First, purchase your painting supplies
(expect to shell out around $150 for your first room; costs will go down after that). Here's what you need to get started:
Prepare Your Space
- Screwdriver for removing wall plates
- Sponge/dishwashing liquid for wiping down walls (remove any cobwebs/debris)
- Blue removable painter’s tape
- Canvas floor covering
- Fine grit sand paper
- Dry wall repair supplies (as necessary)
- Spackle knife/trowel
- Paint roller, pan and roller covers - be sure you pick the right one for your wall surface (smooth, stucco, brick), should take care of most standard rooms.
- Tinfoil or tray liners for easier clean up
- Roller extension pole
- Angled brush
- Stirrers (you can score these for free with purchase)
- Pick a safe paint made for indoor use; avoid outdoor paints which usually have higher toxicity and fume levels. Stick with water or latex paints indoor as they release fewer chemicals.
- Pick the right finish
- This dull finish is best for low traffic areas and ceilings as it is hard to clean.
- Satin and Eggshell Paints - Use in higher traffic areas that get dirty more quickly as these finishes are easier to clean.
- These finishes also have light reflecting properties to give your room a special ambiance.
- Semi-Gloss and High Gloss - Great for trim, moldings, sills, rails and banisters. Not aesthetically pleasing on walls.
- Several clean soft cloths for clean ups
- Face mask, if desired, to minimize inhalation of fumes.
- Step ladder
Create a clean, blank canvas
- Properly cover furniture
- Scrape off any paint or drywall that is raised from the surface
- Fill nail holes/dents in wall and spackle and allow them to dry completely before sanding down the area to match your wall
- Fill in gaps around molding with caulk
- Tape the top of borders you don’t want covered in the new paint
- Vacuum dust, spackle or other debris in the room
- Clean the blades of any ceiling fans or other items that might throw off dust
- Paint and removers can be highly flammable – avoid smoking or the use of any lighted implements
- Wipe down your walls with a sponge that has been dampened with water that has a few drops of dishwashing liquid on it
- Begin with the white primer which will increase adhesion and create a unified, polished finish. Tip - you may blend in a small amount of your color with the primer.
- Line your paint tray with tinfoil or disposable liners for easier clean up
- Pour primer in your tray
- Paint your corners first with your angled brush
- Dip the roller in the paint (be careful - avoid having too much paint on the roller!)
- Begin covering walls, meting up with the paint in the corners
- Trim out along borders with your angled brush
- Allow primer to dry - usually 6-8 hours
- Once primer is completely dry, apply paint in the same way you primed
- When needed, use a damp cloth to clean up mistakes along the way - don't let those drips dry!
- Keep an even hand when rolling to avoid peaks and valleys of paint
- Use your extension handle as necessary for higher areas
- Don't be tempted to rush - allow the first coat to dry completely before applying the second.
- Experts from the Georgia Institute of Technology recommend running fans and leaving windows open for two- three days after your project is completed to ensure any dangerous fumes have been entirely diffused.
- Firmly seal any extra paint in its can otherwise fumes may escape and the paint may dry out.
- Be sure to label leftover paint on the lid with the name of the room you just painted. Helpful hint - write the brand, color name and finish in a notebook for future reference; attach a paint swatch alongside.
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