Freshen up your house with a coat of paint
Nothing freshens up a room like a new coat of paint. A fresh coat of paint looks good and smells good too, and is a detail never overlooked by home shoppers. Considering the low cost relative to other upgrades, fresh paint provides one of the best returns on money spent, especially if you do the job yourself.
Why are so few homes freshly painted then? When I recommend painting to some clients, they look at me like I've just told them they should replace the carpet themselves. Painting is much, much easier, however. It's so easy, in fact, that it's the only home improvement project that I will do myself. And I'm no handyman!
This weekend, in fact, I painted the master bedroom in my personal residence. It only took about 5 hours from start to finish, including prep time. Here are some steps and tips to help get you started.
Begin preparing the day before you paint
The first thing I always do is check my supplies. Here's a list of things you will need:
- Paint tray and rollers
- Paint tray liners (I use plastic ones inside the paint tray because they are easier to clean afterwards)
- Extension pole
- Roller covers
- One or two brushes 1 1/2" or 2" brushes are best
- Plastic sheets or dropclothes
- Wide-blade putty knife
- Light weight quick-dry spackle
- Can opener and paint stick
Take time to carefully check you have the supplies. Extra trips to the hardware store will eat up a lot of time.
Prepare the room for painting
Once you have your supplies, you'll need to prepare the room. Start by vacuuming and dusting; you don't want any dust bunnies getting on your roller and mixed into your paint. After that, mix up a bucket of soapy water and wash down any dirty spots on the walls that have debris or grease. Not only will paint not adhere to these spots very well, but they'll leave you with a less than desirable texture. This is a good time to spackle any nail holes in your wall using your spackle and your index finger, but not the putty knife. That's for something else!
Pull out any furniture from the walls and put your drop clothes down ( if you don't have any dropcloths, buy a roll of thin plastic sheeting. It's cheap and most rolls have enough for many paint jobs).
Now you're ready to start painting! I like to get up early the next morning and start the job right away- no excuses! If you've taken the steps to be prepared, it will make painting day go much quicker.