Start by painting a small tester area to ensure that your color dries the shade you want.
Anyone should be able to pick up a paintbrush and apply paint to a wall, right? Well, not so fast. Painting isn’t necessarily difficult, but it does require a fair amount of patient and meticulous skill to turn out well.
Begin by carefully protecting all areas. It may be time-consuming and monotonous, but you will save yourself countless headaches if you properly prepare your area before beginning. Remove the covers from electrical outlets. Carefully mask all electrical outlets, light switches, and fixtures, as well as windows and doors. If you are planning a contrasting color on the ceiling, it may be necessary to mask around the edges. Cover the floors and furniture with canvas drop cloths (canvas is less slippery than plastic under ladders) and lay runners such as boards to walk across, preventing tracking paint to other areas of the house.
The next step is to prep your surface. Take a good look at the surface you are going to be painting. Is there any old wallpaper that needs stripping? Are there nail holes or other areas that can benefit from a coat of plaster? How about cracking tape joints? Carefully caulk around windows and trim. Be sure the wall is clean, sanded, and ready to go before applying any paint or primer.
Now you are ready for the test run. Even if you are completely in love with your color palette, you should still paint a small test area. Allow it to dry, and then make absolutely sure it is the right color. Sometimes, paint goes on lighter or darker than expected in certain lights or in large spaces, and it helps to know this before you waste time and money painting the whole wall. A test patch will also show whether you need a coat of primer. Primer is recommended anyway to completely seal the wall and to provide a solid surface to start with. Semi-gloss or satin enamel is recommended for kitchens and bathrooms, and flat finishes are recommended for other living areas. There are also many contemporary design options, such as faux painting, texture paints, and stenciling. Brushes work well for trim and corners, and rollers or sprayers work better for field.
Adding the finishing touches. After your walls are completely dry (normally the next day) carefully mask off the trim areas. Apply a semi-gloss or gloss trim paint with a small brush for optimum control. After all paint is dry, it is time to clean up. An important tip to remember:before removing any masking, run a razor blade or sharp knife along the edges to allow the tape to be removed, without taking any paint with it. Replace your outlet covers, uncover the furniture, and behold your new room!
Painting is a rewarding process, but can be time-consuming and tiring. If you don’t have the time or energy to tackle your own project this year, consider hiring a pre-certified painting contractor to give you a hand.
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