10 tips for painting a room

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Have you been thinking of adding new color to your home but don’t know where to start? This past week we painted the interior of our home as it was time for a fresh look. We hadn’t changed the color since we bought our home, which was over 10 years ago. Wow, I hadn’t realized that until I typed this up! Our home was one single color for so long, even the nooks! I’m a simple gal so I really didn’t mind having just one color all over the house.

We had added color to the kid’s bedroom, office and playroom ourselves but not anywhere else. This past week we took advantage of Spring Break and worked on a much needed paint job. Although we did hire someone to help us with this project, we learned a lot of useful information and now I’ll share it with you.

1. Choose the Perfect Color

Make sure that you absolutely like the color you choose since it will probably be on your walls and ceiling for a long time. Unless you have enough money to keep painting them once every month, but that’s not my case.

Go to your favorite hardware store and buy a few samples that you like and try them on your walls. Leave them on for a few days and see them in different times of the day to make sure it is the perfect match. This way, you don’t buy a lot of paint at once and when it’s up on your walls might not be what you thought it would look like.

Choose color

2. Do Prep Work

Do some prep work since this will save a lot of time from having to do the cleanup at the end. You should cover the floors, outlets, switch covers, windows and baseboards with butcher paper or plastic to prevent any paint accidentally dripped on them. Cover furniture with drop cloths or if possible, remove them from the room. Wrap doorknobs, light fixtures and fans with plastic. Use painter’s tape on all edges of the trim to have clean edges and prevent bleeding. Before the paint dries, remove tape to prevent the paint from lifting.

3. Clean the Surface

When we painted our boy’s rooms, as I was sitting on the floor while being eight months pregnant at the time, I noticed that the baseboards had some dust. I know, not the perfect housewife here. So this time around, we made sure to clean the surfaces that we were going to paint (and then the rest later). Be certain that your baseboards and walls are clean enough for paint to dress them up. You don’t want it to look messy and look as if you painted over dust. 

4. Extra is Better

While you are trying to save money on purchasing the paint, also be sure to purchase extra for your project. Take good measurements to buy the correct amount of paint you need but also estimate a little more for touch-ups later on. This will help since color may differ a bit because of the different mixing times and personnel.

5. Use the Right Tools

While we have painted other rooms ourselves with paintbrushes and rollers, the person we hired used a spray gun. These are great if the rooms you’ll be painting are bigger and taller. Use brushes to paint the edges and corners so there are no missing spots. With latex paint, it is recommended to use a brush with synthetic (nylon/polyester) bristles. Use natural-bristle brushes for oil-based paints.

6. Use the Right Paint

We want to use the right tools but also the correct paint. If you are painting an area that has been treated with oil-based paint, then latex paint is not the right paint as this will cause it to crack. If it is, then sand down the area you will paint first. To know if you have oil or latex paint, you can use the good ole’ nail polish remover and cotton ball to test the areas. If the paint comes off then it is latex and if not, it is oil-based according to this video.

7. Check the Forecast

Check your forecast to know what the weather will be, as this will help with your project. If it is exterior painting that you will do then be sure that no rain or wind is in the forecast. Humidity slows down drying time and wind, well that picks up sand causing it to mix with the paint. Also, if it’s windy and if you’re painting inside, this can affect too since you want to have windows opened for ventilation purposes and don’t want any dust coming inside. 


8. Use Primer

Paint now usually comes with primer so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to buy primer. This is best on surfaces that have already been painted, like in our case. If this isn’t your case and you’re working with brand new drywall or wood, first use primer and then paint over it.

9. Only Dip Your Brush

Be sure not to cover your paint brush completely into the paint. Only dip the brush a third of the way to avoid making a mess by not having it drip all over and waste a lot of paint. Also, if you immerse the entire brush, you will get paint under the metallic portion of the brush which will be difficult to clean and might not be usable again.

Paint Brush

10. Wait for Seconds

Sometimes painting will require you to paint a second coat so be sure to know how long you have to wait before applying the second coat. If you apply the second coat too quickly, it could result in peeled paint or visible brush strokes. Be sure to follow the instructions on your paint can regarding drying time between coats. If you’re unsure of drying times, it is recommended to wait 24 hours.

Now that you know a few to do’s on painting a room, go off and start on your own project. Don’t forget to do the prep work!

P.S. What colors do you prefer for your kitchen and living room? Is there something that you learned while painting a room in your home or the exterior of your home? Do you have other tips you’ve used for painting a room?

10 tips for painting a room

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