Besides Being a painting contractor in Santa Barbara CA, I'm also a homeowner and consumer and if I can I like to save money in home improvements. So as professional painter I understand why homeowners sometimes would rather go the "do it yourself house painting" route instead of hiring a professional painting company.
As a professional house painter and painting contractor I been doing this type of work for 20 years, so I know that there is so many things, steps, and a lot of practice to fully have a quality finish job on any house painting project. But on this house painting blog I'm going to keep it simple and just point out broadly the most important steps and things in DIY House Painting: safety, painting preparation, and paint application. If I was to go into very specific detail on all the steps, I would have to write a book.
SAFETY: If possible stay away from doing specialty jobs that involve using dangerous chemicals. Like asbestos removal, led abatement, chemically paint striping. Hire a license painting contractor for this type of work. But if you decide to do it yourself, then fallow all the safety steps and do as much research on how to properly do the work. Use good ventilation, use body and face protection, don't leave anything expose that can catch on fire. When working on ladders just go to the height that you feel safe and comfortable. If you need to go higher have someone hold the ladder for you. Try to use water base paints and primers.
PREPARATION: Prepping on the painting work is the most important phase of the work to achieve a durable and beautiful painting job. Yet, this is the most common mistake in painting by homeowners, the lack of prepping. They hardly or none at all do any painting preparation. Why? Because preparation can be boring or they just don't know how to do it. Most people think of "painting preparation" as just prepping the surface that is going to be painted on. That's wrong. Painting preparation is more than that. It is covering, constantly keeping a clean work area, using the right patching compounds and primers for different sub-trades and yes surface prepping. So start by moving stuff from the surfaces that are going to be work on. Other stuff that is on the way also move from the work area and if possible move it as far away or to another room. The key is to have as much free space and less stuff to deal with during the painting work. Whatever big items you can't move to an other area, like a bed or couch, cover with plastic and then put a drop clothe on top of the plastic. Like I said I'm a professional, I rather overdo it than being sorry. If the prepping work is going to be too dusty then taped with blue tape openings that you don't want the dust to get in. For example the edges between a door and door frame. Once you are done with the moving and covering, surface preparation is next. Begin prepping the surface that's going to get painted, by scraping any lose paint or decay sub-trades. Sand the surface to get rid of any imperfections and for a stronger bonding of the new paint or primer. Patched the holes and cracks using the appropriate patching compounds, for different types of surfaces. And sand again the new patches if need to. Next use the right primers when spot priming or fully priming. Use specialty primers rather than all-purpose primers. An all-purpose primer is not made for a specific bare surface. Is made to be used on different types of surfaces, does you won't get all the benefits of a durable specialty primer that is made to be use for a specific surface. Next keep a dust free surface and clean area now that the surface preparation and priming is done. Remove any tools that you don't need for the painting. Dust off the surfaces that are getting painted. Sweep or vacuumed the work are then do it again. You won't be able to get rid of the dust in one pass. So is better to do it once, let the dust you did not get settle then vacuumed or sweep again. Remove any drop clothes that you were using during the prepping and dust off before using again for the painting. Like I said prepping is the most time consuming and most important part of a good paint job.
PAINTING APPLICATION: Now for the fun part. The part that everyone claims to be good at. For this part I'm not going to spend a lot of time. Honestly, to be a good paint finisher, you need to have many years of practice as a house painter. So I'm just going to go over briefly on the 3 different ways to applied paint, brushing, rolling, and spraying. When brushing do not put to much paint on the brush and use long strokes. Don't use a paint can to brush your paint out-off. Use a clean small bucket and only pour enough paint where the paint brush bristles can be sink on third. When rolling paint use use a bucket with a metal paint grid. Please don't use a painting tray, is less efficient and messy. Also use a quality painting roller. Cheap rollers don't hold as much paint and they spatter paint allover. Spraying the paint finish is fast and leaves a beautiful smooth finish, but only if you know how to spray paint. For this type of application I advise you no to do it. If you do go ahead and do spray the finish, it can cost you time and money if you do it wrong. You have to know how to control the over spray, how to mask so you don't paint on other surfaces, you have to know different techniques in how to apply the finish. So be very careful with your surroundings areas and make sure you don't apply too much paint. And regardless of which method you use, make sure that you always keep a wet edge when overlapping the paint on the surface
So good luck on your next house painting project from this house painter.