20 Quick Tips to Know Before You Paint

For all of our do-it-yourself readers, this one is for you! Many people enjoy painting their own interiors instead of having someone else do it, so we’re here to make sure you do it the right way! Even though hiring a professional painter is the best idea, we know how costly that can be when your budget is low, so it’s ok to do it on your own! As long as you have the right steps and the right materials, you’ll have a professional paint job in no time.

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1. Choose a paint color. Okay, this might be the most difficult step of them all. How much paint will you need? Look on the back of the can or ask the guy at the paint store. This amount can also vary with the color, type of paint and current wall-color.

2. Purchase your materials which should include, paint, brushes, painters tape, drop clothes, newspaper, etc.

3. Have a snack.

4. Put on some nice music!

5. Cover the furniture and cover the floor. Home depot sells drop cloths.

6. Prepare the walls for paint. The easiest way is to dust the walls with a duster that comes on a long stick.

7. Clean the walls. The paint is going to adhere so much better to a clean wall. Make a solution of 1 cup vinegar to two gallons of warm water in a big bucket. Get some old absorbent towel rags and dunk clean ones into the solution and ring out. Then, put one over your sponge mop and work from top to bottom. When the rag begins to look a bit dirty, take it off and use a fresh one. If the water begins to look dirty, make a fresh batch. You can also use a solution of detergent and water, but if you do, you’ll have to rinse. Let that dry thoroughly.

8. Fix small holes and imperfections with a good spackle. Let it dry and sand.

9. Use a primer. Primer prepares the walls to accept the paint and provides a good surface, as well. However, Benjamin Moore makes a fantastic low VOC paint that has the primer in it already and it covers beautifully.

10. Sand lightly. We know… it’s a pain, but well-worth it!

11. Dust walls again and follow with a damp cloth, just to make sure you’ve removed all of the dust.

12. Use painter’s blue tape to mask off areas not being painted.

13. Choose a dry day. Water-based latex paints will dry so much faster on a day with low humidity.

14. Start with the ceiling (unless it doesn’t need painting)

15. Use “cut-in” techniques. There are zillions of tutorials on youtube, so try googling different techniques. (Hint: For the ceiling and walls, you will want to use a roller.)

16. We suggest waiting several hours after painting the ceiling. Then, if there is no crown molding and/or the ceiling is a different color than the walls, tape the ceiling line. Then, paint the walls!

17. Finally, paint the trim with your two-inch brush.

18. Depending on the type of paint, you may only need one coat or as many as five if it’s a dark color for instance.

19. Clean your brushes and other materials. Don’t let them stay gunked in paint!

20. Take a shower, put on some clean clothes, and take yourself out to dinner. You deserve it!

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