How to Paint a Room: A Beginner's Guide
When it comes to painting a room, there are two options: hire someone to do it, or do it yourself. For many people, painting can seem like an intimidating project. However, painting can be a very straightforward process for any homeowner. Follow these easy steps to achieve a new look in any room in your Georgetown home.
When it comes to paint, there are dozens of different types. For the average interior room, latex-based paint with an eggshell finish is a good choice. It provides just a little bit of shine and is easier to work with than oil-based paints, especially for beginners. Paint that has the primer already mixed in can also be a good choice because it helps reduce the number of coats the wall needs.
Other rooms, such as bathrooms and kitchens, or walls with cigarette smoke damage will have different needs, so be sure to ask for advice from the hardware store's paint attendant.
Lay Down Drop Cloths
Before picking up a roller, be sure to lay out a tarp to prevent any drips from landing on the floor. Painter's tape is optional, but it can be a good choice for helping get sharp edges that look professional. It's also a good idea to remove all air vent covers and light switch plates so they don't get paint on them that needs to be scraped off.
Mix Paint in a Large Bucket Before Beginning
When finally opening the paint can, give it a good stir. If paint sits still for too long, it can settle and the color will become uneven, so stirring will help to even it back out. And for large rooms that require more than one gallon of paint, buy a large bucket and empty all the paint into it, then mix it together thoroughly.
Sometimes there can be machine or human errors when mixing paint, so this step will make sure one wall won't look different than the rest of the room.
Prep the Walls Before Painting
Prep work is important. Before painting, homeowners must take the time to clean the walls, fill holes, sand down uneven spots and remove or cover all vents, smoke alarms and outlet covers. Prepping the walls before painting can take almost as much time as the painting itself, but it's worth it. When cleaning the walls, homeowners have to be careful to remember the upper corners of the room, where spider webs and dust bunnies tend to gather.
If using painter's tape, place it along all of the room's molding so they stay clean. Then, use a small bristle brush to paint a solid stripe directly above the tape about four inches wide. This will create a safe border in case of slips when using the roller brush later.
Painting the Wall
From here, it's safe to use the roller brush. Pour some paint into a tray and coat the roller evenly, but make sure not to saturate it completely. Too much paint on the brush can make it unwieldy and lead to an uneven coat.
When painting the wall, use long vertical strokes to apply the first coat. Try to avoid using horizontal strokes whenever possible. Mixing the direction of the strokes is yet another way that can cause the paint to look uneven.
Apply Additional Coats of Paint
Latex-based paint will dry within a few hours, so when the first coat has completely dried, turn lights on inside the room to look for patchy areas that didn't get completely coated. If the old paint color is darker than the new one, it's more likely that the room will need a second coat.
If any of the walls need a second coat, paint them in the same manner as the first coat, but cutting in a second time isn't necessary.
Leave Extra Time for the Ceiling
Not everyone paints the ceiling when they paint their room. Unless the ceiling is an undesirable color or has recently been stained by a roof leak, most people will skip the ceiling when they're painting the rest of their home. People who do plan to paint the ceiling often don't realize how time consuming and messy this project can be.
Homeowners who plan to paint the ceiling must leave at least one extra day to get the job done. Wearing a hat can prevent splatters from falling in a homeowner's hair, and of course, every bit of the floor must be covered to protect it from paint.
Once the walls are painted and any additional coats have dried, remove any painter's tape, replace air vent covers and light switch plates, and sit back to admire your handiwork, because the room should be finished.
Painting a room may seem intimidating at first, but it doesn't have to be an impossible task. With the right tools and preparation, anyone can paint a wall and make it look like it was done by a professional.
Know When to Use a Painting Contractor
Homeowners who don't have time to do the paint job right are better off hiring a painting contractor. A good painting contractor will know how to paint the home quickly, efficiently, and without making common painting errors that can negatively impact the aesthetic value of a home.