Okay so you have your gallon(s) of paint, your brushes, rollers, paint tray etc. Now it’s time for the moment of truth!
Painting is one of those home improvement tasks that either makes you very nervous or very calm. I like to paint because it’s mindless, calming and so satisfying once that color goes up on the walls. You can literally change the whole feeling of a room in a day!
However I know some of you get a little nervous about picking up the brush for the first time. The important thing to remember is prep first. Make sure your drop cloth is covering the floor and the furniture. Keep a damp rag nearby to wipe spills or mistakes (so much easier to clean up paint when it’s still wet) or a roll of paper towels.
If you are painting walls but not the trim you can either tape off the trim with blue non-sticky painter’s tape or if you have a steady hand, you can just “cut in” first with your small brush without taping. Cutting in means painting around the edges of the walls, around doors and windows and along the ceiling first with your brush.
It’s your choice, I don’t think it matters whether you cut in first and roll second or roll first and cut in last. Either way you will be trying to overlap your painting so the paint completely covers your wall. When you roll first you will know exactly how much you need to cut in. It’s easy to get carried away with the roller so stay about 6 or more inches from the trim and you’ll be fine.
The best advice I can give is try and keep a continuous stroke or movement going. Just as if you were washing the walls you will use a sweeping motion with both your roller and brush to cover lightly with paint using medium pressure on your brush or roller.
Make sure your paint brush or roller is just saturated with paint but not dripping. Drips create more cleanup work. It’s better to have too little paint on the brush than too much.
Move your arm straight up and down and then a little bit on an angle up and down. Think of a W shape. If your wall surface is fairly smooth it shouldn’t take too long to cover the wall with your new color and cover up your old. Of course if your new wall paint is light and your old wall is dark you should use a primer paint first like this Behr paint primer from Home Depot. Primer is also a good idea if you are painting over wallpaper, paneling or any surface that needs the paint to really stick well. It’s worth the extra step and some of the primers can be tinted to your new wall color so it can be a one step process.
Try to paint a 3-4′ section at a time. Once you’ve painted a section, move left or right and do another. You’ll have a wide band of paint from one side of your wall to the other. Then go back to where you started and paint just below where you’ve already painted and again paint left to right. Overlap the paint of each section as you go.
Most colors will require two coats unless you’re buying a very expensive “high hiding” paint or painting one light color over another. By waiting an hour or two between coats, you’ll not only have time to take a break for some lunch but you’ll be able to make sure you haven’t missed any spots. It’s hard to see those spots when the paint is wet, but once it’s dry you should be able to.
That’s all for today! Next post we’ll talk about painting trim and the difference between latex and oil paints.