Painting projects have been very popular this winter. For the do-it-yourselfer’s (or DIY’s) out there it can be a relatively low-cost way to make a dramatic change to your indoor environment. You might be surprised how difficult painting can be if you want a good result, especially if you’ve never painted before. Here are some tips that can help make things go more smoothly. 🙂
- Don’t buy cheap paint. Cheap paint does a poor job of “hiding” what’s underneath (imperfections in the wall and old paint, for example). Therefore you will need to apply several coats to get a consistent color and finish. You may need to buy roughly twice the amount of paint than if you had bought good quality paint to begin with.
- Buy good a quality brush (2″ tapered edging brush) and roller refills. The quality of your equipment makes a big difference in the quality of the final result and makes “cutting in” straight lines much easier. Be sure to thoroughly clean your brush immediately after you are done to help it last as long as possible.
- Choose neutral paint colors for faster resale. If you are planning on selling your house, I highly recommend using neutral tone colors. It will appeal to the widest audience. Loud colors will attract some, but turn off everyone else. You can’t afford to shrink your potential buyer pool just because you love “Cherry Red” or “Plum”. Also painting the trim/ceiling and replacing switch and outlet cover plates can make a big difference in the overall finished product.
- Mind the details. Remove wall plates, fixtures (when possible), and patch/sand holes and dents. Tape over what you can’t remove. Nothing makes a paint job look sloppier than painted-over wall plates and painted fixtures, with dents/holes and unsanded spackle.
- Take your time. Be aware of your surroundings and paint slow and steady. The faster you try to go, the bigger the mess you are likely to make. (And therefore take longer to finish the job.) Don’t get so involved with painting that you forget to move the drop cloth, step in your paint tray, or otherwise spill paint. Even if you are using a drop cloth you have to be careful. A single drop of paint on the cloth then transferred to the bottom of your shoe, and soon to every step you take.
- Accidents happen. The trick is to clean up a paint spill immediately. It’s not a bad idea to keep a damp cloth or sponge handy.