Do-It-Yourself Interior Home Painting

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Home Improvement

Getting Started

As many people are know, a fresh coat of paint is essential when getting your home ready to sell. Home buyers today will expect it. Painting can be fun - as long as you’ve prepared the walls properly, have the right tools for the job and have enough time to do the job right. 

First, you need to get your tools and materials together:

•  Your paint
•  Several drop cloths
•  The brushes you’ll need
•  A ladder
•  Rags
•  Painter’s tape
•  Paint edger
•  Rollers
•  Roller pans with screens
•  Roller extender
•  Roller handle

What type of paint should you use?

First, let’s look at different types of paint: latex, or water-based paints, are typically used where there won’t be much need for washing. Enamels, or oil-based paints are used on woodwork and other areas where there might be lots of handprints. They’re easy to clean because of the glossy finish. Often you’ll see enamel paint in bathrooms and kitchens for this reason. 

How much paint will you need?

To estimate how much paint you’ll need, you should multiply the perimeter of the room by the height of the walls. This will give you the square footage of your room. For ceilings, just multiply the length by the width. A gallon of paint usually covers 350-450 square feet. You should overestimate a little to account for touch-ups.

Also, it’s important to make sure that all the paint you’ll need in a room /wall is exactly the same. Paint stores usually mix their paints in lots, so take all the paint you’ll need in one room and put it together in a bucket, mixing it thoroughly to have consistency of color. Be carful though, if you leave the paint out too long it can form a “skin”, in which case you can strain it through nylon pantyhose if needed.  

Start painting 

It’s time to start painting, but first, make sure your head is covered and consider using safety goggles since you’ll be doing the ceiling first. Remember: start at the top and work your way down – ceiling, walls, then trim. Paint by the ceiling’s width not its length to ensure a wet edge to work with. Continue painting until it's totally completed. Also, remember that when you painting over your head, you show paint across your body as opposed to along it to minimize neck and back strain.

Next you’ll do something called cutting in. Use a trim brush to paint a three-inch wide strip along the top of each wall where it meets the ceiling. Always do one area at a time, and then use your roller to paint that wall’s surface. This makes it easier to blend between brush and roller. Do this around doors, corners, baseboards and windows before painting the walls. 

Using rollers correctly can be tricky. It is easy to under- or overload the roller with paint. You should pour the paint into a ½-inch depth and roll the roller several times to insure it’s uniformly loaded with paint, then roll it over the washboard area of the roller tray, removing excess paint to decrease drips. 

Blog DIY interior painting 2 700 x 400

Painting the trim 

After you’re done with the ceilings and walls, it’s time to paint the trim. Make sure to protect the floors and walls with tape. You should use tape on newly painted walls only after 24-48 hours. Start with the edge closest to the wall. Using a 2- or 3-inch brush, apply the paint, being careful not to pile on too much. Keep some wet rags close by to clean up the excess. Remember to paint top to bottom, doing the baseboards last.

Cleaning your paint brushes 

When it’s time to clean your brushes and rollers properly so they can be used again you should follow these instructions. For water-based paints, you can use soapy water to wash the brushes and rollers. For oil-based paints, use paint thinner with soap and water. The first step is to work the thinner into the bristles, squeezing the paint out as you go. After rinsing with plain water, apply more thinner to work out any remaining paint. Finally, finish by washing them with soap and water as many times as it takes to get out all thinner, rinsing thoroughly. Clean the paint trays and roller hardware with paint thinner or soap and water. Hang everything up to dry.

Leftover paint can be stored successfully for years without any problems or affecting it’s quality. Cover the top of the can with plastic wrap then replace the lid tightly and store upside down. Don’t forget to mark the can with the room, color and date the paint was purchased. It’s a good idea to keep these extra paint cans for the new home buyers if you plan to sell your house after painting.

More questions about home improvements? Contact me!

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