Professional Painters are known for their speed combined with a high-level of workmanship, but there is more to it than just ‘painting fast’. Physical ability and dexterity do come into play, but there is a science to painting that is learned over time. There is a method to interior painting to make it go remarkably efficiently, and it come down to the philosophy of least exertion to achieve a given result. We will discuss some of these pro secrets to making interior painting as painless as possible.
We will consider the example of a complete repaint; that is, walls trim and ceilings of a house interior. The professional painter must work in a way that will get all of these surfaces coated with the correct paint, while achieving straight cut lines between them, and doing it all cleanly. If there is prep to do on any surfaces, this must be done right away to allow filling compounds time to dry. Depending on how much prep is needed it can be done by the entire crew, or one painter can prep while another starts painting as soon as practical.
Ceilings are usually the first things to be painted for one main reason: gravity. Paint splatter from ceiling rolling can get on the walls, so it makes sense to paint the walls later. If there are patches to do on the ceiling, though, you must account for this in your plan of attack. Sometimes, since trim is relatively small, it can be painted first and not be affected too much by paint splatter from ceiling and walls, so that can be done while allowing patches to dry on a ceiling when applicable. The main point is to think about the needs of a project and plan the steps taken to eliminate down-time.
Often times most of the ceilings can be painted relatively soon, and since walls are going to be painted as well, there is no sense cutting the edges with ceiling paint. The pro painter will simply paint roughly into the edges, and roll out the area of the ceiling, not worrying about overlap into the walls, because these will be edged with wall paint later. This saves significant time on unnecessary brush work. The same principle can be used where trim meets walls only one paint will need edging in most cases. Walls or trim can be done last, but consider that trim paint is usually more robust and glossier, so it will be preferable to paint it last.
When it come to painting the walls, rollers are fast, but you can’t get around the need to brush edges. The goal is to minimize brush strokes while allowing for straightforward rolling of the rest of the wall areas. Rollers cant get within about 2 inches of adjoining ceilings, walls and trim, so the idea is to brush about 3 inches away from edges for some clearance, and this will allow faster rolling because you don’t have to slow down near the edges. It also important to brush areas that are hard to reach with a roller, such as around a vent, or narrow sections of walls around doors or windows. The key to professional speed is doing exactly what is needed with the brush, and no more.
When painting several rooms with a team, the cutting should start first, and then rolling follows once walls are outlined, and the cutting should continue into all rooms with the same colour paint. Rolling takes less time, so either have more painters cutting, or one should start cutting and roll afterwards while another painter cuts continuously. Paint dries quickly, so the second coat can begin back at the start as soon as the first coat is rolled.
The last concern is to minimize cleanup and setup as much as possible. Paint-filled brushes and rollers can be wrapped in plastic and kept in a fridge to preserve them overnight if they will be used again, saving some clean up.