House Painting Sydney

How Should I Paint a Children’s Room?

House Painters Sydney

A few homes will have a consistent decor through every room. More often we paint different rooms according to their function or occupants. A living rooms is about style and comfort, a kitchen about practicality first, and hopefully some style too. A child’s room should also be painted according to the situation. This includes catering to the child’s personal taste, having a decor that is bright and happy, and also looking a practical aspects of cleaning and tidiness.

Before House Painting Sydney

We strongly advise against painting a room when there are young children in the home, or around anybody who is pregnant. The fumes from paint are quite toxic to young children. And though modern paints have lower fumes we still think it best to avoid the risk.

Have rooms painted when children are far way. Let the rooms air out for a few days before they are occupied.

Room Colours for House Painting Sydney

Some suggestions for Painting Children’s rooms:

– White walls with some colour trim. This looks open and clean. It even works when the trim is dark, like navy blue or bold red.
– Bare white or creme walls give a good neutral background for decorations, like children’s posters and drawings. Children grow quickly, so expect their taste in animals and cartoon characters to change quickly.
– Light yellow makes for a good room colour. It will not clash with other colours used for curtains or bedding.
Children’s rooms are one place where ceiling need not be white. Try sky blue, perhaps with some clouds.
– Chalk paint is good. This is literally for drawing on. You might use this on one cupboard door, or the lower half of one wall. If the children are going to draw on the walls we can embrace this.
– Aqua is a versatile colour for walls. Though you will need to keep the ceiling white for some contrast. This goes well with a nautical/sea-ship theme.
– Pink is a very calming colour. It will literally help when a child is sent to their room to settle down.

Practical aspects for House Painters Sydney

Because children will inevitably make a mess in their surroundings it helps to have a decor that is easy to clean. So when painting it helps to have eggshell or gloss paint. These paint finishes do not absorb grease as much as other paints, so they are easier to keep clean. Easy to clean floor materials will also help in children’s rooms.

House Painting Sydney

Have a room painted in the manner that make you want to spend time there. We can advise on the best colours and best finish.

House Painting Sydney

How to Get a Smooth Paint Result

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Sometimes we deliberately give paint a rough texture, either because we like the roughness or we want to hide imperfections in the underlying surface. But more often we like to give paint a smooth, flawless finish. And even if we do go for the textured look we want it to be deliberate, not the random pattern that comes from poor painting skills.

Smooth Paint advice:

Prepare the surface correctly

If it it timber then sand the wood with 120 grit sandpaper. This is just rough enough to bond with the paint, yet smooth enough for the paint to dry smooth.

If you are repainting a interior wall then wash it with sugar soap to remove all grease, and repair any gaps and cracks with filler. Then paint with a roller.

Use a Primer

Every paintable surface has a different type of primer. Find the right primer for the surface, timber, metal, plaster, brick.

If it is a new Gyprock/plaster wall then use a good primer undercoat, then paint with a roller.

Tinted primers, the same colour as the final coat, will help even the colour of the wall.

Use additives

A paint that is thinner will have fewer brushmarks. Thick paint look terrible, holds brushmarks, and tends to be uneven. Thin paint will look smoother.

Water based paint can be dilutes slightly with water, but do this sparingly. If the paint is so thin that it runs you will get drips in the final result.

Strain the paint, if it is old.

It is better to use new paint, but if you strain older paint you can still get good results. You probably need to thin it as well.

Old paint that is stored in a smaller container will last for a few years as the lack of air prevent it from drying out.

Buy the right Paint.

Really, quality products make all the difference. A good job is a combination of skill and good materials.

If a poor product means you have to spend more time to make it right, or that the paint needs a second coat, then the time you spend here is worht more than the cost of a better product. a good product helps you get it right on the first attempt.

House Painting Sydney

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House Painting Sydney

What are the Different Paint Finishes?

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There are several different finishes of paint. The finish is the surface texture of the paint, with different textures having different properties.

Glossy Paint –
For many generations this was the predominant type of paint, used almost exclusively. It has a shiny, almost mirror like finish that reflects light smoothly; you can often see reflections in the surface.

Glossy paint is still popular for external home painting. It was once popular for interior painting in an age when creme and brown decor was the fashion.

A big advantage of gloss paint is that is resists moisture and staining; most oils and grease will wipe off. For this reason it may offer and advantage in the bathroom or kitchen, or any tiled area.

The only real disadvantage of gloss paint is that the shiny surface reflects light too well. So any imperfections on the wall are all too easy to see, and the room lights will reflect in the glossy paint.

Matt Paint –

This has been very popular for the past generation or two. It has a flat almost chalky surface that many people find pleasing. This is partly due to its light reflecting properties, which are soft and scattered. So the wall that is painted with a Matt finish looks neat and bright, not showing any uneven hot spots.

The advantage of Matt paint is that it looks neat and covers minor imperfections in the wall surface.

The disadvantage is that the Matt surface is slightly porous, so it will stain under some circumstances.

Semi-Gloss Paint

This is halfway between Gloss and Matt paint, reflecting light off a surface that is slightly shiny.

Semi-gloss is still sometimes used for window frames, skirting boards. and some trim.

Eggshell Finish Paint

This is a more recent innovation, offering the advantages of both Gloss and Matt paint. It has the softer light reflections properties of Matt paint. And it resists staining as Gloss paint will.

Eggshell has grown increasingly popular over the last generation. It looks good, reflects light smoothly and softly, and it cover up minor imperfections in the wall. It is also reasonably easy to clean.

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Why Edge Painting Matters?

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In many renovations the most difficult part is the details. When painting an interior the most difficult details are a uniform flat surface and neat edges. These are achieved by different methods.

Large flat surfaces can be give an smooth finish with roller paint or perhaps spray techniques.

Edges cannot be painted with a roller, at least no if there is a skirting board or window frame in the way. Rather edges need either fine ‘cutting in’ brushwork, or they need to be taped in advance.

Interior House Painting Sydney

Tapeing edges when painting:

The tape method is popular with hobbyist painters, though some professionals use it too. It gives neat edges without requiring advanced painting skills.

Simpily, painters or masking tape is used to cover the side of an edge that is not to be painted. This means using tape to protect skirting boards, door frames, window frames, and perhaps other objects like light switches.

The tape is put on prior to the painting. Once the painting is done the tape is removed. Some painters suggest removing the tape when the paint is not quite dry.

Never use tape with latex paint, as the paint surface coating tears when the tape is removed.

Brush Cutting In:

Use a sash brush, which has the bristles at an angle. A 3-5 cm brush is about the right size.

With minimal paint on the brush do the edges of the walls. Start 5-10 cm from the edge and carefully push into the edge/corner. Do this before the main painting. Once the edges are dry you can use a roller on the rest of the wall.

Paint Guard

This uses a long, flat length of material with a handle to give a neat edge to the paint. Hold the edge in you non-dominant hand to protect the side not to be painted. And use the brush in your other hand to apply paint.

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House Painters Sydney

Why House Painters Sydney Wide use Rag Painting?

House Painters Sydney

A textured or patterned surface might be preferable to a single colour on a wall. It depends on the rest of the decor in the room. If the room already has a lot of decorative detail then we might prefer plain walls, lest the room have too much detail. But if the room feels a little empty and sterile then we might like to add some detail on the walls. Adding textures to the paint is one way to achieve this.

Rag finishing the paint is one way to add some texture to the walls. This uses a combination of two colours on the wall, which overlap in a random but pleasing manner. The right colour combination can make a room feel warm, or sunny, or cool, depending on which colours you use.

– Some good colour combinations include:
– Orange and Yellow for bright warm Summer
– Light Brown and Yellow for Autumn
– White and Grey for a calssic Marble look
– Light and Dark Blue
– Light and Dark Red
– Gark Green on White
– Dark Yellow on White

Rag Method for House Painters Sydney

1- For the base colour, Apply 1-2 coats of latex paint to the walls, including edges. Wait till this is dry.
2- Mix the second colour with glaze, equal parts glaze and paint.
3- Wearing protective gloves, dip a rag into the paint/glaze. Then wring it out so it is damp with paint, not saturated.
4- Touch the bunched up rag to the painted surface, and wiggle it slightly.
5- Touch the whole wall surface with the rag. Never drag it.
Keep the pattern random, yet consistent.

As the rag can be a little messy it is often a good idea to tape the edges where you don’t want to apply the paint.

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Exterior House Painters Sydney

Exterior Painting

Exterior House Painters Sydney

The whole look of a home can be changed with exterior painting. Sometimes we want to get back to the look it had when first painted. Or we might want a totally different colour scheme. either way, painting is a moderate priced renovation.

Of course exterior painting is quite different to interior. For one thing the paint used for exterior surfaces needs to be more durable, able to withstand the harsh Sun and rain. And secondly, the surfaces to paint need to be prepared well, often suffering from those same weather conditions.

Cleaning
– The exterior surfaces need to be cleaned. Even slight uncleanliness will compromise the new paint.
Warm soapy water will clean most outdoor surfaces, those some scrubbing will be needed. and mould should be treated with bleach.

Sanding and Filling
– this will be needed on any damage woodwork. Do this after the cleaning, and sand the surfaces flat and even.

Primer – This is obviously needed if the wood is bare. But even repainting benefits from primer, which bonds to the surface, and gives the new paint a good surface to bond to.

Tinted primers can be helpful, especially if you are changing the colour scheme. Tint the primer to match the new colour.

Paint – exterior paint need to be durable. Though this costs more it means the paint will last longer and help protect the timber surface. This is a worth investment.

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House Painting Sydney

Avoiding Mistakes

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Experience can teach us, or we can learn from others. Best to try learn from others first, from their experience, and then add to this by our own experience..

Some Advice from those who have been painting for a while.

  • Use painters tape. This makes edges so neat, with considerable ease. you can use techniques to do this, but tape is a simple and effective.
  • Not preparing the surface – Paint simply does not work on a dirty surface, or on a surface that does not bond to the paint. Clean with sugar soap and use a primer.
  • Fix any damage to the wall before you prime and paint. the paint will not cover imperfections.
  • Use the right primer for the surface you are painting. Metal, gyprock and timber all have their own plaster. And tint the primer to match the final colour.
  • Use the right sheen. An eggshell or Matt finish will reflect light softly and cover imperfections. Glossy paint is often too shiny.
  • Don’t use cheap paint. This is a false economy. You will find you need several coats, and that you will need to repaint in a few years.
  • Compare paint samples in the room, in normal lighting. The light and conditions in the room affect how the paint will look. so get the right impression under the right conditions.
  • Painting is extreme cold and extreme humidity means the paint won’t dry well. Wait for some regular, everyday conditions, and make sure the room is ventilated.
  • Use roller for large surfaces and brushes for edges.
  • Never over-brush, meaning trying to brush over an area where the paint has started to dry. Brush correctly the first time. Don’t try to go over brushstrokes in the partially dried paint.

 

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Cleaners and Thinners

House Painting Sydney

Most modern house-paints are water-based. Being water-based gives a few advantages, the most important being the ability to clean brushes and rollers with plain water. But these water-based paints also tend to be low odour, have low toxicity, and can by thinned out (if necessary) with plain water.

There are no real disadvantages with water based paints, other that the fact that a few specialist paint finishes are only achievable with oils. Water based paints cover all most all home painting situations.

Occasionally we use oil paints, perhaps to get deep glossy finish, or because we are using a metallic paint. These oil based paints require strong solvents for cleanup, and for thinning.

Until recently there have been only two main solvents used for cleaning oil based paint. One we turpentine (turps), the other was mineral spirits. Acetone was a third, less common, option.

Turpentine is derived from pine tree resin. It has a strong odour and should only be used in a ventilated area. It will harm eyes and skin. It is fine for cleaning brushes.
Good quality turps can be used to thin oil based paints. Cheaper quality turps will cause yellowing of paint. Check the label to see if the turps is suitable for thinning.

White spirits, sometimes just called paint thinner, is a petroleum product. Like most strong solvents it is quite toxic to skin and eyes, and should only be used outdoors or in a well ventilated area. It is fine for cleaning brushes.
Good quality white spirits (often labelled artist’s white spirit) can be used for thinning paint. Other white spirit may contain impurities that will discolour some paints.

Water based turps is a new product. It is very useful for cleaning brushes and rollers, and actually leaves the brush bristles softer than other solvents. It is also low odour. But it cannot be used to thin paint. Use it for cleanup only.

 

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Beside the Paint

House Painting Sydney

Repainting is almost entirely about improved appearances, but not entirely. Painters will repair cracks in the walls, choose paint that protects surfaces and resists staining, and even recommend colours that work will with lighting. These factors can indirectly the upkeep of your home.

Cracks in the wall are rarely a structural issue, but they can affect ventilation and cooling. keeping the walls in good condition can help keep temperatures stable, and reduce heating/cooling costs.

Home lighting is a significant electrical cost. We can reduce this cost by using natural lighting (open the curtains) or by using LED lighting which is cheaper than old style electrical bulbs. Painting the room in a fashion than makes use of natural lighting can be a considerable help here.

The external paint decor affects how a home heats up during summer. The right paint colour means a cooler home, and less money spent on air conditioning.

Interior paint can resist mould and mildew. This is better for the home, and better for our health.

Older glossy paint and newer eggshell finish paint resist staining and resist grease. So areas in bathrooms or near ovens are easier to clean with the right paint finish.

External metalwork can be painted to resist rusting. This includes everything from plumbing to metal rails and furniture.

 

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The right paintwork mean a home that looks better, and which functions a little better too. Talk to us about the best approach to painting.

House Painters Sydney

Paint Fumes

House Painting Sydney

Older paint products tended to give off a lot of strong fumes. These were eventually found to be harmful. So research and strict regulations led to the development of paint products that emitted little, if any toxic fumes.

That fact that we can smell any paint fumes is cause for concern. Airborne chemicals like formaldehyde can cause respiratory problems, eye irritation, lethargy, and cognitive problems. Short term exposure isn’t too bad, though we should avoid it if at all possible. Long term exposure can be very harmful, especially to young children. We can reduce the exposure to airborne chemicals by cleaning the air after painting.

 

Let rooms ventilate after painting. Open external windows and put some fans in the room.
Use a Air filter with a HEPA filter pad. This removes almost all toxins from the air.
Cover the floor with Bi Carb of Soda and let this soak up some fumes. After a few days vacuum this Bi Carb off the floor and dispose of it.
Onions in a bowl of water will soak up a lot of fumes. Leave these in the room for a few days. The dispose of the contents.
Houseplants absorb a lot of fumes from the air. These are good to keep the air clear long term.
Do not put curtains or furnishings in the room till the fumes have cleared. Unfortunately these can absorb and retain fumes.

 

It helps to buy paint that is low VOC (Volatile Organic Chemical) or VOC free. Most paint today have reasonably low VOC, but some are better than others.

New carpets, some furniture and varnished floors will also emit VOC. try to let these air out when they are new, or use the methods described above to clean the air in the room.

 

House Painters Sydney

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