Get the most out of your paint with these tips

It's every house painter's worst nightmare: closing in on the end of a job, and discovering there's not quite enough paint to finish the project.

Sure, you can always go back to your local Resene ColorShop and purchase another pail, but as is often the case, the best cure for this problem is prevention. Learn how to make your paint spread a bit further with these tips.

Work out how much you need

Anyone undertaking home renovations should take the time to plan out exactly how much paint is required. Use the Resene Paint Calculator online to help you estimate the volume of paint needed to complete any one project. It's important to consider the surface area, spread rate and number of coats required to complete the job.

A good rule of thumb is to always buy slightly more paint than you think you'll need to save yourself fretting at the end of a job.

If you calculated correctly and find you have a lot of extra paint, it means you have probably spread it too far and may need to apply more.  It's best to apply the paint at the right spread level for the best finish.

Choose the best application technique

While it may be tempting to use a paint sprayer, this can lead to overspraying and using more paint than you actually need, especially if you're new to using one. For most DIYers, opting for a traditional brush or roller will allow you to have control of the paint distribution, ensuring the paint is evenly spread. 

See the Resene DIY tips sheets for hints and tips on using rollers and brushes.

Use high quality paint

In general, high quality paint covers more area and has a better finish than cheaper paint. Low quality paints often show brush marks and other inconsistencies so while you might save money on the paint, you can spend a lot of extra time getting the finish looking right and having to do an extra coat or more.  High quality paints also generally have better coverage and this is usually most noticeable in the brighter colours.

Save washing up

Wrap your paintbrush, roller and roller tray in plastic wrap or in a plastic bag when you want to take a break.  It will help keep the paint wet and cut down on washing up, saving you time, water and paint.

Start well to finish well

The key thing to remember is this: Even before you open the paint can, prepare the surface well.  Surface preparation has a huge impact on the quality of the paint finish so take your time and do it right. You'll find this makes the painting easier and it will look better.

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