How do you make paint go further? This question may have plagued your mind if you've ever realized the small tin of paint you opted for isn't going to cover your whole wall. Stood with your paintbrush in hand and half a can of paint, you can't help but wonder if there was a way to make it cover a larger surface. Well, you might kick yourself to learn that there are in fact several ways to do so. Rather than instant solutions though, these tend to be preventative measures, and it largely comes down to your paint application. 'Finding out toward the end of a project that you don’t have enough paint to finish the job can be a frustrating realization, but there are several tips and tricks that can help you avoid this,' says Will Thompson, Head of Product Marketing and paint specialist at Valspar.
1. USE A FOAM ROLLER INSTEAD OF A PAINTBRUSH
When it comes to how to paint a wall, no one's expecting you to rely on a paintbrush alone. Using a foam roller is the best way to get a smooth, even coverage with less wasted product, helping your tin of paint go the extra mile.
2. ENSURE YOUR WALLS ARE SMOOTH
Painting a wall is as much about the preparation as the painting itself. An important decorating 101 is to always ensure you have smooth, sanded walls to work with, otherwise you'll have an uneven finish that could also lead to issues as your paint dries.
3. ALWAYS ACCOUNT FOR AT LEAST 10% MORE PAINT THAN NEEDED
It might sound obvious, but to truly make your paint go further you should always buy more than you need. Not only does this minimize the risk of running out of paint, but it's handy to have some spare paint lying around for any touch ups over time. 'As a general rule, we recommend accounting for at least 10% more paint than is needed for the space,' says Will. 'This will avoid you having to scrape the bottom of the tin and, as mentioned, also allow for any touch ups in the future.'
SHOULD YOU USE PAINT THINNER TO MAKE PAINT GO FURTHER?
You might be tempted to add paint thinner or even water to your can of paint to help it to go further, but this isn't recommended. Although it will reduce the viscosity of the solution and is safe to use, it should only be done at the start of a paint job, not mid-way through. 'Thinning your paint will affect the color, coverage and drying time of your paint,' Will says. If you use thinned paint on half of you wall, it will look uneven, blotchy, and will dry at different rates. However, you can use thinner at the start of a job if you want your paint to have a lighter coverage.