Since my husband and I started remodeling our little 1800s farmhouse, I’ve gotten my fair share of experience painting walls. Not just any walls though – these old walls had all sorts of bumps, humps, and holes from years and years of artwork and family photos. I had originally planned to hire someone to paint (I knew they could knock it out much quicker than I could!), but as the dollar signs started adding up from other bigger projects, I realized it was probably best for me to tackle an easy job like painting myself. I’m far from a pro, but after painting several rooms in a condensed amount of time, I’ve learned some tips and tricks along the way.
Skip the tape. When I first set out to paint, I bought several rolls of painter’s tape and meticulously taped off all the windows and molding. Honestly, it took much too long. Not to mention that if I didn’t get all the trim work done within just a couple of hours, the tape began to peel off. Another con to using tape? If you don’t press it down against the wall or trim really tightly, the opportunity for paint to seep in is greater. I found that I’d much rather take my time with a paint brush and know exactly where the paint is being laid rather than finding out later that the trim work looks less than stellar.
Clean your walls. Whether you can see it or not, your walls probably have a little bit of dust on them. I wiped my walls down quickly just using a towel, making sure to get the corners near the ceiling where it’s likely most of the dust you don’t see is! Believe me, it’s much better to do this even if it seems like a waste of time – otherwise you may be finding tiny bits of dust mixed with paint on your walls.
Use a primer, no excuses. Unless you are painting a brand new, never-before-painted room, I highly recommend using a primer – even if the current color on the walls is a light color. This is a step I really wanted to skip, but realized it made my life much easier. Paint just sticks really well to primer without much muscle work. The walls I didn’t prime required much more arm muscle from pressing down to get the paint to stick properly.
Always remember the magic number 2. Two coats of paint worked perfectly for me. It looked professional and clean. I know it’s really tempting to stop after 1 coat of paint, especially if it looks like the walls are fully covered, but over time the paint may fade in certain places, leaving brushstrokes that will likely drive you crazy.
Strategize. For the largest room in our home that I painted, I was able to knock out the entire room from beginning to end in one day, all by myself. I had two trays and two rollers – one for primer and one for the paint. I primed the walls completely. I then went back to the very first wall I primed and rolled a coat of paint on the large surface of the walls, moving along the walls in the same order that I primed. I did the exact same thing with the second coat of paint. Finally, I used a medium size brush to carefully paint the trim, edges, and around the windows. This strategy was perfect for keeping me on task, and was the quickest way I found to paint.
Pour yourself a drink. That’s it! Easy, right? Now time to have a cheers your hard work with a cocktail.
It may get monotonous after the first coat of paint, but if you stick with it, you can have one entire room done in just one day!
What other tips or tricks do you have for painting a room?