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Painting the rooms in your home is an easy, inexpensive way to update and outdated décor. While painting isn't difficult, it does require careful preparation and attention to detail if you want it to turn out well. Here's four steps to get the job done right.
Prepare Your Walls
Begin by mixing up a solution of trisodium phosphate cleaner (TSP) and warm water per the manufacturer's instructions in a bucket and washing the walls. People often want to step this skip, thinking their walls look fine, but in reality, they do have a film and dust on them. Painting over dirty walls will lead to peeling paint down the line.
After you have allowed the walls to dry for 24 hours after washing them, carefully inspect your walls for any dings, dirt, and damage. Make any minor repairs. Fill nail holes, dings, and dents with putty and sand once dry. Sand any areas that have peeling paint and use a tack cloth to remove any dust. Allow the repairs to cure for 24 hours.
To do a quality job painting, you have to do a quality job taping. Don't skimp on the tape. You want to buy the best painter's tape available. If you use the cheap stuff or worse, simple masking tape or a tape that isn't made specifically for painting, you will end up with bleeding paint lines that aren't crisp and clean. You may also end up with damaged walls or woodwork.
Use a putty knife to help you ensure there is a tight seal between the tape and wall. Short pieces rather than long pieces are better. Have a roll of brown Kraft paper handy. Cut off pieces and apply with the tape to provide woodwork protection. Do this around and over windows as well.
Prepare The Room
If you haven't gotten everything out of the room yet, finish clearing it. Put down canvas drop cloths. Don't use a plastic tarp because they can be dangerously slippery. Take the light switch and outlet covers off as well as any light fixtures, like wall sconces.
When the room is ready, you're ready to put the primer coat on. Don't skip the primer; this is what will give you a nice base for the paint. Use a brush to go around the taped areas and then use the roller, going from top to bottom.
Paint The Room
Wait at least 4 hours for the primer to thoroughly dry before moving on to painting. Again, first use a paintbrush to cut in the paint around the taped areas and then switch to the roller, being sure to move from the top down. If you are painting the same color, one coat is fine. Otherwise, wait four hours and then give it a second coat. If you are going from dark to light paint, you may need several coats. Wait 24 hours to carefully remove the tape.
Prepping and painting a room are a lot of work. It can also be difficult if the house is older with high ceilings and plaster or a newer, modern home with cathedrals ceilings. If you don't feel comfortable getting on a ladder or have a lot of rooms to paint, your best bet is to hire a professional painting contractor, such as at AAA Action Painting.