The secret to a successful paint job is choosing materials carefully. Here are some guidelines:
Choose the right color. Take paint brochures home and pick the color during daylight in the room you’ll be painting. Buy a quart (1 litre) of the color, paint part of the wall, and live with it before making a final decision.
Cheap paint is expensive. You’re more likely to save money with a top-of-the-line paint. Cheap paint usually requires two coats to cover what’s on the wall, thereby doubling your cost. Low-quality latex paint also gets chalky as it ages and needs to be repainted sooner.
Get the right paint finish. Paint comes in glossy, semigloss, eggshell, satin, and flat finishes. Use glossy or semigloss on woodwork. In areas likely to get dirty—kitchens and baths—use semigloss or eggshell on walls. The glossier the paint, the more durable and easier it will be to clean. Flat, on the other hand, hides wall defects and touched-up areas belier.
Match, don’t mix. Simplify your life. Use the same color paint on trim and walls even if they’re not the same sheen. You’ll have to do far less masking, and touch-up is simpler since paint splashed from the walls onto the trim (or vice versa) is virtually invisible.
Pick the right applicators. Select a short-nap roller for smooth walls and a longer nap for stucco, concrete, and textured surfaces. Make sure the roller has slightly beveled ends that won’t drag paint onto adjoining surfaces. Choose a nylon-wool blend roller for a (oil) paint, but get an all-nylon roller for latex (the water in latex swells natural fibers). Similarly, choose a natural bristle brush for alkyd and synthetic bristles for latex. Look sideways at a brush. A good brush comes to a dull point; a cheap one is cut square. Look at the bristle ends. Split ends (properly called flagged ends) help spread paint for a smoother finish.
Grease on walls
Oil, grease or grime on wall surfaces. Common in kitchens and garages. Grease on the walls causes poor paint adhesion, stains, or small “pinpoint” rust spots.
Wash the surface with detergent and warm water, apply an isolating primer such as X-Terminator alkyd, and repaint with a coat of Kitchen and Bath acrylic enamel.