For about five years it seemed like every spring I tackled some sort of painting project in our house. One year it was to sell a house. Another year it was to try and make a rental feel a little more like home. The next year it was to coordinate a room with a new bedding purchase. Given how often I’ve found myself painting, one might think it was something that I actually enjoyed doing. It’s quite the opposite. Each time I started a paint project I’d panic with the task of transforming a room. This edition of TRIO focuses on three things I’ve learned over the years on how to make bringing color to my walls a little more manageable.
Before you pick up a paintbrush or a roller, there a few things you’ll need to do to get the room ready for a fresh coat of paint. The most obvious is to take everything off the walls. Once you’ve got a blank canvas, you’ll want to do a little bit of touch up work with spackle to smooth out any cracks and holes. While you’re waiting on your spackle to dry, make the most of your time by removing your electrical switch and outlet covers and taping off your windows and woodwork. Using quality painters tape is key. Anytime I’ve skimped on this, I’ve regretted it. When it comes to protecting your furniture, you can either move it out of the room or cover it with plastic or drop cloths. Regardless of what you do, you’ll want to be sure you cover your floors. There’ nothing worse than having paint-speckled carpet.
Brushes and rollers come in a variety of materials, styles and textures. When it comes to brushes, the material has an impact on how smoothly the paint transfers from the can to the surface. Natural hair brushes are best for oil-based paints while nylon brushes are more ideal for water-based paints. If you’re using latex paint, you’ll want to pick polyester. The style of the brush also plays a big role in its effectiveness. A thin angled brush is best for when you need a straight line – think trimming in corners and edges. Go a little thicker on the brush when you want to cut in your ceiling or paint the trim. Straight edged brushes are best for painting large flat surfaces. Rollers also come in a variety of naps, or roller cover thickness. Generally speaking, the more texture your surface has, the thicker nap you’ll want. The nap has an impact on how much paint goes on with each roll and the overall texture that it leaves behind. There are two paint products that have been a game changer for me – the paint edger and roller with a paint tube. Using them has probably cut most of my paint projects in half.
There seriously is nothing that makes me more nervous than picking a paint color. I’ve failed more times that I even want to think about. In the process, I’ve learned that there’s more to consider than just whether or not you “like” the color. Natural light plays a big role in how a color will look on your walls. There’s nothing worse than finding your perfect shade only to find out that the sun seems blinding against it. The types of light bulbs you use also make a difference in how your color will feel. I like an incandescent light, but its yellow tone doesn’t complement every color. Another consideration is the molding and trim material in the room. What looks good against walnut trim doesn’t look the same against cherry trim. Trust me. It’s always a good idea to paint a few squares on your walls to see what it will actually look like in your environment. In the end, it’s important to remember that it’s just color. If you don’t like your first choice, there are hundreds more to choose from!
Interested in learning more tips and tricks for your next paint project? Join us for the upcoming DIY Painting class! Call 405.377.3333 with questions or register here. To find out about more courses like this sign up for our monthly e-newsletter. View all of our upcoming courses in our digital catalog.
Cara Adney is the Marketing and Media Relations Coordinator at Meridian Technology Center.