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What To Consider Before Painting Drywall

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Drywall is a material that is widely used, and it can be easy to paint. When done right, it can look amazing. But that does not mean that you can just jump in and paint. There are some things to think about, and some careful consideration can be the difference between a flawless finish and a disaster.

Here are our top tips for painting drywall.

Mudding

Many people hang some drywall and expect that they can paint it immediately, literally painting over the cracks, but this is a big mistake. Drywall is designed to be mudded first and not doing so will leave the finish uneven and those cracks will show through.

Drywall should be taped and mudded wherever two pieces of drywall come together or wherever it meets another material, including any corners. Only once you have mudded and left it to dry can you think about painting. But, before that, we come to…

Sanding

The mudding you have just completed needs to be sanded, but don’t forget to sand the rest of the drywall too. There are two good reasons to do this.

When you mud, no matter how careful you are, you are not going to get it perfect. The best way to ensure a smooth surface is to sand it before painting. The same is true for the rest of the drywall. When transporting and installing, blemishes and uneven portions can appear on the drywall sheet. By sanding, you are ensuring an even finish across all of your walls and ceilings.

The other reason to sand is to help the paint adhere to the surface. A light sanding on the drywall and mud is going to create a slightly rougher surface that the paint will better adhere to. This means that the finish looks better and lasts longer.

Cleaning

You should plan to clean the newly installed drywall a few times. After you have sanded, there is going to be dust on the walls and in the air, and there is only so much that an air filtration system can take care of. Mix up a little vinegar and warm water and get ready to clean.

Using a damp cloth soaked in your vinegar-water mixture, rub the walls and ceiling down from top to bottom. After doing this, we recommend coming back the next day and doing it again. This gives time for any stirred-up dust to settle. 

Getting rid of any dust particles is going to give you the most flawless finish possible.

Surface Area

You don’t want to run out of paint halfway through the painting experience, so it is essential to calculate the amount of paint that you need, and then have a little extra just in case. There are many tools online that you can use to calculate exactly how much paint that you need, or you can also talk to a professional.

Calculate the entire surface area (and remember to measure twice and paint once) and add an extra 10%-15% to allow for miscalculation, spilled paint, extra absorption, cleaning brushes and rollers, and anything else.

Paint Quality

When you look at paint cans, it is important to note that the coverage of the paint does not necessarily translate into the amount of paint that you need. One can of paint may cover the entire room, but it might need two coats of paint, and thus cost you twice as much, with twice as much work. If you opt for high-quality paint, you are going to be able to cover the same area with less work and cost. Often, you will find this information on the can, but it can be beneficial too to talk to the paint store employees, check online reviews, or talk to professionals to find out what type of paint they use.

The other benefit of using high-quality paint is that it is going to last longer and look better. As we mentioned above, high-quality paint can save you money by having to paint fewer coats, but it can also save you money by not having to repaint it sooner.

Of course, when your paint job looks amazing (and high-quality paint gives you more chance of this), the resulting finish is priceless.

Invest in the Right Tools

Getting a flawless finish starts with the right paint, but you are also going to need the right tools too. You will need some tape, brushes, rollers, cleaning equipment, etc. But, the main thing here, as with the paint, is to invest in quality.

If you have high-quality tools, you have more chance of getting it right the first time. This saves you from having to repaint, and it will also help to create a great finish (especially if you invest in good paint brushes and rollers).

As professional painters, we have invested in high-quality tools, and we cannot explain just how beneficial this is. Professionals get the best finishes partly through experience, but part of it is down to the tools.

Primer

Drywall is very porous and will soak up a lot of paint. Before you add the final color to your wall or ceiling, you should apply some primer. This gives you two main benefits.

The first benefit is cost. By using primer, you are using a cheaper paint that will be initially soaked up. After the primer has been soaked in, you can add the final color, and you may only need to use one coat to finish the job.

The second benefit is in the look of your final wall. Primer is going to help to give you a more even paint distribution, ensuring that the color you use looks as it should throughout the entire room or home. 

Use the Professionals

Whenever you are in doubt, it is never wrong to call in professionals. If you are worried that you are not going to be able to do a great job, do not have the time to paint drywall, or just want some advice, the professionals are always here to help.