Painting Your Home


Like many skills painting a room is easy to learn but hard to master. However, unlike these other professions and hobbies, like playing the piano, you can learn to paint good enough to fool all but the trained painting contractors - and that's only if the person with the keen observation is looking for imperfections.

The key to having a great paint job is to neither treat it as a chore nor be flippant about it. Painting can be a great and rewarding experience if the proper considerations are observed. Because when everything is done right the sight of watching a new color renew an old wall is a great feeling. You don't have to know exotic painting techniques to do a good job just a few painting tips.

Pick the Style Before the Colour

The first - and hardest for some - step is picking out the right painting colors. Many people collect paint chips and choose the shades without regard for what is actually going into the room. The paint should be the background, or “soundtrack,” for the style of the room. This includes the furniture, draperies and flooring.  If you are having problems deciding, take pictures of your furnishings with you to the paint store. There is usually a decorator on staff who can help you out.

Another way to think about buying paint for walls is to go one shade lighter than the paint chip. Get the paint store employee to put a sample of the mixed on a small surface and dry it with a hair dryer. You can see for yourself what the color will look like on the wall. If the ceiling needs painting there are paints that go on wet as a light blue colour and dry to a flat white.

The Schedule

Don't just get up in the morning and think you are going to complete the paint job in one day. Give yourself a few days and schedule the job around a specific time when the kids will be at their grandmother's place for the weekend so that there will be few interruptions. Give yourself at least three days.

Tool Time

Get all the tools you will need and place them in one spot: brushes, rollers, paint tray, paint can opener, putty knife, crack filling compound, sanding sponge, drop sheets, TSP cleaner etc. If there are high spots you will need a small step ladder. In addition make sure you have a bucket of water and clean rags for cleaning the walls and any spills or mistakes.


Clear the Room: Take all the smaller items out of the room like the coffee and end tables, the television and any other pieces that might be obstacles. This includes wall furniture.
Protection: Place drop sheets over the remaining furniture and on the floors under the walls. Cardboard will do.

Cleaning the Walls: Mix up the TSP (trisodium phosphate) into the water in the bucket and scrub the surfaces to be painted. TSP is a grease cutter and will remove any dirt or oily substances that could interfere with the paint.

Crack Filling: Fill any small holes or dents with drywall compound and let dry. You should be able to take the sanding sponge and make this smooth in 3 hours. Pay special attention to the wall texture and that there are no lines or humps.

Tape: Use painter's tape to go around outlets (These you can also take off) and to mask the trim and windows. If you are painting the ceiling put a shopping bag over the fixture but loosen the light bulbs first so that some inadvertently turning on the light will not cause a fire or melted plastic on the fixture. Tape the drop sheets around the furniture and any floor cardboard protection to the floor.


On the day of the job, dress in old clothing or put on coveralls. Take off rings, watches and other adornments that you don't want in harm's way. Also, put on some old sneakers.


Begin by painting the trim and edging first. A sharp brush works well for this or you can buy an edging pad that rolls on small wheels. However be careful not to put too much paint on these as the pain may get on the rollers and make an unneeded, colored line on your white ceiling. Do the corners and around the fixtures and electrical outlets.

Roller Techniques

The best paint roller is the on with a plastic core because it will outlast a cardboard one. The roller "nap"  should be chosen according to your your wall texture: a flatter, smoother roller for smooth walls and a thicker, bushy roller for textured walls like stucco.

Roll the paint on the wall starting about a foot from the bottom and 6 inches from the left corner and roll in an upward stroke using very little pressure. Do this a few more times working your way to the corner. After getting more paint on the roller start on the unpainted side and, again, work back toward the painted area.  You should always be rolling over newly-applied paint onto wet paint to avoid lap marks.


If there are any small spills or paint brushed onto doorknobs or the ceiling you can still get these off with a damp rag. If you are not finished the job but want to break until the next day wrap the brush up in kitchen plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. For longer storage you can freeze them. The roller and tray can be slipped into a plastic bag and stored overnight.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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