing it, so I suggest you do the same. Feel free to tape the ceiling if you are unexperienced at cutting in. Do all that needs to be done at the top of the walls in the corners and the bottom. It is done with a brush to ensure a proper application where the roller will not reach. After all corners are painted begin filling it in with a roller. Painting in the walls after the cutting is done is the easiest thing in the whole process.
    Tip: don’t leave too long between cutting in and painting the rest to avoid texture difference and try to use the roller everywhere possible.
    When painting the walls pay particular attention to paint spread not letting it drip or applying too little leaving dry patches. The freshly painted wall should look uniform.
    Let dry.

    #6 Woodwork
    Woodwork is the most difficult part of painting a room, professional painters may be used to working with oil based paint but the average handyman usually isn’t. Most professional painters will recommend using oil based paint for the woodwork. Even though there is a whole range of water based paints for wood in the paint shops now days, the oil based one has an edge over the water based. Regardless of the type of paint you use, painting woodwork should start just like with the walls, with cutting in. Undercoat first then the finish coat. Where possible use the sponge mini rollers to give it a smooth and even finish, even though this practice does not always persist with all professional painters, I find to be giving a better result. Make sure you tape everything before you paint with the oil based paint and have a bottle of white spirit ready.
    Tip: Always have a cloth ready for any mishaps, DO NOT let the paint dry if you spill some.
    Every professional painter has a cloth ready.
    Try and keep the handles of your tools clean at all times. Neat worker does neat work!

    #7 Tape removal and cleaning
    After the painting is done it is best to remove any masking tape as soon as possible to avoid any glue remaining in surfaces when it stays on more than 24 hours. It will be easier to live overnight, that way the tape won’t mark your walls. Remove all covers and put back all hooks and furniture.
    If the cleaning is done straight after painting and your paint is still wet in places then pay attention not to touch any painted surface… the more reason to do it the next day
    Tip: Your oil based paint takes longer to completely dry so even the next day it can be tacky in places, avoid scrubbing it.

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