11-11-2010 10:43 AM
I finally got the nerve to paint my living room and now I can't figure out how to fix the paint roller streaks on one wall. I am using the BEHR paint and primer in one in an eggshell finish. I have tried to sand the area down and repaint in a "W" and then over it up and down but it still looks terrible. It's only bad in the middle of the wall. What am I doing wrong and how can I fix it?
11-11-2010 11:57 AM - edited 11-11-2010 08:15 PM
I'm PatInPaint and I work in the Paint Department in Atlanta.
Everyday our Do-It-Yourself Community grows both at the Store and online. Welcome and thanks for the excellent question.
Walls are commonly smooth, not textured, so I will base my answer upon painting a smooth surface.
In an earlier post, there was a discussion of correct nap. Click Here to review that discussion. There you will find that most smooth surfaces are painted with either a one-fourth or a three-eighths nap roller.
Commonly, paint streaks are created three ways:
1) When too long of nap is used. What happens is the roller loads full of paint and when pressed firmly against the wall, the paint releases from the roller at both ends creating ridges. Sanding the ridges completely down and repainting with either a three-eighths or one-quarter nap is the solution.
2) When a dark color is painted on the wall and then recoated too fast. What happens is the second coat re-wets the first coat and the pigment in the first coat streaks. The solution is simply waiting four to six hours between each coat.
3) When the sheen reflects light and the roller strokes show up. The solution for this is to use "smoothing strokes." Begin working in an area about as wide as your body. Cut-in at the top and the bottom of the wall and then fill the wall with paint using W-strokes or V-strokes. You will usually refill your roller with paint four or five times to fill the wall in front of you. Before you move over and without going back to the tray for more paint, roll one continuous stroke from the cut-in at the top of the wall to the cut-in near the floor. You will need to overlap these smoothing strokes about one-half inch and you should expect to use four or five of these full-length strokes to completely smooth the area in front of you. Then move over the width of your body and repeat.
If none of these examples appear to be your problem, reply with photos and we can look at the project together.
Other members of the community who are new painters may want to share their "tried and true" methods.
I am a Home Depot Paint Associate, trained and authorized to help people on the Internet.
11-13-2010 03:51 PM
There is only one rule to painting a wall (or doing a faux or decorative technique): be consistent. Whether you use the W / M (or W / V) technique or floor to ceiling rolling, the important thing is to make sure you use the same amount of paint on the same amount of surface area. That's why the W / M approach works well for beginning painters. Usually a 3/8" nap roller, fully loaded, will cover a three square foot (3 sq ft) area on a flat wall. A quarter inch roller cover fully loaded will cover a bit less than that, but close.
So imagine a 3'x3' square on your wall, make a W from corner to corner, make an M from corner to corner, then fill it in. Load your roller, minimize the amount of overlap as much as possible, imagine the next square and "W / M" again. Once the square is filled in evenly, there is no need to keep rolling. If you do so, all you end up doing is pulling paint back off the wall, creating an uneven paint film.
Wait 4 hours (typical recoat time),paint your second coat, making your squares a bit bigger or smaller so your overlap lines aren't in the same spots.
Another thing to keep in mind, the typical orange, green, brown and wood handle rollers sold in the Paint department have a painting direction. While holding the roller in your hand against the wall, if you see the arm coming out of the handle and going to the right, then you're going to want to roll the paint onto the wall from left to right. If it's on the left, then conversely, you'll roll right to left. When you press the roller against the wall, more pressure is applied to the arm side of the roller. Sometimes, if you press to hard, it looks like your roller is leaving a trail. If you keep the arm pointed in the direction you're painting, the opposite side will tend to catch that trail and smooth it out, as there isn't as much pressure on that side.