Painting a room yourself can be a hassle if you don’t know how to do it and don’t take steps to avoid problems. Here are some tips to make things go as smoothly as possible.
Choose the Right Paint and Gather Supplies
Start by deciding which color(s) to use. Get samples from a local home improvement store so you can see them in the room and hold them up against your furniture. Think about how the room would look at different times of day with different lighting.
Some brands sell products that contain both paint and primer. The brand of paint, the type of primer you use (if any), the new color and the color you’re covering will all affect the amount of paint you’ll need. Ask an employee for help if you aren’t sure how much to buy.
Gather essential supplies, including paint, paintbrushes, rollers with extension poles, a paint tray, drop cloths, rags, painter’s tape and a putty knife. Some brushes and rollers work better with certain types of paint—ask which kinds you should buy. If the room has high ceilings, you may need a ladder for areas that you can’t reach with a roller extension pole.
Focus on Prep Work
Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting paint on. Try to avoid painting on a rainy or humid day since the paint will take longer to dry. Open windows and use fans to ventilate the house.
If possible, move all the furniture to another room before you start painting. If that’s not an option, move the furniture to the center of the room and cover it with drop cloths or lightweight plastic. Cover the floor as well.
Remove any cobwebs and wash the walls before you get started. Use painter’s tape to cover molding and window and door casings. Remove covers from outlets and light switches and use painter’s tape to protect them from stray paint. Use a putty knife, if necessary, to create a tight seal.
Follow the Right Process
Use a wooden paint stick to stir the paint before you begin painting and several times later. If you’re using multiple cans of paint, pour them into a bucket and stir them together in case the cans have slightly different colors.
Start at the ceiling and work your way down. When using a roller, paint in a “W” pattern to get broad coverage and to avoid roller marks. If you’re going to paint one wall a different color to serve as a focal point, paint the lighter walls first, let them dry, then apply painter’s tape before you paint the accent wall. Before painting the trim, remove the painter’s tape, let the walls dry, then place painter’s tape along the walls.
Set Aside Plenty of Time
Painting a room isn’t difficult, but it’s often time-consuming. Give yourself time to move furniture, apply painter’s tape and paint—plus time for the paint to dry. Don’t be surprised if the project takes longer than you anticipated.
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