One of the quickest and easiest ways to liven up your home or office is to add a fresh coat of paint. Whether it’s one room or the whole house or office building, apply these tips for a smoother painting project.
1. Create a painting plan
As with most projects, it helps to start by keeping the end in mind. Think about how you want the finished project to look, including the ceiling and any trim you plan to paint.
2. Contemplate your color
With so many paint hues available, selecting the right one can be overwhelming. Start by figuring out the basics. Do you want: A warm or cool shade? A neutral or saturated shade? A shade to complement specific pieces of furniture or artwork in the room you are painting? Once you know what you want, select a few samples to test. And be sure to pay attention to how they look at different times of day.
3. Gather the right tools
Every project is unique, so you may need different tools depending on the paint you choose and the condition of your walls. The basic set of tools for most jobs include:
- Paint Roller
- Paint roller extension pole
- Drop cloths
- Paint tray
- Painter’s tape
- Putty knife
- Wall spackle
When it comes to cleaning your tools, when using latex- and water-based paints, clean with soap and water. If you use oil-based paints, you will need mineral spirits for cleaning. You can use a painter’s brush to clean and reshape bristles. If you want to reuse roller covers, use the curved edge of a 5-in-1 tool to remove the paint under running water.
4. Prep the walls and the room
While you might be eager to start getting color on your walls, time spent preparing your room will result in a much higher quality end product. Use painter’s tape to protect base and crown moldings and door and window casings. Also, remove outlet and light switch covers and apply painter’s tape to protect from paint drips.
5. Paint with a strategy
Once your room is prepped, it’s time to start painting—but do so with a planned approach in mind. Experts advise working from the top of the room down, starting with the ceilings. Take your project one wall at a time. If you are painting the walls different colors, paint any adjoining light-color walls first. Once a wall is dry to the touch, it’s ready for a second coat. Keep in mind you may need up to four coats of paint for darker colors. Paint the trim and doorways last after all the walls have dried. This allows you to tape again for these specific areas.
6. Allow for extra time
The time you need for each painting project will vary, depending on the size of your room, what type of paint you are using, and your skill level. Some spaces can be done in a few hours while others may take several days. Be sure to budget more time than you think the job will need and don’t forget to take prep and cleanup into account.
Painting can be painless and less expensive when you take the time to plan. Once you tackle one room, you may just be inspired to paint additional spaces in your home or office.