Is it time to change a room from the same old, same old thing?
Sometimes the inspiration to make changes hits when the money to make the changes is short, but don’t despair. A new coat of paint is about the least expensive way to make a big impact on a room’s appearance. Once you have decided on a paint color, it is time to proceed.
Begin by preparing the wall. Look for holes large and small and patch them. Small holes like nail holes are easy to fill. Use a utility knife to cut away raised edges around the holes and sand them down smooth with the wall. Using a putty knife, fill the hole with spackling paste. Let it dry, sand it smooth and paint with primer.
For larger holes up to 3 inches, cover the hole with fiberglass mesh with adhesive backing. Spread drywall mud over the mesh, covering it completely. Smooth it and let it dry. Sand down the high spots and recoat to fill low spots. Let dry and sand it smooth and even with the wall. Paint with primer.
Prepare walls by removing dust, dirt and grease spots with water, a little mild dishwashing detergent and a sponge. Rinse walls with clean water to remove soap residue.
Paint may not stick well to previously painted surfaces, especially if they were painted with shiny paints. Washing with tri-sodium phosphate or a similar formulation will help dull walls so the new paint will adhere better.
Some stains on walls cannot be removed well, like permanent felt-tip pen ink, ballpoint pen ink or greasy stains. These kinds of stains tend to bleed through new coats of paint. Paint over such stains with a coat of Kilz or a similar sealant paint to lock in such stains. Allow to dry thoroughly before coating with primer or surface paints.
Use painter’s tape to cover trim, windows, door frames and other areas you don’t want covered with wall paint. If you are painting the ceiling a different color, for example, tape off the corners where the ceiling meets the wall. Painter’s tape is typically blue. It can be applied up to a week before you actually paint. Remove it immediately after painting before the paint dries so you don’t peel any paint with it.
You can find paint edgers at paint and home improvement stores. These work well to apply paint only where you want it and may reduce the amount of taping required.
Cover floors, carpets and furniture that cannot be removed from the room with a plastic drop to protect it from drips. Tape down the edges if possible to hold it in place. Newspapers can help catch drips, but paint may soak through.
Some experts recommend priming all walls even if they have been painted before. If light paint is applied over dark paint, it can be particularly helpful. Primer is less expensive than regular paint and will help cover the dark surface.
Paint with the type of paint best for your application. Keep in mind that shiny paints draw attention to flaws because they reflect light so well. Flat paints are not as easy to clean and rooms may not be as light because they don’t reflect light.
Latex-based paint is water-based and easier to clean up than oil-based paint. New formulations work well even in moist areas like bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens.
Brush on paint around trim and in the corners of walls where a roller cannot reach or use an edge painter carefully to keep paint where it belongs. Use a 2-inch angled brush. Extend the paint out 2 or 3 inches from windows, doors and moldings.
Start in the corner of a wall and roll on paint in a 3-foot-by-3-foot “W” pattern. Fill in the “W” without lifting the roller. Continue painting in sections, working your way around the room until you are finished. Paint one wall at a time.
When the walls are completely dry, tape where the trim meets the wall. Paint moldings and the door and window frames using a 2-inch angled brush. Even if you are painting trim the same color as the room, you might want to use a glossier paint than you are using on the walls.
After you finish, clean brushes. Some people prefer to use disposable brushes so they won’t have to deal with cleaning. However, good brushes can be cleaned well.
Clean immediately before the paint has a chance to dry. If brushes or rollers must be stored temporarily, place them inside a plastic bag, seal the bag and keep refrigerated.
Use disposable plastic gloves to keep hands from becoming coated with the paint. Wipe the excess paint off the brush by dragging the brush across the top of the paint can.
Next, rinse it in warm running water. Spread the bristles of the brush to get down into the heel near the metal band to clean any paint that might be there. Comb excess paint out of the brush with a wire paintbrush comb.
Continue rinsing and working the paint out of the brush until the water runs clear. Hang the brush to dry and to keep the brush tips straight.
The process for cleaning rollers is similar. Use the curved edge of a five-in-one tool to scrape excess paint from the roller back into the paint container until it stops flowing. Slide the roller cover off the roller cage. Set cage aside temporarily.
Rinse the roller in warm running water. Twist it in your hands squeezing the water and paint out of the nap of the roller.
Fill a sink with warm soapy water and wash the cover, working the soap water into the fibers.
Drain the sink and rinse the cover again until the water runs clear.
Squeeze out excess water with your hands by turning it and sliding your hands down to push water off at one end.
Dry the roller cover by standing it on its end and atop newspapers to dry. Store it on a shelf standing on end after it dries.
Wash the roller cage in a sink full of sudsy water. Scrub with a wire brush to work of any dried paint. Rinse, pat it dry with a paper towel and store it.
Rinse sink and wipe down with paper towels to remove paint residue.