Transform your house interior in just one weekend
Painting is the most often tackled DIY home-improvement project - uncostly and you don't have to be able to paint like a pro. By splashing the washed-out walls of your living room with a burst of color, a brilliant depth will be added to your once bland and more or less two-dimensional room. Similarly, washing away your past decor mistakes with a virgin white will give you the fresh start that you might be looking for. That's the power of a coat of paint: It rearranges your reality. Preparation
Schedule in a full day for preparation-thorough preparation is the key to saving you the heartache of arising drips and slips and uneven lines. You will also find that in the long run, the painting itself will also be a lot easier. The time you take to sand surfaces, patch in holes, caulk gaps, and clean dust or grease with soap and water will allow for you start with a pristine surface. So be patient and prepped before you crack open that first paint can.
After removing any wall decor and moving furniture away from the walls, lay canvas tarps over the furniture and on the floor. Using painter's tape, tape down the edges. Unscrew all switch plates and electrical outlet covers, and tape over the remaining switches and holes with painter's tape. Remember to tape around any other hardware that can't be removed.
A standard prep begins with sanding and might require some scraping. Sanding and scrapping off any scuffs or bumps of the existing surface allows the paint to better grab hold. Remember to always sand and paint the ceiling completely (following these same steps) before addressing the walls.
Using a pole sander fitted with 120-grit paper, sand the walls (make sure to wear a dust mask). Sweep the sander side to side as you work your way from the top down. Apply medium pressure, and change the paper whenever the grit gets clogged with dust.
Remove bumps or drips on painted molding with a scraper. Then, using a dampened coarse-grit sanding sponge, rough up the surface. Keep a bucket of warm water nearby, and continually rinse the sponge. Finish with a dampened fine-grit sponge.
Using a wet/dry vacuum, clear all the dust from the walls and trim. Wash the walls with a sponge, using warm water and dish soap. Scrub greasy or waxy spots. Wipe everything down one last time with clean water.
Run a thin bead of caulk over any gaps where molding meets wall. Wet your finger and smooth the caulk with even pressure to push it into the crack and leave a crisp edge. For the best control when using caulk, cut a ⅛-inch angled opening in the tube's tip.
Using a putty knife, fill any small divots or holes in the walls. Use patching compound for plaster and joint compound for drywall. Sand the filler smooth with 120-grit sandpaper.
Prime the patched spots (or the whole wall if necessary). Sand primed areas with 120-grit sandpaper, and wipe clean of dust with a damp sponge.
The goal is to create an even, solid base that takes paint well. With that in mind, if you're working with new walls, or if you've patched any holes before you start, you'll also need to prime as primer fills in spongelike pores and creates. Primer should also be sanded before the paint goes on the wall; for a top-notch job, sand between paint coats, too.
First-time painters typically tend to tape every edge to guard against misstrokes. But that can bring on its own problems if paint bleeds under the tape or if you peel paint off when removing it. So we advise you to skip that step and use angled brushes instead. Proper use of an angled brush allows you to draw a straight line when turned on edge, which will save you hours of setup and touch-up.
Dip a 2 and a half inch angled brush into a bucket of paint, loading the paint only a third of the way up the bristles. Tap off-don't wipe-the excess on the side of the bucket. Use the brush to cut in a 2 to 3-inch band of paint at all corners, against the ceiling, and next to molding; this will give the roller some breathing room so it doesn't bump against adjacent areas.
To cut in, run a line of paint along the wall about an inch away from the edge. Then turn the brush onto the bristle tips, and press down slightly so the longest bristles gather into a point. Use this point to draw a careful line of paint right up to the edge where wall meets trim. Once you have a clean line in place, level out any heavy areas or drips, then move on. In order to keep a wet edge, don't work in too large an area at one time.
Once you've cut in around an entire wall area, use a roller to fill in the field. Dampen the roller before using it (with water for latex paint or paint thinner for oils). Dip the roller in a tray filled with just enough paint to reach the grate. Roll it back against the grate to distribute the paint and squeeze out the excess. Make sure the roller is covered completely before painting with it.
Roll a W or M shape on the wall to distribute the bulk of the paint. Then use overlapping vertical strokes to spread paint evenly between the lines. Continue painting the wall in this manner until it is covered. Overlap a bit of the cut-in edges to blend away any visible brush marks.
As you paint, be sure to keep moving: Put the paint on the wall, level it out where it's heavy, and get on with it. Don't use back-and-forth brushstrokes, and don't spend time making the first coat look perfect (it won't be). Finally, take a tip from the pros and always keep a damp rag in your pocket to quickly wipe up your mistakes. Even the best painters color outside the lines once in a while.
If a second coat is necessary, wait until the paint is dry to the touch, then repeat Steps 6 and 7.
With broad moldings, such as baseboards and wainscoting, use a wide, straight-edged brush to paint the bulk of the trim.
Then using a small, angled sash brush (1- to 2-inch), finish by carefully painting a straight line along the edge. Hold the brush on edge as you did in Step 6, and let a hairline of paint carry over onto the wall to make up for any imperfections on the molding itself.
For glossier finishes, sand lightly with a fine sanding sponge between coats to help the final coat take hold.
Through following the steps described carefully, from the first scratch of the pole sander to the final feather of the brush, in one weekend, you will have expertly painted your walls. As long as you stay organized and methodical, you'll be able to get on with the satisfying business of transforming your room.