Not all home improvement projects have to cost an arm and a leg and take weeks or months to complete. One quick shock to a room’s decorative system is simple; slap a new coat of paint on the walls! It can be done in the span of a weekend, isn’t going to break the bank, and will instantly revivify any old room. Another great thing? You don’t need to hire professional help to get it done. You could, but it’s an extra expense that’s well worth the savings by doing it on your time with your own two hands. Before you get started, here are our expert tips to help you pull off a perfect stunning finish.
Check The Weather
Before you pick a color, buy supplies and get all ramped up for a weekend of work, check the weather. No, really. When the humidity is high – or it’s just rainy – the dry time between your coats of paint will need to be extended. If you do take the care and pains to plan a weekend for painting and then it rains anyway, don’t worry. You’re not stuck unable to do the job. It will just take a little bit longer than if it wasn’t raining.
Typically, you wait an hour between coats of primer and paint. Depending on how cold and humid it is, this window of time could extend up to two hours or more. The primer and paint don’t need to be completely dry before applying the next coat, but you don’t want the top layer to be tacky. Too wet and the paint sticks to the brush and causes uneven layers in the paint. It should be just dry to the touch.
The Right Stuff
As with any job, you need the right tools. When it comes to paint you’ll need dropcloths, brushes, rollers, trays, maybe a ladder or extender, tape. But you don’t need to pay top dollar for everything. Save some money by going cheap and effective with your trays, handles, and dropcloth. As long as the tape is thick and sticky and doesn’t bleed through, brand doesn’t matter, quality does.
Applicators. You’ll need an angled brush – so you can cut around trim and get in the corners – and a roller. The size of your brush should be at least 2 inches wide. As for rollers, the only real thing you need to know is your nap. Unfortunately, we’re not talking about that glorious respite from the day’s work. The nap is the thickness of the roller. Brand won’t matter, but thickness does. For heavily textured walls you need a thicker nap. Smooth walls need next to nothing. A medium textured wall needs… a medium nap.
We weren’t joking when we said you could do this in a regular weekend. It will require the right prep and time management. Assuming you have the traditional Friday night through Sunday evening weekend, here’s our recommended schedule:
Friday Evening: Prep The Space.
- Move all the furniture to the center of the room, cover with a dropcloth.
- Remove everything from the walls (including switch plates for outlets and light switches) and store in another room, or safely under the dropcloth (keep your hardware like screws and nails in a cup with a lid/cover so nothing gets lost).
- Tape off the edges, over the outlets and switches, cover the floor with a sturdy dropcloth and tape to the floor.
You are now set up and ready to go bright and early the next morning!
Saturday: Paint The Room.
- Paint first around the edges and in the corner with your angled brush.
- Paint in from the edges towards the center with your roller.
- Move the roller in an ‘N’ pattern to avoid lines and ensure an even, blended layer.
- Paint one wall at a time to avoid the edges overdrying and streaking when they are filled in.
- Between coats of paint, wrap your brushes and rollers in cling film, or place the ends in a bag and seal it shut to prevent paint drying out.
- Wash brushes/rollers and clean up the rest of your tools.
Drying times included, it will be a long day indeed (especially if it’s a larger room), but all the painting will be done by dinner time and can set overnight.
Sunday: Restore The Chaos.
- Double check the paint is sufficiently dry before removing tape and dropcloths.
- Put everything back where it was.
- Safely store your paint and tools for the next job.
With any luck, you’ll have everything back where it was before bedtime. Then all that’s left is to soak in a nice long bath with some epsom salts to help heal those sore muscles you put to good use this past weekend. Happy Home Improving!