Over the Labor Day weekend I painted my laundry room a lovely new shade of green. We’ve been in our current home for eight years, and it is time for some updating. As I rolled the new color on the walls, I realized that I’ve painted a lot of rooms over the last twenty something years. From the mobile home where we first lived, then to our first home where we painted everything white before moving in, then we went back through and individualized each room with color, and finally when I painted every room in our current home before we moved in.
I had no idea how to paint a room way back when, but over the years (and the paint cans), I’ve picked up a few handy tips that I thought I would share with you.
- Paint (obviously), quantity will depend on the size of the room and quality of the paint
- Roller Covers
- Paint Trays and/or Containers
- Paint Stir Sticks (get for free when you buy paint)
- Screwdriver to open the paint can
- Paper towels
Prep is Important
And hard. There is nothing that sucks more than being all excited to paint a room then realizing how much work you have to do before you can actually start the painting. But prepping the room is important and pays off in the long run. So how do you prepare a room for painting?
- Remove items from the room, as many as possible. You don’t want to be tripping over things and dropping loaded paint rollers all over the floor.
- Cover the remaining items and the floor with plastic or dropcloths. The thin plastic is pretty affordable at home improvement stores, but you can also use old sheets and blankets if you don’t want to spend the money.
- Patch any holes or messed up places on the wall. You can buy drywall putty and texture in a can that sprays onto the wall at home improvement stores. I’ll be doing a detailed tutorial on this later.
- Clean the walls. Vacuum or sweep away any dust, and then wipe down the walls and trim with warm water and your favorite cleaning solution. Personally, I like 409.
- Tape the trim. Unless you are painting trim, and then you can tape the walls. Here’s the thing though, the paint will bleed through in some spots on the tape. You can double tape (which I’ve never tried), or you can paint over the tape with the same color of the trim (which will have to dry) before painting the wall or you can touch up the spots where it bleeds through when you’re done. That’s what I do.
Time to Paint
Finally the hard part is over and you’re ready to put some paint on the walls. To make sure it looks as awesome as possible when you are done, you should:
- Use Primer. I don’t care what they say at the paint store. I don’t care if it is the kind of paint that has primer built right in. Those are lies. I tried one of those paints last year, and this is after two coats.
Guess what? I had to go back over it with primer and paint it again. You will never regret using primer, but there will definitely be times you regret that you didn’t. The only time I might not use it is if I were painting a room with the same color to freshen it up.
- Use quality paint. I’m finicky about paint, and I was reminded last year when painting the kids’ room why. Use quality paint and you will use less of it, it will look better, and it will last longer. I prefer Sherwin Williams Super Paint (this time I used Sherwin Williams HGTV because it was on sale. It was alright).
- Use quality tools. I use a two inch Purdy XL Glide paintbrush for all of my trim work. They are not cheap, but if you take care of them they will last forever. Make sure your the roller cover you choose is the right nap for your paint and the type of wall you are painting. Also, check to be sure your roller and pole (for larger rooms) are in good working order. It is no fun to start a project and then realize that you have to go back to the store for supplies.
- Start painting in one corner of the room and make your way around to end in the same corner working in an up and down pattern (up, down, v over up, down, v over up, down, etc.) a “block” at at at time (size will depend on the paint you have on your roller) making sure that area is completely covered. Maintain a “wet edge” while you are painting. You do not want to paint over partially dry paint because it could potentially mess up the finished look. You can use your brush to trim as you go or trim all up front or trim at the end. I’ve done it all three ways. Be sure to wipe up drips as you go.
- Recoat. It doesn’t matter how great your paint is or if you used primer, you always need to use two coats. I know that is not a tip you want to hear, but it is the truth. It will always look better with two coats of paint. At least. Pay attention to the “time to recoat” that will be on the paint can. You do not want to start recoating until you are sure the paint is dry.
Now you are all finished. Do the running man. Or just stand there and admire what a freaking awesome job you did. Go in and out of the room about 10 times so that you can admire it each time. But wait, did you clean up yet? Oh yeah. You still have to do that.
If you used latex paint (which you should), wash your paint brushes, trays, and containers in warm water. Lay the brushes flat to dry and do not push or bunch them up when washing. Be gentle with them and they will last a long time. Remove roller covers and throw away and clean the paint off your roller and pole. Between coats you can keep the cover on your roller and place it in a sealed plastic bag to save between coats.
Wait for the paint to dry before removing the tape. Then go along the edge of the tape and the wall with a razor knife to cut the bond between the paint that is on the tape and the paint that is on the wall.
If you don’t do this, you will have places where the paint pulls away from the wall, and it will really tick you off. After you’ve run the razor around the tape, remove the tape from the trim and toss it. Uncover all of your covered floors and furniture and put the room back in order. And you are done! And NOW you can do the running man or walk in and out of the room a bunch of times to admire your handiwork.
Painting a room the right way is a lot of work, but it totally pays off in the end. Paint is one of the most affordable ways to update your home and to make things look clean and new. Also, it is normally a project that can be accomplished over a weekend, which is awesome.
Have you ever taken on a project like this? Do you have any tips for how to paint a room that I missed?
If you liked this post, please consider subscribing to my blog or liking my page on Facebook for more home improvement and craft projects in the future. You also may enjoy one of the following posts:
How to Use a Sewing Machine
Organizing a Lunch Station for Easy Meal Prep