Paint walls professionally. The best tips and tricks

Posted by Anna Urban

Are you going to paint your walls? At some point the day will come when a change of wallpaper or colour will be unavoidable. Either you don’t like the existing colours and patterns anymore, or the white walls have yellowed over the years. Anyway: In this case only a brush can help!

Before painting, a good preparation is indispensable.

In order to save a lot of work afterwards, the walls and rooms should be well prepared before painting.

1. place all furniture either outside, in another room, or in the middle of the room. Now it is a matter of hanging all the pictures, decorative elements and shelves. If the dowel holes are still needed later, you can put in some kitchen paper. However, if you are planning a complete redesign of the walls, it is advisable to fill the holes with plaster.

2. masking, what the stuff holds: Sockets and light switches can be removed (caution, switch off electricity) or simply masked. Then it’s on to the skirting boards: You can mask them with a painter’s tape and line the floor with painter’s foil. A little tip: There is painter’s foil with adhesive strips. This saves some time. Then it’s the turn of the door and window frames. The door surfaces and floors can be covered with foil or painting fleece. The radiators should all be tightly stretched with foil – this makes painting behind the heater a lot easier.

Paint walls cleanly: The right materials and tools

You need: Ladder, telescopic handle, brush, painter’s roller, painter’s spatula, putty, paint tray or wiper grid (provided the roller fits into the paint bucket).

Make sure that the rollers are of good quality. Plush likes to leave lint on the walls – which is annoying later. You shouldn’t save here in the wrong place. Nylon or polyamide castors are the best choice.

Now it is time to prepare the substrate:

Do you have a plastered wall? Then you should check the current condition to avoid cracks or blisters later.

Old paint: Paint over the surface: Is the paint crumbling or are there cracks? The adhesive tape test is also suitable at this point: Press a piece of adhesive tape firmly onto the paint and pull it off abruptly. If pieces of paint stick to the tape, the coating is no longer sufficiently strong. In this case, a clean pre-treatment of the walls is a prerequisite for a perfect result. Crumbling paint is best removed with a spatula and/or sandpaper.

Fresh plaster: A fresh plaster should always be allowed to dry well, otherwise the residual moisture will cause paint to peel or bubble. Alkaline residues may remain on cement and lime plaster. Fluat neutralises them (available in building material stores – Attention, corrosive! Wear gloves and safety glasses). Rinse with water and allow to dry. Equalize highly absorbent plaster with Deep Primer.

Repair the interior plaster yourself.

Wetting test: If you spray the plaster with water, dark lines will reveal hair and net cracks. If the water is absorbed quickly, the plaster is highly absorbent. The result: higher paint consumption, the coating becomes thin. Uneven absorbency makes it stained.

Cracks or depressions: Can be easily and quickly smoothed with a putty knife and putty.

Contamination: Dust and cobwebs can be removed with a brush or a feather duster.

Mould: The black spots thrive on cool surfaces where water vapour condenses. Mould also grows in the plaster. There are fungicidal fungicides (also special paints for wet rooms) that can prevent the formation of mould. Once the mould has spread, vinegar water helps provisionally. Permanently however only a damming of the wall from the outside and regular airing.

Yellow-brown stains: Here the cause should be repaired fast, by blocking lime plaster with Fluat, gypsum plaster with alum or with insulating primer paint.

White efflorescence: These occur when moisture evaporates from the wall. The salts crystallize on the surface and lift the paint from the substrate. These efflorescences should be allowed to dry out well and brushed off. It is important to eliminate the cause of the wet masonry.

Colour, colour on the wall: Which is the most beautiful in the whole country?

Now it’s superficial: Apart from the variety of colours you can choose from, you still have to decide whether you want glossy or matt walls. And what is better: dispersion, silicate or latex paint? We take a closer look in the paint bucket:

Dispersion paint: This is the most commonly used paint. Due to its thick layer it is good covering, washable and low odour. It also dries quickly.

 Silicate paint: This is suitable for mineral substrates such as concrete or plasterboard. Silicate paint is characterised by water vapour permeability. This means that the substrate can breathe. Since the mineral paint is alkaline, dirt, mould and bacteria have no chance – making it ideal for allergy sufferers.

Latex paint: Also belongs to the family of dispersion paints, but is more resistant. This type of paint is good at what it does: it is water-repellent, abrasion-resistant and hard-wearing. This is why it is often used in the kitchen or children’s room.

Glaze: This type is semi-transparent (not very opaque) and is best suited for wiping and dabbing techniques on walls that have already been painted.

Once you have decided on a colour, there is still the small question of whether you want the colour to be matt or glossy. Glossy colours reflect the light and the colour can come out stronger depending on the incidence of light. Glossy colours are also easier to clean. Matt colours look even richer and quieter and are therefore well suited for living rooms and bedrooms.

Here are a few tips for painting:

  1. Paint the corners and edges with a brush. To remove loose fluff from the roller, you can roll it on a piece of paper beforehand.
  • Dip the brush only halfway in and wipe it off. If you attach a piece of adhesive tape across the paint bucket beforehand, you can simply wipe off the paint brush here.
  • Apply the paint quickly: First diagonally, then vertically. Important: While you are painting the walls, all windows should remain closed, as some areas dry too quickly as a result of draughts and can form stripes afterwards. So do not ventilate until you have finished with all the walls in the room.
  • Overnight you can rinse the roller warm and wrap it in aluminium foil. It is best to put the brushes in a glass with water. The wiper grid can be packed in an airtight bag.

Wood and metal: Now it’s time for the preserves!

Do you have wooden window and door frames? They also need a makeover at some point. You should consider the following points: If you live for rent, first ask the landlord for permission.

Before painting, you can clean the wood with hot soapy water or a special wood cleaner. Then let it dry overnight.

The next day you can sand the wooden frames carefully but thoroughly. Varnish that splinters off can be scraped off towards the grain with a scraper. Use high-quality wood paint. There are good, opaque special paints. But lime paints are also excellent.

Metal surfaces must also be prepared well and cleanly. Existing rust stains are best removed with steel wool or a wire brush. Iron can be degreased with nitro thinner and primed with anti-rust agent. Tin can be cleaned with neutral household cleaner and abrasive fleece, aluminium with Alu-Cleaner, zinc with ammonia.

If the surface is free of dirt and dust, you can apply a rust protection primer. As soon as the primer is completely dry, the paint can be brushed on.

Overpainting wallpaper

If you want to paint over your wallpaper, please note the following: If several layers of wallpaper are already glued together, it is best to remove them completely from the wall. It can be softened and removed with water and detergent or a steam cleaner. Check whether the wallpaper still sticks firmly and cleanly to the wall, otherwise there can be unsightly detachments from the wall later.

Wipe test: If you rub with a dark cloth over the surface, the abrasion makes chalking paint visible. Also look for paint that has come off, open seams and loose parts. Loose edges can be pasted back on if necessary. Fleece or woodchip wallpapers are best for overpainting. Patterned and coloured wallpapers, on the other hand, are less suitable. Water-based paints (dispersion paints) are not suitable for overpainting, as they can cause wrinkles and blisters – this applies especially to old wallpapers. Latex paints are the best partners here.

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