How to Practice House Painting
Jordan Paul , null
May 24th, 2022
As they say, practice makes perfect, but how do you actually practice house painting? Depending on your goals, you can teach yourself to paint brick, siding, furniture, concrete, and just about anything else. The difference between a professional painter and a DIYer is usually just that the professional has practiced more. Today we will suggest a few good practice methods to practice your painting effectively.
What Do You Want to Paint?
The first question of course is what do you want to paint? If you are learning to paint your own home, you may want to do some practice with other materials first. This is because some materials, like hardboard siding, are quite easy to paint. Others, like brick and stucco can be a bit more of a challenge.
If your goal is to refinish some outdoor furniture, you will probably benefit from some small brush practice. Outdoor furniture, especially woven materials like wicker, can be challenging to paint because of all the small crevices and angles. When painting furniture, it is usually best to apply the paint sparingly, because uneven surfaces will grab paint unevenly and lead to runs.
Do You Have the Right Tools?
You will want a starter set of paint brushes and rollers that has a paint tray, roller handle, roller pad, and three or four different paint brushes. The roller pads that come in these kits are often a medium nap, so you’ll want to add a fine roller pad and coarse roller pad to your painting toolbox.
A great way to practice using both is to start out with a roller and paint the entire surface. Pay attention to how much paint your roller pad absorbs and how much paint it requires. Make the surface as smooth as you can, varying the angles and pressure applied to the roller. Now, let that color dry while you paint another surface a different color, and use a brush.
Once both surfaces have dried, swap the order and repaint the rolled surface with a different color using a brush and vice versa. By using different colors you can easily see which area was painted with which tool. This also teaches you how one color covers another, while showing you the textures possible with each tool.
Vertical and Horizontal Painting Are Different
Remember that vertical surfaces tend to be less forgiving of runs than horizontal surfaces. For example, if you are painting a concrete patio, the paint tends to stay where you put it. However, if you applied the same amount of paint to a wall, it would probably result in drips that must be evened out. In the same way you would paint furniture, be mindful of how much paint you are loading onto your brush or roller. Sometimes in an effort to move faster we overload the tool. Unfortunately, on vertical surfaces this often results in chasing runs more than actual painting.
If you are brand new to painting, try starting out on something simple like a cardboard box. This will teach you how paint gets absorbed by the material. Pay attention to how much paint you need on your brush to complete a stroke. Are you leaving noticeable brush strokes? How long is it taking for a thick coat to dry versus a thin coat?
It’s a great idea to teach yourself to paint different surfaces and textures too. For example, find a stick in the yard and try to paint it bright white. If the stick is bone dry, you’ll get practice painting a rough texture. How many coats did it take to make it white? Now try it on a damp stick, and you’ll discover why surfaces must be dry before they can be painted.
Most home improvement stores sell small 2’ x 2’ pieces of drywall, tile board, and other sheet goods. Purchase some primer and apply it to only half of the material, leaving the other untouched. Now paint the entire surface, both the primered area and the non-primered, and notice if the surface bleeds through.
The primered surface will likely appear much more vibrant, because the surface color is not bleeding through. You may achieve the same effect with another coat of paint on the non-primered side, but why would you? Primer is usually less expensive than paint, so if they do the same thing (primer is actually better), why pay more for paint?