My Guide to DIY Painting in Your Home

Painting your home – whether it be the entire house or just a wall in one room – is a fantastic way to update and refresh an outdated look.

There are just a few simple steps to follow in order to be successful when it comes to DIY painting. I’ll take you through what you need to remember before donning overalls and picking up the paintbrush!  

Step 1: Select Your Colour Palette
Your home is your personal retreat, a sanctuary for you and your loved ones. With that in mind, choosing the right colour to paint it is a very important task and should not be taken lightly.

Test pots, colour wheels, colour samples or clear images with colour behind them are a great way to visualise what your walls might look like one the paint is on. Remember to test new colours in both light and dark conditions, as a colour that looks a certain way in the sunlight may look completely different at night time! Don’t forget your ceilings too  – they often look better a tone darker than your walls.

Step 2: Choose your Paint Finish
Choosing a finish will depend greatly on what sort of wall you are painting and where abouts it is situated.

Flat, matte finishes are perfect for elegant rooms and an excellent choice for older walls. You may also want a matte finish if your room is awash in sunlight, to avoid reflection and shine.

Satin and eggshell finishes are best in high-traffic areas, like a child’s room. Clean-up is easy, typically requiring only a damp cloth.

Semi-gloss finish is ideal for detailed woodwork.

Step 3: Planning

Will you need two days to complete this paint job, or just one? Is it a weekend job or will it need to take place over the course of a whole week? What do you need and where can you get it from? Will you need the space you are painting? Remember you might not be able to use it for a day, weekend, week or more!

Don’t skimp on your prep time – it makes such a difference to be as prepared as possible leading up to painting time. Also, think about suitable painting clothes and – most importantly – where you will order your pizza from at the end!

Step 4: Clear the Room
Remove any hardware. Take off electrical outlet covers, remembering to keep all screws and fasteners together in a zipped plastic bag for easy replacement. Tape all electrical, cable TV and telephone fixtures with painter’s tape. Tape a small plastic bag around door knobs and handles.

Remember to take out anything you might need from the room – the last thing you want is to realise your favourite jacket is hanging inside the wardrobe you just painted….

Step 5: Protect the Floors and Woodwork
Floors: Cover the floors completely with drop cloths. These are a must because plastic doesn’t absorb paint and will get slippery!!! If you do choose to use plastic, cover it with newspaper.

Woodwork: Mask all trims using tape along the top edge of the baseboards using a quality painter’s tape with at least a 2 inch width. Also tape any door or window frames that are not going to be painted.

TIPS: Use painter’s tape because masking tape dries out too quickly and becomes difficult to remove. Go over it with a putty knife or a credit card, this will keep any paint from getting underneath the tape. Remove the tape while the paint is still wet.

The next steps are pretty straight forward….

Step 6 —Remove Old Paint and Prep Walls
The easiest way to do this is to scrape it off using a putty knife, an oscillating tool with a scraper blade or simply with a plastic scraper. Start from the edges and scrape the blade across the wall, taking the old paint with you. If paint is particularly difficult to remove you may need to use a chemical paint stripper, but the more you can remove by just using scraper, the better.

Step 7: Fill Cracks and Holes
Nails from hanging picture frames, children’s toys or the backs of chairs are all enemies of painted walls. Fill in cracks and holes with putty before painting so ensure a smooth finish once the paint goes on.

Step 8: Clean and Dry Surfaces
Using sugar soap clean and dry all of the surfaces you plan on painting.

Step 9: Priming
Not everyone feels the need to prime their walls before painting, however if you are going to put a primer on, now is the time to do it – when you wall is smooth, clean and dry.

Step 10 (optional): Paint the Window Trims
Not everyone needs to paint their window trims, but if you’re planning on doing this then do this step now.

Step 11: Cut In
Cutting in is a technique that helps you achieve clean lines at the corners and edges of your walls. Using an angled 2 inch trim brush, make a series of short strokes away from all of the edges. Did you know, you can now get little hand held paint tubs for cutting in, which use a magnet to attach your brush to the tub? How handy is that?!

Step 12: Paint Ceilings and Walls
Using a roller affixed to an extension pole, glide the paint in one direction, moving quickly to maintain your wet edge and avoiding excess pressure.

TIP: If you have to take a break from your painting project, instead of rinsing the brush or roller, wrap it in glad wrap so you can reuse it later. Most importantly – check the product label on your paint tub for dry times. Don’t put a second coat on – or anything against the walls – until the paint is completely dry! Otherwise, you’ll be straight back to Step One.

Step 13: Second Coat
Once your first coat of paint is completely dry, it’s time to add the second coat of paint.

Step 14: Clean and Celebrate
Time to dial up that pizza….!


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