A Weekend Project: Newly Painted Walls

Wednesday, February 15, 2012   /   by Justin Hoffmann

A Weekend Project: Newly Painted Walls

You don't have to hire a professional painting crew to get a professional paint job! You have all the tips and tools you need to turn dull rooms into beautiful escapes.

First, you must decide what prep work needs to be done to your walls. Walls should be clean and free of holes and blemishes. Spend a little time filling nail holes and any cracks with caulking. This crucial step will make for a clean finished product.

Do you have mildew growing on your walls? Use a 1 part bleach to 3 part water solution to wash or scrub the mildewed areas. Rinse away the bleach solution prior to the rest of your prep work and voila you'll have a mildew-free surface.

Next, prep the space for the actual act of painting. Remove any furniture or knick-knacks. Lay down plastic or cloth drop clothes to protect your floors. If drop clothes aren't in your budget, consider laying down pieces of cardboard around your room's edge. Finally, use blue painters tape around trim, windows, and doors to ensure a clean edge. Sometimes the prepping phase takes longer than the painting phase, but trust that it's worth it.

Once you have prepped the space, it's time to make a trip to your local home improvement or paint store to pick out the color! Do you have an inspiration room you've found in a magazine or book? Are you wanting to match your walls to a specific object or fabric?

Be sure to take these items with you since many paint departments now offer color matching. If they don't, at least you'll have the color with you as a visual reference.

Do you have an especially rough or marked wall? Consider hiding blemishes with a faux texturing technique, such as applying paint with a sponge. Your local home improvement store will have brochures and maybe even classes teaching you how.

The color and style of paint your room is a big choice. If you need help deciding on what colors are most popular today don't shy away from from the display of brochures available in any paint department. These pictures can serve as inspiration.

Now, it's all about the right tools. Be sure to select brushes based on the type of paint you choose. There are different brushes for latex, oil, and stains. Use brushes for cutting in around edges and do the bulk of your work with rollers. Just be sure to wash out whatever tools you use at the end of each day. If you need to walk away from a project for more than 30 minutes then be sure to wrap brushes in plastic (even a shopping bag will do) to ensure they don't dry out.

Get that perfect ceiling line with a pro edger. It looks like a long piece of metal with a handle and helps you create that professional line. No cutting-in experience is required! Plus, don't forget to pick up pole extenders and step ladders for those hard to reach places.

Paint in a well-ventilated space and only on warm days. Paints must be applied in temperatures above 35 degree (and most about 50). If you want to go green with your paint be sure to select only zero-voc paints. They cost only a fraction more and kind to both the environment and your body.

Painting is a simple and very rewarding task. It can be one of the least expensive ways off breathing new life into an old space. Be sure to take your time doing the prep work and your hard work is sure to pay off big -- in style or in impressing buyers!

by Carla Hill

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