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. 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!

About 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.