Home Painting Tips

woman painting wallI don’t know about how it is where you live but in my area, Spring has definitely Sprung. Actually we really didn’t have much of a winter which is just fine by me as I “don’t do cold”.

For me, with the fresh Spring air comes the need to freshen things up, do some major Spring cleaning and fixing things that need it.

Looking around my home, I see my walls need painting big time. They haven’t been done in years and having a toddler around most of the time; well lets just say there’s some art work I need to dispose of on my walls.

I thought about getting a professional to come in and paint my walls but decided to do it myself to save money.

Now even though I am a professional artist, it doesn’t mean I’m a great painter. I have done some wall painting but it took me awhile to get the hang of it. It isn’t rocket science but it can get pretty messy really quickly if you don’t follow some simple rules.

What Color Should I Paint?

First, you need to chose what colors you want to paint the rooms. Don’t agonize, remember it’s just paint and it can be changed if you make a mistake.

To avoid the cost of having to repaint, do some research first. Check out home decorating magazines and when you find room colors you like, take the page to your local hardware store and get the paint clerk to match the color for you.

You can also get ideas here: http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/for-your-home/color-trends-2012 and they have a really neat tool you can use to see what your room will really look like after it’s painted here: http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/for-your-home/personal-color-viewer

One thing to remember is paint will be darker when it’s first applied and wet on your walls. So don’t panic. Just wait until it’s dry to see what it really looks like. Another point to remember, that dark colors make rooms look smaller. Light colors make rooms look larger. So pick accordingly.

Once you have picked your color, it’s time to paint!

Tips for Getting Ready to Paint

  • Determine how much paint you need. That Benjamin Moore site also has a paint calculator that really helps with this. Just look down at their tools section.
  • Wash down your walls and then scrape off any chipped or loose paint so you will have a clean, flat surface. To save money, it’s generally cheaper to buy paint in the 5 gallon cans so if you need 11 gallons, buy 2 in the 5 gallon size, and 1 in the 1 gallon size (you probably wouldn’t need this much unless you are painting several rooms the same color).
  • Talking to the clerk in the paint department can help you decide how many tools you will need (rollers, tape, brushes, pans, liners for your pans, etc.)
  • If you are using a latex paint use brushes with synthetic bristles. You can use synthetic or natural bristles with oil based paint.
  • Make sure you get painters tape. It’s blue and you will use it to cover any areas you don’t want painted. It comes in different widths and it comes off really easily.
  • For large areas such as floors, buy rolls of plastic to cover the area and tape it down.
  • Don’t paint directly out of the can because leaving the can open all day will cause it to dry out faster. Also little particles of dust and stuff will end up in your can if you leave it open. Not only will it leave a bumpy surface when you paint, it can even change the color a little bit.

Tips for When You Actually Start Painting

  • When you are ready to start painting, dip your roller in water first (or solvent if you are using oil based paint). Then dip the roller in paint and roll it out a little bit so it won’t drip.
  • Do all of the cutting and trimming in before you paint the walls. Use a smooth stroke brush of about 4 inches to do this and paint around all the corners and areas that are taped off.
  • Don’t skimp on the amount of paint you put on the brush. cover all the edges thoroughly. Cover the edges well Keep some rags around and wipe up any drips as soon as they happen. Don’t give them a chance to dry.
  • I don’t know why you are supposed to do this but I was taught to first roll the paint in a large N pattern and then go ahead and paint up and down strokes. Make sure you coat the roller well and again, don’t skimp on paint.
  • You can buy “one coat” paints now a days but if you plan on doing more than one coat, make sure the previous coat of paint is completely dry before starting the next.
  • While rolling out the paint, when you get to the corners, get as close as possible but don’t scrape the roller against the corner. Keep a paint brush with you to smooth out any streaks and drips as you see them.

After You Finish Painting

  • Hopefully you bought some tray liners for your painting trays. It makes cleanup super easy and saves your trays for the next paint job.
  • If you need to stop painting for an hour and don’t want to wash out your brushes or roller if you know you will be using it again in a an hour or too, you can stick them in a plastic bag and tighten the bag around them so no air is hitting them. This will keep them wet. I don’t recommend doing this for overnight or for any longer than a few hours.
  • When you are done, thoroughly clean your brushes and let them dry on a towel before storing them away.
  • Keep a little baby food jar of the paint you just used in your linen closet or another easily accessible place. That will make it easy to do small touch ups in the coming months and years.

I hope these tips help you. Painting really isn’t that hard and after awhile it’s almost fun. There’s something very “zen” about rolling the paint roller back and forth.

I know there are a lot more experienced painters out there than I am and I’d love to hear any tips you may have that I have forgotten.


3 thoughts on “Home Painting Tips

  1. Thank you so much for these tips. My brother and I are planning to paint our studio but we are not really so knowledgeable of how to do it. We never painted anything so you really cannot blame us. Anyway, thank you again. This is really a big help.

  2. More and more individuals are getting into painting their own homes, rooms or studios because aside from they are able to cut down on their budget, they are also able to add more of their personal preferences. These tips you have imparted will certainly benefit those who are planning on such home improvement venture. Thank you for sharing this post.

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