Learn how to paint a room in your home or apartment with these easy DIY steps and brighten up any space in no time
Learning how to paint a room properly is essential for beginning DIY’ers, new homeowners, and veteran home improvement experts alike. After all, it’s pretty painless, relatively inexpensive, and—should something go horribly wrong—easy to fix. But before you grab your roller and get started with your first coat, it’s essential to have a plan of attack.
Here are our expert tips to help you plan a smooth painting project!
Tip #1 - Make Sure To Plan And Prep!
Any Professional paint will tell you that 80% of the work is actually prepping. The more you prep the easier your life becomes when you start painting. There are a few phases to prepping walls for paint. The first phase involves moving as many items out of the room to clear the space around the walls for further preparation. Items left in the room only block your work and potentially can be damaged by paint splatter and spills.
If you can't move furniture, then gather everything to the center of the room. Cover all of the furniture under one large plastic sheet, and tape the sheet down with painter's tape. Then take down anything decorative from the walls such as artwork, shelves, clocks, and finally remove the nails, hooks, and picture hangers.
Lay drop cloths, such as plastic tarps or rosin paper on the floor to protect it from paint. (Rosin paper works best on hardwood floors, as plastic sheeting can create a slippery surface. Rosin paper comes in rolls at the hardware store or you can purchase inexpensive builder's paper.) Tape all Outlets and Trim including Baseboards and window/door trim.
Tip #2 - Patch and Clean the Walls.
Before cleaning, you'll need to examine the walls for any gouges, large holes, scratches, cracks, or peeling. Patching a wall well will create a smooth and professional paint finish
Any mistakes visible before painting walls will be visible after painting. Now is the time for cleaning the walls and making stains disappear. Your best bet is to wash the walls with trisodium phosphate (TSP), an inexpensive but extremely strong painter's detergent effective at removing surface oils and dirt.
Tip #3 - Use a Tinted Primer
Use a tinted primer if you are painting a light color on a dark wall. You can use a tinted primer if you are painting over a wall with a similar color, as well. Tinted primer lets you see missed spots before painting your finishing coat.
Tip #4 - Calculate the amount of paint you need.
Whether you’re painting a powder room or the exterior of your house, the general rule of thumb is one gallon per 400 square feet. To get a more precise number, which you’ll definitely want for large projects, use a paint calculator like the ones provided by Benjamin Moore.
Tip #5 - Your Paint Finish Matters!
Flat and matte interior paints are forgiving when it comes to painting over drier edges. However, if you are using glossy paint, pay close attention and always roll or brush from wet edges to ensure a smooth finish.
Don’t Forget to Enjoy the Process.
These painting tips and tricks can help make even your first DIY paint job look like the work of a professional. Sometimes painting projects are best left to professionals. Find out if a home improvement project should be done DIY or by a professional.