Once you decide to paint a room,
take your time and do it right. The end result will be so very pleasing, you will be very glad you did -- and a job well done means you won't
have to tackle that room for years to come.
No one denies it's a big job to
paint an occupied room in a house or apartment. For the best results, remove
all the furniture. If the large pieces are too cumbersome, push them to the
center of the room and drape them with drop cloths.
Now the job begins!
Choose your color wisely. Look through decorating magazines
for ideas. Spend time at the paint or home store. Bring home lots of color
chips and tape them to the wall. Note how they look in bright sunlight,
artificial light, and on gray days. Many paints companies offer large cards.
These might cost a few dollars, but will help you make a decision. Also, some
brands sell very small pots of paint for a few dollars more, which help when
you must decide on a color.
Once you decide on two or three
colors, buy small amounts of paint (usually quarts) and actually apply them to
the walls in 12- to 15-inch swatches. Some paint stores will sell you small
"cups" of paint, which keeps costs down. You can tell far more from a
larger swatch of the actual paint than from a chip (whose colors often are
Buy high-quality paint. Don't be fooled by bargain brands.
Every professional painter will tell you: you get what you pay for. Quality
paint covers evenly and stays on the walls longer. Modern paint technology has
produced many water-based resin paints that are as good as oil paint for trim
and other woodwork. Talk to a knowledgeable paint salesperson about your
options. If you know the square footage of the room, you will be able to figure
how much paint to buy. Look on the paint can itself for a coverage chart, or
ask the paint salesperson for help.
in good equipment.
If you buy quality paint, apply it with quality brushes and rollers. A good
brush will keep its bristles (they won't end up in the paint), and a roller
with a thick nap covers a wall thoroughly and evenly.
You will need:
- Rollers and pans
- Putty knife (to apply spackle)
- Masking tape
- Drop cloths
You've heard it before and it's good advice. Take a good look at the walls and
the trim. Sand off peeling paint from woodwork. Fill in cracks and holes with
spackle and sand them down. Wash the walls and ceiling with mild soap and water
and then rinse to remove all grime and grease. Let them dry completely.
masking tape. Run
masking tape around woodwork so that you can paint a straight line on the walls
without making yourself crazy. Once the walls are painted, mask their edges
before you paint the woodwork.
sure the room is well ventilated. Open the windows in fine weather; crack them in cold
weather. If you want to paint a room with no or little heat, don't do it unless
the temperature is at least 50°F.
with the ceiling.
Before you paint the walls or the woodwork, paint the ceiling using a
long-handled roller. Cover your head with a cap! Paint the walls next, and the
trim and doors last.
the walls. If you
are painting new walls, you will have to apply primer before you apply the
color. If you are covering very dark or bright paint with a lighter hue, you
will have to apply primer. Ask the paint store to tint the primer with the
final color. If you are re-painting walls of approximately the same color and
which are in good shape, you won't need primer.
two coats. With
very few exceptions, plan on two coats of paint. This may not be necessary if
you are using the same color (or close to it), or if you have primed the walls.
But for long-lasting beauty, apply a second coat. Be sure the first coat is
completely dry before applying the next. Do not rush the job.
color. Before you
put the paint away, cover a good-sized piece of white poster board with the
color of the walls or trim. Jot down the date, the type of paint, and its code
number, as well as any customizing details (adding white to lighten it, for example). This is most important if you have chosen a true color rather than
white, off-white, or beige. You now have a large, accurate sample to carry with
you when you choose fabric, carpeting, or furniture for the room. Or, if you decide to paint the room again with the same color, you're good to go.