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    Painting techniques

    Summary: Learn different painting techniques: Learn how to use a paint roller, paint with pads and paint with a spray gun.

    Painting requires you to employ several different techniques to achieve the best finish. Following these general rules will help you produce the desired results.

    Loading the paint brush or roller

    • Avoid overloading paintbrushes by dipping only a third of the length of the bristles in the paint, and tapping off excess drips.
    • To avoid overloading a roller, do not overfill the tray and roll off any excess on the top section of the tray, distributing paint evenly over the roller cover.
    • When using a roller apply slightly heavier pressure to the unsupported side of the roller to guard against track marks.

    Laying off

    If you are applying paint with a brush or roller, you will need to lay off the paint to remove imprints and create a smooth look.

    • Apply a rough coat of paint with strokes in any direction.
    • Scrape paint off the brush on the side of the paint tin and lightly sweep the tip of the brush over the surface in vertical and horizontal strokes, lifting the brush after each stroke.
    • If you are using a roller, sweep an unloaded roller over the wet paint in all directions.

    Cutting in

    To create a neat line at the edges of the painted surface e.g. window frames, skirting and architrave, you should not only stick masking tape around the boundary, but also cut in to angles with a brush.

    • Load a minimal amount of paint on the brush and push the edge of the brush into the corner, slowly dragging it along the boundary line.

    Paint pads

    For neat lines of paint you can also use a paint pad, which soaks up paint from a tray. By moving the pad up and down, paint is applied evenly and without the need for laying off. However, a brush will probably be required for uneven areas or edges.


    Paint spray gun

    • Using a paint spray gun is the quickest way to cover a large area of wall. But you will have to spend time covering surfaces you don't want painted with newspaper and masking tape. If painting columns or other features in front of a wall, plastic sheeting will need to be erected behind the feature to protect against overspray. 
    • Always wear a respirator when using a paint spray gun to avoid inhaling fumes or fine particles of paint.
    • Thin the paint by about 10% using paint thinners. This allows the paint to flow through the apparatus better.
    • When using a paint spray gun adjust the flow to create an even coat.
    • Hold the spray gun about 225mm (9in) from the wall.
    • With the gun facing directly towards the surface you intend to paint, make smooth, even parallel passes. Overlap each pass by about 100mm (4in).
    • External corners are best painted by directing the paint at the corner's edge, which will produce even coverage on both adjacent surfaces.
    • Walls meeting at an internal corner are best painted by spraying the walls separately.    
    • Spray over the whole surface as many times as necessary for a smooth finish, leaving each coat to dry before applying the next one.

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    Tools Needed
    • Paintbrushes
    • Paint roller and tray
    • Paint spray gun
    • Paint pad
    Materials Needed
    • Paint 
    • Paint thinners
    • White spirit
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