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Painting a Home Interior

Freshen up your home interior with a new coat of paint. With a few key tools and some painting know-how, you can do it yourself.

Choose the Paint Color

Every brand of paint has a vast array of paint colors, from subtle neutral tones, to bright bold colors, and countless shades in between. Once you choose your paint colors, you must also consider what finishes are best for each room, such as flat, satin, or gloss.

Before you buy the paint, take home a paint sample to test the color in the particular room. Colors look differently depending on the light source; a color that looks right at the store may look completely wrong in your home.

Gather Your Paint Supplies

Following is a checklist of the supplies needed for your do-it-yourself paint project.

  • Spackle or putty to fill holes and smooth imperfections, as well as a putty knife for application.
  • Blue painters’ tape.
  • Drop cloth to protect the floor from drips and spills. Damp rags for quick clean-ups.
  • Stepladder or stool.
  • Paint and primer. The amount of paint you need depends on the size of the room. Measure your room’s length and width before heading to the paint store, and estimate the number of coats you will need.
  • Paint brushes. You will need a hand-brush for trim and edging, one roller, roller brushes, and a roller extension if you have tall ceilings. Read the labels, because different bristles and naps are best used with certain types of paint and finishes.
  • Roller tray and smaller container for painting trim or woodwork.

Prepare to Paint

Move furniture away from the walls and out of the room if possible. Take down paintings, shelves, and other items mounted on the walls, such as outlet covers and switch plates, and remove nails or screws. Fill holes and mask imperfections with spackle or putty.

Give all surfaces a good wipe-down to remove dirt, dust, and cobwebs. Use painters’ blue tape to cover the edges of window frames and other trim or to keep one color from running into another. Lay a tarp or old cloth or sheet to protect the floor.

Paint Your Room

Start with the ceiling, and then move on to walls and floor. Stir the paint and pour a small amount into a container that is easier to hold than the entire can of paint and small enough to hold while keeping your balance on a ladder or stepstool. Lightly dip the hand-brush into the paint, gently wipe off the excess paint on the side of the container, and brush a three-inch strip along the edges of the ceiling, wall, or floor, using a straight fluid motion.

Use a roller to fill in the large surface areas. Pour paint into the roller tray and lightly dip the roller into the tray, covering the entire roller with paint. Remove excess paint by running the roller over the ridges on the paint tray. Using long straight strokes, paint up and down and then sideways to ensure maximum coverage.

Wait until the first coat is dry before applying additional coats, starting again with the edges. Once you have painted all coats on the ceiling, walls, and floors, and the paint is completely dry, proceed with the trim, woodwork, windows, or doors, again using a hand-brush. To avoid having to clean your brushes after each session, wrap them in plastic wrap; the paint will stay wet.

After you have completed your paint job, admire the fresh new look, and revel in your accomplishment.

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