Autumn is definitely in the air - the crisp, cool temperatures, the bright colors starting to appear on the trees, and the delicious smells of baked goods warm from the oven. But with all the bright newness of the season, are your walls starting to look a little shabby since their last update?
Whether you’re in need of a fresh look, or you’re a brand new homeowner looking to update the walls for a customized space that matches your personal style, early fall is a great time to paint. It’s the perfect temperature to open the windows for ventilation, and you get the basic cleaning and maintenance out of the way before you’re stuck in the house whether you like it or not (hello, snow!), and best of all...it’s right as this handy guide is available for some painting tips and tricks. Take a look, and start dreaming in color!
First Things First…
Before you grab a paint brush, you’ll want to think about the color scheme you’d like to incorporate in your interior design. Will each room be different? Or will you go for a theme that flows throughout all the rooms of your house? If you’re only painting one room, you may be more limited in color options based on the other rooms of your house. Same goes for furniture (versus buying new). Painting can be essential for interior design, but make sure you’re thinking ahead when you start remodeling so you’re not wasting time choosing paint in a still-unfinished room.
Preparation: the Area
Any professional painter will tell you the key to a great paint job is in the preparation. As much as possible, you want to move any and all furniture out of the room and cover the floor with a slipcover (if there’s some furniture you absolutely can’t move, make sure you cover that too). Tape the slip cover over the baseboards of the rooms to keep paint from dripping where it’s not supposed to, and be sure to cut the room’s power, remove outlet covers, and tape over the outlets, too. Open any windows, and if that doesn’t provide enough ventilation, try using a fan (plugged into a hall outlet, of course).
Preparation: the Walls
Look over walls carefully for any holes or cracks, and fill those in with spackle (any bigger holes will require a bigger fix; if the wall is seriously damaged, consider calling a contractor for help). Also, make sure the walls are clean so you don’t end up with dirt or grime in the new paint job. Once the holes have been filled in and are dry, go over the walls with a fine sandpaper, but make sure to wear a mask so you don’t breathe in the dust. Afterwards, clean the walls and the floor of all dust to prevent it getting in the new paint (use a damp rag for any lingering particles). Make sure walls are completely clean and dry before moving on to the next step.
While there are tons of paint options out there, you definitely want to start with at least one coat of primer on the wall (unless you’re using a paint and primer combination, in which case you can skip to the next step). You can use regular (white) primer or a primer that’s been tinted to match the final color of your paint. Use your roller to apply the primer in vertical strokes in a V or W formation, going back over to fill in the blank spaces.
...well, almost. Before you start painting, you should allow the primer to dry and then go back over the walls with the fine grit sandpaper (220 grit is favored by professional painters). Clean the walls and remix the paint, and then ‘cut in’ the room by painting a narrow strip along the borders (the prevents accidental paint in other places as you attempt to get the roller too close to the edge). Do one wall at a time so the border doesn’t dry before you paint the rest. Apply paint the same way you applied primer.
Many brands will require a second coat of paint. Take care to let the first coat dry completely, and sand again with the fine sandpaper (trust the pros, this step is worth it). Apply the second coat the same as the first and let it dry completely before removing any tape or bringing furniture back in. Finally, use a smaller brush to touch up any fine details, such as molding, trim, or anywhere else a roller couldn’t reach. Step back and admire your handiwork!