A Coat of a Different ColorAfter months spending extended periods indoors staring at the same four walls, you may be thinking it’s time for a change. One quick and easy way to make a noticeable change in your home is to paint a room – or all of them! Go bold, go classic or create a signature wall! Start in the morning, and by bedtime you’ll have a whole new look.
Here are some tips to make your project go more smoothly and ensure professional results.
PICK A COLOR, ANY COLOR!
Many paint stores offer sample colors at reasonable prices so you can create a test square right on the wall you want to paint. (Or, you can be like me and grab a dozen of those little color swatches and tape them together!). Better yet, paint a poster board so you can move it around the room to see how it looks on different walls and in different lighting conditions. If you want to try something new and daring but are hesitant about making a big change, try painting just one wall; if you’re still hesitant, make it the wall with windows or an entryway so that there is less area to cover. Select an eggshell finish – not too glossy, not too flat, and easy to clean. And remember, it’s just paint! If you don’t like it, it’s a quick change.
90% PREPARATION, 10% PERSPIRATION:
As much as you want to get that paint on the wall, take the time to prepare. Move furniture out of the way and cover it; wipe the walls and ceiling to remove any dust and dirt (a Swiffer is great for this); if they’re very dirty or greasy, use soap and water; remove light switch and outlet covers; fill in nail holes and nicks (Secret Tip: you can use toothpaste!); and tape the trim and edges. Also, be sure you have enough paint!
PRIME THE SURFACE:
I’ve heard many arguments on this, both for and against. I was an “against” until my friend convinced me to try it, and now I am firmly in the “for” camp. When I primed, or “pre-painted”, the wall, the new color covered more easily and required only one coat of paint. The good news is that the priming coat doesn’t need to perfect. You can also use up those half cans of paint your already have (though they should be about the same color). Or, you can have your primer paint tinted the same color as the final color you’re going to use on the walls. This helps both when changing from a dark to light color, or a light to dark color.
PAINT THAT WALL!
Start with a paintbrush or edger to do your edges and corners, thenroll over those edges to smooth the transition. Be sure to allow plenty of time for the paint to dry before applying a second coat (if you even need to, what with the priming!). If you must stop for some reason, cover your brushes and rollers in plastic wrap; and when you’re completely done, clean them with warm soapy water, but don’t let them soak. If you have suborn paints, you can try paint thinner or mineral spirits.
For an added touch, rearrange some furniture, swap the sofa throw pillows for the bedroom throw pillows or take one of the pictures from the guest room and feature it more prominently in the family room or a hallway. You’ll be amazed at what a difference this (relatively) small effort can make! Give it a go and let us know how it turned out!