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How to achieve the perfect paint finish

How to achieve the perfect paint finish

Posted by Sarah, Celtic Sustainables on 29th Mar 2018

We understand that decorating isn’t an easy task. You’ve spent hours poring over different paint swatches and now you need to ensure you select the right tools to apply them with. We’re here to make those decisions easier and more enjoyable by explaining what tools give the perfect paint finish. In this article we discuss products form our Harris, Purdy, Ecoeeze and Homestrip range.

First things first, you need to prepare the room so it’s ready to be painted. Removing as much furniture as possible and then covering what is left with heavy duty dust sheets to protect them from any paint splashes. Removing curtains and also protect the flooring/carpet in dust sheets. Fill in any cracks or holes in the walls and sand down to make sure the surfaces are nice and smooth ready for painting, we would recommend using our easy mix surface filler which is designed for small hairline cracks. Lightly sand any wood work that you plan on painting; this creates a key for the paint to adhere to. Hoover and wipe down all the surfaces again before starting to paint.

Preparation is paramount – your finish is only as good as your preparation!

Avoid drips as you paint by using our Harris Masking tape. Clean off any edges and trims with a damp rag and let dry. Hold the tape tight against the wall and roll out the tape so it covers the edge. Press the tape firmly against the wood with a putty knife or decorators tool to keep it in place.

Painters Tip:  Use painter's tape that's at least twice as wide as the trim and leave it flared out to protect the face of the trim from drips.

Ensure you have the appropriate paint brushes and rollers for each section of painting.For Emulsion paint we would recommend cutting in first with the Purdy cutting in brush, which has been designed with a square edge - It is perfect for working on window and door frames, cutting in and completing detailed work.

Attention to detail is important. Purdy strive for the long-lasting, handmade quality that you’ve come to rely on. When you want perfection – Purdy painting tools are the perfect choice for the job. Before starting dust the brush against your palm to remove any dust particles or any loose bristles. Slightly dampen the brush and then dipping the brush into the paint, cover only one-third of the bristle depth. Rub the brush against the side of the pot to remove any excess paint – limiting the amount of drips on the floor!

Painters Tip: Have you ever tried drawing a straight line with a short ruler? The same applies with trying to cut in with a tiny brush – you will get a straighter sharper line using a bigger brush!

When applying emulsion paint to achieve a smooth and even finish we would recommend using the Harris T-class roller using a medium pile roller ensures the paint goes on the wall rather than on you! Remember to use the feathering technique (Roll in various directions keeping a wet edge). Remember to let the first coat dry fully before applying second coat. Investing in a good roller sleeve can save you money and time in the long run; other alternative roller sleeves don’t hold as much paint and can give you an uneven finish with lap marks and streaks in the finish. It’ll take you four times as long to paint a room if you choose the wrong tools for the job – you will thank us later!

Gemma Cheney a specialist in interior design said “In roller speak; the nap is the thickness of the sleeve. When buying your paint roller, follow this rule: for rough and uneven surfaces use a greater nap.”

Painters Tip: Make sure you do at least two coats, three if you are choosing a dark colour. When painting a dark green or vivid colour consider using a grey base coat – it will help with coverage and give you a better colour finish.The Eco Ezee recycled roller tray is perfect for all roller jobs, its non-slip properties and you can re-use it without washing – saving you money on water! The roller tray is made using 100% recycled waste materiel, at only £1, its wallet friendly and eco-friendly too!If rolling isn’t your thing, we’d recommend using the Monarch Elite Brush which is designed for emulsion paint; its thicker filaments will pick up and lay off more paint resulting in better productivity on the job.

Satin paint has a slight sheen to the finish making it washable and wipeable; perfect for those high traffic areas, kitchens, hallways, utility rooms and bathroom. The earthborn lifestyle emulsion is perfect for children’s bedrooms due to it being virtually VOC Free. It’s the eco-friendly alternative to standard washable emulsion. To apply satin paint like the eico Helmatt and lifestyle emulsions we would recommend using either a medium pile roller like the Purdy Extra Colossus 9” roller with revolution roller frame, or if you prefer using a brush, we’d recommend the ecoEeze range which comes in a variation of size at a small price and features thick long blended bristles – suitable for all paint types!

When painting thick Claypaint Emulsions and the Auro 524 Emulsions we’d recommend using the blended bristle brushes or the short pile roller from the Harris range, this helps move the thick paint across the walls.

Painting on a rough surface? Take this sheepskin super dense, long pile roller for a spin from Harris. It’s got high-capacity and gives the best finish for emulsions on a rough surface. With proper care, this may be the last roller sleeve you'll ever buy.

Painters Tip: After painting with water based paint - Clean your roller sleeves with water and soap after use. Place in a plastic bag in-between coats to prevent the sleeve drying out.

Can’t quite reach? Consider getting the Harris extendable pole for painting ceilings and the Harris Flexi Roller Set for getting behind radiators and cupboards that you can’t move. And if your going up a ladder, don’t take the roller tray with you, take a paint kettle, it’s much easier to carry up the ladder for painting with a brush. And at the very end of the day don’t go storing your paint in the garden shed or garage as paint doesn’t tend to deal well with the extreme weather conditions we get in the UK. Instead make them air tight as best you can by sealing the lids down and you can even use cellophane to wrap the tins for extra air-tightness.  

Clean your brushes off with a bit of newspaper to get any excess paint off and then wash with warm soapy water. For oil based products use the Osmo paint thinner and brush cleaner. Don’t allow paint brushes to soak for long periods of time as you could do real damage to the bristles.

Never pour left over or unwanted paint down the drain. Instead, free-cycle it by giving it away on a swapshop, or see if a family member needs it. There could be someone moving into your neighbourhood that could do with a helping hand of free paint. Make sure you seal it really well so it’s air tight and doesn’t spoil and label it with the colour so they know what colour it is, and where to buy more if they fall in love with it!

How paint appears on the wall will vary depending on the brand, but we can categorise our selection of paints into just a few categories:

Matte Emulsion:  A flat finish considered the standard for interior walls and ceilings. Incredibly in fashion at the moment and people want to stay away from the glossier finishes from old times. Nothing is matte as the Claypaint ultra matt finish, perfect for bedrooms and snugs with low traffic volumes, as it is a delicate paint.

Satin Paint: Like the Helmatt from eico, a slight sheen level of 4% still quite matt and covers considerably well. The standard modern emulsions from Farrow and ball, or the lifestyle emulsion have a sheen, and that’s helps the durability of the paint.

Gloss Finish: The shiniest of the finishes, can adhere to nearly all substrates, wood, interior walls and metal. Super durable and washable finish. The farrow and ball Gloss finish is 95% sheen finish – get the preparation right and it will look outstanding, but be careful you can almost highlight any imperfections with a gloss.