Renovation Time

My Top 10 Painting Tips…

The Inspiration - William Morris BagStarting this painting project has taken research for the past few months. I actually thought I would be painting the living room first, and since it is such a prominent room in our house I wanted to be sure to do it right. I’m glad I did the bedroom first so that I could make mistakes as needed.

The most helpful site I found was this one: How to Paint a Room: What Your Mother Never Told You. Just some good, practical basic advice. Here are some of the things I did when painting in our bedroom:

1. Choose a piece that inspires you, something that you love. Base your room around that piece. Tara told me this originally, and I heard it again last night while watching last season’s Project Runway on the Tivo. My inspiration is the bag above, and the walls and comforter are a close match to the leaves in the William Morris print. I am still not paying $110 a yard for fabric to make matching pillows. No matter how much I wish I could.

2. I only taped surfaces on the bottom of the room – paint goes down. So there is tape around the trim and on top of the doors and windowsills. I did not tape the crown molding in the room.

3. I didn’t paint any of the trim – I planned to keep the crown molding and the rest of the trim white, and it was in good condition. I washed it all down before I taped it and let it dry overnight. If you tape too soon, your tape won’t stick. I learned this the hard way.

4. I wore one of those fancy dust mask things while working on the floor. It made me hot and my glasses fogged up, but the allergies from the first day of work kicked my ass hard. I could not handle a repeat.

5. Prep, prep, prep. It takes forever and it will wear you down and beat you, but it is *SO* important. I painted all of the edges out first, from the ceiling to the floorboards and the corners and around the windows and doors. And then hired a Epoxy Floor Contractor to come finish the floors for me. My bedroom is HUGE. Something crazy like 18 feet long. Probably about 12 feet wide. With three doors, three windows, and a lot of trim. I didn’t time it really, but I think it took me longer to do the edges than it did to paint the entire room. And I don’t regret it at all, because it made the actual painting that much faster.

6. If you don’t have a steady hand, tape the crown molding. And even if you do have a steady hand, keep a damp cloth nearby for the times when you get the latex paint on the enamel paint of the crown molding. It wipes off easily if you are fast.

7. Don’t skimp. If you are painting a darker color over a lighter color – say a medium tone over white – use two coats. You don’t want to have to do it again. Just do it right to begin with.

8. Paint sample cans from Sherwin Williams and other places are in a satin finish. If you are painting with a flat finish, the sheen from the satin finish might show through. The first guy at Sherwin Williams said that I could just paint over my swatches on the walls. The second guy – the one that sold me my final paint – said no. (He also pointed out that the other guy was new.) I had to go and get some primer just to put over those spots to get rid of the satin sheen, which wasn’t that big of a deal. Just good to know in advance, because it would have driven me crazy to have shiny spots on my walls.

9. Prep. Really well. It is so important I had to say it twice.

10. Be patient, work hard, and then sit back and enjoy the room. It will be so worth it. Then think of all the money you saved since you didn’t hire someone else to paint it for you!

Time for my break to be over – I still have windows to finish painting!

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

11 replies on “My Top 10 Painting Tips…”

[…] These are my tips for how to redecorate a room. Please note, I am NOT an expert. These tips may not work for everyone, but they worked for me. I wanted to write them down for my own future reference and to help anyone else out if they can. I definitely have to credit the fabulous Tara for some of these thoughts, and she gets props for letting me drool all over her Domino magazines last summer when I was at her house. (I wrote a post last summer on how to paint a room, in case you are curious about my thoughts on that.) […]

What do you do when you’ve used a gallon and a quart of red paint and it is still streaky but getting better? Do I just keep on painting? I’ve been adding a coat a day and am wondering if I just don’t know how to paint. I used a paint pad for the first two coats and rollered it for the latest. Is it normal to add so many coats? Mom of two

I’m probably not as experienced as the other people here but to “Mom of two”, I had to use 5 coats of red to complete my basement walls :S. It depends on how dark the hue is, and I was also working from a fairly light red primer. The best advice I was given was not to go back and try to retouch as I painted, since this just removes what paint you had applied. Best thing to do is just keep working on it, hope it turns out well!

I had to spackel som holes in walls. I sanded well and primered. I then used laytex paint and the areas where I spackled can be seen through the paint, after a few coats. Can you please help? i am a perfectionist and this is driving me nuts!

I spackled holes in walls. I sanded well and primered. I painted with laytex paint but the areas that were spackled are showing through. I am a perfectionist and this is driving me nuts. Please help.

For painting red, ALWAYS buy the highest quality paint you can possibly afford. I just painted the bathroom in red using Benjamin Moore Regal – two coats, no primer, and it’s perfect. Five coats of a cheap paint like a store brand or (ugh) that Behr garbage might not be enough. If you need primer – and a good brand will specify if primer is required for a specific color – always use the absolute darkest gray you can get.

Keep in mind that one coat of primer and six coats of cheap paint will cost more than two coats of a better paint.

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