How to Paint a room for the first time

So, you’ve just been asked to help assist your friend in painting their new apartment, or you've just moved into your own new place or even home. You’ve never painted before; either you’ve relied on someone else to do it, or hired professional help to take care of it. Now, you want to cut some costs and have heard about others painting for themselves. Well, you can do it, too, with a little elbow grease and a few simple instructions.

Determine Your Needs

Take a good hard look at your place and what you hope to accomplish via color and accent. If you’re planning to “lighten things up”, you may want to choose extremely light pastel paints, which almost look like white, but are tinged with color (i.e., green or pink).

What to Look For

Paint comes in cans or buckets. You are better off buying the buckets which are usually premixed and less expensive. Just let the paint person know at the store what “type” of paint you’ll need and for what purpose. Then, fine tune things and choose your favorite color. Paint “types” includes matte, semi-gloss, full-gloss and eggshell. You can also get either the water or oil based types.

Buying the Paint and Supplies

Some other supplies that are essential to painting that you should be looking for in the painting section are: primer, brushes, rollers, masking tape, paint trays and plastic paint drop cloths. Even a bunch of inexpensive rubber gloves are very helpful. You should purchase all of these things at once if you do not have them at home, as it won’t be very convenient or wise to go back and get these items later on.

From the Trenches

Make sure that there is plenty of ventilation before you begin painting a room. You should always begin a paint job in your oldest and worst clothes, because it is guaranteed that you’ll be covered with spots and blotches of paint as you go along.

Try to clean the room and sweep and dust as much as possible beforehand. This only makes is easier and neater to paint. Mask any areas that are delicate before hand well.

If there are any outstanding holes or imperfections in your walls, it makes sense to spackle them beforehand, so that things look crisp and clear later on.

There is some rhyme and reason to painting a room and an order should be followed. This is an example order: ceilings first, then walls, then doors, and lastly windows.

As for strokes, try to keep them neat and even. It is a good idea to prime, then, do your first coat, let that dry, and do a second coat. Or, if your paint is a one-coater, then you won’t have to paint the second time around. Try not to put too much or too little paint on the roller or brush. Keep it steady and light.

Make sure all brushes are soaked well overnight. Allow the walls to dry, preferably overnight, or with a fan blowing on them. You may preserve the paint on the rollers, by wrapping the rollers in plastic wrap and putting them in the freezer or refrigerator overnight. This way, they won’t get hard and dry.


Painting tips & tricks of the day


Brushing tips. When painting molding and woodwork with a brush, you can mask off adjacent areas that you do not want to paint (for instance window panes). Use wide masking tape along the edge you want to maintain.


With a little practice you can learn to "cut" in your paint edge and avoid the hassle of masking things off. With a steady hand, guide the brush along the surface you are painting, allowing a few bristles to overlap the adjacent surface by about 1/16". Strive for a smooth, even line. Paint with the grain of the wood. Use short strokes to coat the surface with paint, the go back over the area with longer, smoother strokes for an even, finished surface.




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