Home inspection findings by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck, Professional Real Estate Inspector TREC# 9073

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Steps to Painting a Wall

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Originally published in the forum: advice on how to paint

This may seem silly, but I had to explain how to paint a wall to my son yesterday. He took a job at his aunt’s house. (He is thirteen, and is always looking for odd jobs). I thought that this may be something to go over for others.

It is easier to remove door knobs and handles than to tape them up. You should also remove fixture covers. These are covers for electrical outlets, light switches, and light fixtures. I think removing cabinet doors is good, but taping the hinges may be the way to go. (Many of the screws in older cabinet doors are damaged in jobs that I have taken on, so this causes extra work). Painters tape in areas were paint will meet a surface that will not be painted. Careful application of tape and drop cloths will save you a lot of time on clean up.

Remove all nails or screws used for hanging items on the wall. These can mess up a roller. Too many people think that they can paint around them.

Use drywall spackling to fill in cracks. The best type for the average user is the type that changes color when it dries. Only paint on this once it has dried. Old college trick: white toothpaste makes a great substitute for filling in holes and cracks in a pinch. 😉 I wonder how many dorm rooms have walls made from toothpaste?

When painting
Use a brush to paint all of the joints and edges first. (Rollers will leave marks on the adjoining walls). Paint these joints out into the wall by two inches to prevent the rollers marking those other walls. You do not need to go all the way from the top of the wall to the bottom. You can break the wall into sections. Let your first stroke in an area be a “W” or “N” pattern, then go back to fill in the empty spaces. Your next stroke will begin at the end of the “W” or “N” where you stopped. This is the wet edge; it helps to create a more consistent look. Complete one wall before moving onto the next one.

Never overload a paint brush or roller. It will drip all over. It does not take a great deal of paint to cover a surface.

There are only a few times when one coat will suffice. If you see the original color bleeding through, then you need another coat. You may find that three coats are required. This happens when covering a darker color with a lighter one. The quality of the paint is also a factor. (You do not need to buy the most expensive paint, but a really cheap paint might not cover an area well).

Keep a wet and a dry rag handy for clean-ups. You will drop paint. Be prepared to clean it then, instead of leaving it to dry. Dried paint can be removed with a razor blade, but you can also damage the other surface.

For most interior applications, let the paint dry for about an hour before you do the next coat. Make sure the room is well ventilated (I hate painting in closets). Even a low VOC paint can give off some fumes (better safe than sorry).

Do not remove the painters tape until the paint has dried. Do not rip it off, because a coat of paint could have stuck to the tape. Have a razor or knife ready when peeling the tape away slowly.

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© Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Home Inspector Houston, Texas
Frank Theodor Schulte-Ladbeck
home inspector, TREC# 9073
Houston , Texas , 77063 United States

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