Interior Painting Tips and Tricks

Tired of the same old space? You can splurge for a new house or new furniture and treatments. However by taking a weekend off to paint the space, you can save money and get an entirely new room that you chose and complete by hand.

The first step is the most aesthetically important and fun step: choosing a color or colors for your space. Beyond just being partial to a color, consider that certain colors lend themselves to different thoughts and moods. Try cool, calm and relaxing colors for a bedroom and keep warmth and energy of vibrant color for a kitchen. Color can make walls melt into the background or become focal points or visual dividers. Consider what complements your furniture and taste then grab paint chips to start narrowing the options. Interior designers actually attach color and fabric samples onto a swatch board to keep everything unified. Take time to deliberate on the color because this is where the impact is. Finally, many paint companies sell sample sizes, so paint few options on your walls to see how natural and artificial light and shadows affect the color in the room.

Now you must choose the type of paint. Traditionally speaking, oil paint has been the go-to paint for quality and longevity, but luckily that is not the only option today. If you’d rather easy cleanup, many water-based paints are now comparable in quality to oil paint and give off less of an odor as they dry. Choosing finishes is also a personal decision, however flat paints are often used for walls and ceilings, while semi-gloss and high-gloss paints are used to set off woodwork, trim and doors.

Take time to effectively prep the space for painting. A thorough job not only means that painting will go more quickly but the finished product will also look neat and professional. Remove all wall art, electrical face plates and nails. If there are any gouges or nail holes in the wall or woodwork, this is the time to repair them. Apply enough spackle with a putty knife to fill in the blemish. When it dries, sand it flush with the rest of the wall and re-texture the area as needed. Next, use painters tape to protect anything you don’t want painted, most commonly this is trim work but you may also want to use the tape to make effects with multiple colors.

Painting a primer coat is an important step to improve the durability of your paint, so that it does not flake, and to provide an even coverage and finished product. Many paint producers have make this weekend project even easier, as many paints now include the primer sealer mixed into the paint.

Utilizing the right tools is also a key to a good finished product. Drop cloths save on cleanup and are a good surety against painting accidents, although wet water-based paints easily wipe off slick surfaces with a damp cloth. If you do use oil-based paint, be sure to have paint thinner available to clean and save your brushes. Rollers do the heavy lifting and make quick work while applying even coverage to the wall. Handle extensions can be used to cover the ceiling and high walls without a ladder. Rollers come in various widths to fit personal preference and design of the project. Medium knap rollers will hold the optimal amount of paint without excess drip. Even so, save the areas near the trim for first or last in order to minimize drips and concentrate on an even coverage near the edges. Detail work, which includes all the work near the trim, can be best applied with an edge brush, which gives you the most control when cutting in. Brushes also give the nicest finish to woodwork even if it takes more time, attention and practice to get the best stroke.

With enough planning, the right tools and the ideal color combination, transforming your space can be a fun, simple project. So get to work! And be sure to add your own helpful painting tips to our comments section.

Megan Gates is an active blogger who provides written work to the blogosphere pertaining to New York City Real Estate ListingsHamptons Rental Properties, home improvement and the latest architecture, design, fashion and travel.  Follow her on twitter @MEGatesDesign.

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