6 Steps To Painting ANY Room In Your Home
More than any other home improvement project, painting can have the greatest impact on the appearance of a room for the least amount of money. It is also a project that most people are capable of performing provided that they do their homework first. However, for those who do not have the time or just want to have the best results possible may opt to hire a painting contractor instead.
Although paint and application tools are important, preparation is the real key to a beautiful, long-lasting paint job. Paint is designed to be applied to a clean, smooth surface. Luckily, in most cases, getting to this ideal state requires simple preparation.
First, remove all the furniture, lamps and knick-knacks from the room. Or, if you can’t do that, remove anything that is irreplaceable or easily broken. Push whatever is left to the middle of the room and cover it completely with dropcloths. Also remove anything attached to the walls, including pictures, window treatments and switch/outlet plates (put the screws and plates together in plastic bags). Take off all the hardware from windows and doors. Cover radiators with newspaper. Loosen ceiling light fixtures and cover them with plastic trash bags. Cover every inch of the floor with canvas or heavy plastic drop cloths.
OK. You’ve bought the paint, you’ve prepped the room—it’s time to actually do the painting. Before you do anything, stir the paint thoroughly—it will perform and look better if the components are well mixed from the start. Need a guideline? Stir for three minutes.
Now get to work! Always paint a room from top to bottom. The job will go faster—and turn out better—if you follow this gameplan:
1) Paint the ceiling. Use a trim brush to “cut in” the edges of the ceiling where it meets the walls—paint a 2- to 4-inch-wide strip that “feathers” out toward the middle of the room. Begin painting the ceiling immediately. Start in a corner, and paint across the narrowest dimension of the room.
2) Paint the walls. Start when the ceiling is dry. Do one wall at a time. Use a trim brush to cut in where the walls meet the ceiling, around doors and windows, and along the baseboards. Begin painting the walls immediately.
3) Paint the windows. Use an angular sash brush and, if you like, a smaller brush for the dividers.
4) Paint the doors. Use a trim brush. Work quickly but carefully. Don’t forget to paint all six sides.
5) Paint the door and window trim. Use a sash brush. Paint the edges and then the face.
6) Paint the baseboards. Use a sash brush. Protect the floor/carpet with painter’s tape and/or a
Tip: It’s best to work with a partner—one of you can cut in the edges, and the other can follow along with the roller! Another tip: Use a roller wherever you can. One more tip: Use plenty of paint. Most do-it-yourselfers try to make a brush- or roller-full go too far, and end up with a lousy-looking room that desperately needs a second coat.
For ceilings, it’s best to work in a 3-foot-square “W” pattern. For walls, an “M” is the way to go. Here’s why: A zigzag pattern spreads the paint evenly over the section and lets you fill in without lifting the roller.
Use even, medium pressure, and stop when the section is evenly covered. Then move on to another section—you can move sideways or up/down (it doesn’t matter). You will avoid lap marks if you overlap a bit of the section just painted while it is still wet. An extension pole will let you paint the ceiling and the high sections of the walls without a ladder.
When it comes to painting a window, first, decide whether to mask off the glass or paint carefully and scrape off any paint when you’re done. If you want to mask, you can do it with tape or by using a peel off film you apply with a roll-on applicator (like deodorant!).
Start in the middle of the window—use a little brush to paint the dividers in double-hung windows or the inside edge of the frame if it’s some other type. Switch to a 2½-inch sash brush and paint the window frame and the trim. Finally, paint the sill and the trim below the sill.
When painting a door, if your door has panels, work from the middle outward. Follow this sequence: 1) panels, 2) the horizontal areas between the panels, 3) the vertical areas between the panels, 4) the edges, 5) the horizontal areas at the top and bottom, and 6) the vertical areas on the outside. If your door is flush/plain, start at the top and work your way to the bottom.
Be careful, but work quickly. You’ll get brush marks if you try to brush wet paint over paint that is already partially dry. For most people, cleanup is one of the least pleasant parts of a painting project. It is also why latex paint is so popular — it cleans up with water. Wash the brush under warm water, making sure to work any paint out of the base of the bristles and the ferrule. Shake/snap the brush to get the water out, and hang to dry (bristles down). Oil-based paint cleans up with paint thinner. Luckily, you only need to clean it once—at the end of the job. The rest of the time you can leave it hanging (not resting) in a covered can of thinner.
When it’s time to paint again, squeeze out the thinner against the side of the can and blot on newspaper. A dirty little secret: Many do-it-yourselfers throw out their brushes at the end of a job rather than go to the trouble of cleaning them.
If you find yourself doing lots of painting around the house, consider investing in a brush and roller ‘spinner.’ All you need to do is mount your brush or roller cover to the device and crank away as you would with a child’s top. Your brushes will remain like new forever. Oh, don’t forget to hold the brush or roller inside a bucket or barrel. Otherwise you’ll have paint splatters all over your neighbor’s car.