When painting from a paint can, give it a half turn periodically throughout the job. Dipping the brush into the can alternately on one side of the can and then the other automatically keeps the contents stirred at the surface and prevents a surface film from forming. Also occasionally sweep the tip of the brush back and forth through the paint, especially with a fast-drying latex.
As part of your pre-painting preparation, check the weather forecast. The perfect conditions for painting are a mild day with temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees, little or no wind, and low humidity. Avoid painting if rain or very high humidity is predicted within 24 hours. Stop painting early enough for the surface to dry before evening dew sets it.
It is always a temptation to take short cuts. You may choose to paint over wallpaper either because you don't want to take the time to remove it, or perhaps the paper hides cracks and defects in the walls of your older home. Most professionals will suggest that you remove the paper because it may peel or the wall covering texture will be difficult to paint over.
If you find lumps in a can of paint that you need, you can "push" them out. Cut out a circle from a piece of wire screen slightly smaller than the can's inside circumference. Put the screen circle on the surface of the paint. With a little help it will sink to the bottom of the can, taking the lumps with it. Another way to salvage lumpy paint is to strain it through an old nylon stocking.
Using a tinted primer before painting is a great way to get the exact color you’re looking for in less time – especially if you’re using a deep, vivid color. Tinted primer can be tinted to a variety of gray shades selected for their ability to improve hide and achieve the desired depth of color and intensity.
Like tile, most paint will differ slightly in each lot produced. If you plan to use the same color thoughout your house, it's a good idea to purchase as much paint as you can at one time. This will avoid any deviations in the paint color and save you an extra trip to the store.
Instead of putting a paint smear across the outside of a can to mark the level of paint left inside (which can be messy and obliterate the label), use a rubber band instead. Put it around the can and roll it down to the level of the paint. Just by glancing at the rubber band, which is visible all the way around, you will know how much paint is left.
It is a great temptation to start painting without spending time to properly prepare the surface, but this can be a big mistake. Shortcuts on surface preparation can cause even the highest quality paints to fail prematurely. In fact, experts maintain that inadequate surface preparation is the single greatest cause of paint failures. Whether you are doing interior or exterior painting, good surface preparation requires that the surface be as clean as possible and in good repair. Paint performance depends on good paint adhesion, and paint adheres best to surfaces that are clean and sound.
To be certain you'll have touch up paint you will want to buy a gallon or so extra and be sure to have the salesperson write down the exact ingredients of the paint you choose. Luckily, there are machines available which can analyze a chip of paint but, there's that old saying about an ounce of prevention...it could save you from buying gallons later.
Always seal your paint container tightly between paint jobs. This will help prevent your paint from thickening or evaporating. To seal a can properly, clean excess paint from the rim with a brush and then gently tap the edges of the cover with a hammer.