Painting a room doesn’t need to be difficult or expensive. However, it’s important to know what you’re doing before you begin.
You’re going to want to have a good idea of how you want the room to look before you begin. Know what tools you’re going to use. You will likely be choosing between a paint roller or a brush. An extension pole for the roller may be necessary depending on the height of your walls. Make sure you have some painters’ tape on hand to avoid getting paint anywhere that you don’t want it. It’s also a good idea to get some rags ready for the clean up. Try to put aside more time and money than you think is necessary for the project. It’s better to be safe then sorry when it comes to the semi-permanent appearance of your home.
2. Choosing a color
You don’t want to leave any room for error when it comes to choosing a color for your room. It’s not always easy to tell how a room will look with a color until it’s already painted. Having to repaint a large room again can be a nightmare. If you already have your furniture and decorations for the room, it’s best to choose a color that compliments them. Most hardware stores will have decks of colors for you to choose from. Painting adjacent walls different colors can look great with the right combination of colors, so don’t necessarily need to limit yourself to just one!
3. Buying Materials
It’s crucial to know exactly how much paint you’ll need before you buy it. A gallon of paint per 400 square feet is recommended. You’ll need to know the measurements of your room and preferably your doors and windows, so that you don’t take them into account. There are tools online that allow you to input your measurements and calculate exactly how much paint you need to buy. If you’re painting a textured wall and/or pieces of furniture as well, you’ll want to get even more paint.
4. Preparing the room
Remove absolutely everything in the room that you don’t want paint on. This includes couches, knick-knacks, photos, cabinets, etc. Many people assume that they can just be careful and keep the paint on the wall. However, accidents happen all the time and it’s much harder getting paint off something than getting it on. In the case that you’re not able to remove a piece of furniture, be it too large or too heavy, bring it as close to the center of the room as possible and cover it completely with a tarp. Apply painters’ tape to everything that you can’t remove. Door frames, outlets, light-switches suffer from paint splatter all too often.
5. Preparing your paint
Paint will often settle in its bucket, causing slight variations as you progress towards the bottom. Make sure you stir the paint when you first open it and continue stirring every few once in a while to maintain consistency. If you’re mixing paint, make sure to either keep all of your finished paint in one large bucket or to use the exact measurements. Even slight differences in the amounts of paint can make a visible difference, especially once it’s completely dry.
6. Ventilating the room
Not only does a well-ventilated room speed up the drying process, but it keeps you from inhaling too much unpleasant and unhealthy paint fumes. Keep the windows open and have a fan blowing. Dry and relatively warm are the best conditions for your room to dry quickly.
7. Applying the paint
Once your room is cleared, painters’ tape is where it needs to be, brushes/rollers are ready, and paint is properly mixed and stirred, you’re almost ready to paint. It’s important to choose one technique and stick to it to avoid visible streaks from appearing. As a rule of thumb, painting from the top to the bottom works well. If the original wall you’re painting is a darker color then the new color you chose, you’re going to have to apply a lot more paint. Start with a primer and then apply at least 2 coats, until the color underneath is completely covered. If you’re painting adjacent sides different colors, paint the lighter wall first. That way, if you get the paint on the adjacent wall, the darker paint should cover it up with no issue as long as the lighter paint dries first.
8. Cleaning Up
Once you’ve applied the proper amount of paint, it’s time to fix the mess that you have probably created. Clean your painting tools as soon as possible, as dried paint can render a paint brush unusable in the future. Wash or dispose your rags and remove the painters’ tape. Give the room some time to dry completely before moving your furniture back in. Even if the paint is dry, if the fumes are still present, wait it out a little bit. Some kinds of furniture can absorb scents, prolonging the wet-paint smell even more. Once you’re done, pat yourself on the back and enjoy your newly improved room!