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Tips on Painting a Room
It breaks down like this: prep day, prime day, paint day and clean up day.

What is prep day?

  • Moving the furniture, lamps, the TV, tables and chairs to the center of the room and cover with tarps or drop cloths
  • Take picture frames, mirrors, and clocks off the walls
  • Remove the door knobs and hinges, cabinet hardware, light switch plates and outlet covers
  • Patch holes or cracks – drywall mud (joint compound) and fiberglass tape will take care of the cracks, use spackle for the small jobs, and for textured walls use a product called Orange Peel Spray Texture by Homax. It is just a fantastic product that is sold in a spray can and has a dial to tune in the texture that you desire.
  • Put blue painter’s tape around doors, windows, and the tops of baseboards. Spend the extra money to get the Scotch Painters Tape for Delicate Surfaces. It is a product I have used many times now and when you peel it off it doesn’t remove the paint.
  • Cover wall and ceiling light fixtures if necessary with plastic bags. Again if necessary, it isn’t too often that the ceiling needs painted.

Prime day, paint day and clean up day are self explanatory.

Choose your colors wisely and keep the following 5 things in mind:

1. Are you going to sell anytime soon?

If you’re selling fairly soon stick with neutral colors. Stay away from dark rich colors like reds, deep blues, purples or yellows and definitely forget about faux painting your walls. Faux painting is just too personalized and most people don’t follow the directions 100% so they are left with a poorly painted wall.

2. Do you have a lot of colorful art, furniture, accessories?

If you have a red or purple couch you probably don’t want to choose bold paint colors because it will compete with the furniture. Boring beige and pale yellows is just fine if your our artwork is colorful.

3. Buy a fan deck on eBay and take your time!

There are just too many colors and so many designers that you could be at the store standing in front of the paint display for hours. Look for a fan deck on eBay and take your time. If you get a Behr fan deck, but you want Valspar paint at Lowe’s they can match that particular color so don’t worry about the brand.

4. Buy the samples!

Either buy the samples and paint an area of the wall or bring home the paint chips (or cards) and tape them to the wall. Live with the colors for a while and check out how different the color can look during the day with sunlight and during night with the lights on. Lighting makes a huge difference in how the color actually looks.

5. Are you planning on painting with a dark color?

If you are I have two words for you: Tinted Primer! Take it from me you will waste gallons of paint and lots of money if you try to skip the tinted primer. Primer has lots of binder in it and that helps the paint adhere to the wall and the tint gives the dark color a nice dark bottom base to work with which means less topcoat. The mistakes really stand out more with darker paints too. Most of us have white baseboards and white ceilings and any blemish shows up even more and will drive you nuts.

Don’t be cheap!

You think you’re going to save more by skipping the primer and you actually end up spending more. Again the primer has lots of binder in it and helps the topcoat adhere to the wall better. When you don’t prime you’re actually trying to paint over a glossy surface (the paint sheen could be eggshell, satin, gloss) and the paint doesn’t always dry correctly. When it doesn’t dry correctly the bottom coat tends to bleed through. This means you’re going to need a second coat. The premium paints on the market, I like the Valspar Signature paint, is so good that you only need one coat. So do the rough math: 1 coat of primer is $15/gallon and 1 coat of premium paint is $30/gallon so that’s $45 or 2 coats of $30/gallon premium paint which would be $60.

Buy good brushes and clean them. A good brush will last if you treat it right and will do a much better job so rinse the brush after every use. Buy the Shur-Line premium paint edger with wheels for the trim work and buy extra refills. Make sure to keep the wheels clean and you will be amazed at how professional your job looks.

For ceilings get the ceiling paint that goes on light blue or pink so you know what you have already painted. Don’t worry it then dries white.

Again the accessories you need are:

  • Good synthetic brushes probably 1.5, 2, and maybe a 3 inch brush
  • 3/8 nap rollers in a smooth, semi smooth, or rough texture depending on your walls
  • Foam roller or foam brushes for doors. The foam products don’t splatter the paint and give you a real nice smooth finish
  • Shur-Line paint edger’s with extra refills
  • Canvas drop cloths and tarps to keep the work area clean and protected
  • Scotch Blue Painters Tape for Delicate Surfaces
  • Aluminum tray and lots of tray liners
  • Orange peel textured spray for textured walls
  • Drywall mud (joint compound), putty knife, fiberglass tape, and spackling

To sum everything up just remember to prime, invest in a fan deck, live with the sample colors, spend a little extra on the accessories, consider your furniture and artwork (when selecting colors) and take your time.