I really love painting. No, unfortunately, not painting on a canvas or creating art, I'm talking about painting walls. I'm not quite sure why I love it so much, maybe it's some genetically passed down passion. My grandfather was the head of the painter's union at Electric Boat and really loved his job. My dad learned how to paint from him and is REALLY good at it, as well. I like to think that I'm good at it, but maybe I'm just the only one who enjoys it and that's why Mike keeps giving me the job of painting. Nonetheless, I've had a hand in painting every single one of the rooms in our house [even when I wasn't living there].
I just love it! I love choosing the colors and the feeling of accomplishment when you get to pull the tape off the windows and the baseboards when you're done. Now you think I'm a geek...
If you're still with me, here are my tips for painting the cleanest and most appealing rooms:
1. Choosing your colors: You know how much I LOVE paint chips, but let's be honest, colors don't always turn out like they look in those chips. It's important to buy sample paint [it only costs a few dollars] and paint it on multiple walls of the room. The amount of light, shadows, and other furniture can make paint look completely different from room to room.
2. Choosing your type of paint: Now that you have your colors, you need to choose your type of paint. You have two choices to make: 1. whether or not to do paint and primer in one and 2. paint finish.
1. This is a decision of whether or not you want to use primer. You usually need two coats of either type of paint, but your choice is whether you want to do a third coat [primer, first], or paint with much thicker paint [with primer in one].
2. Paint finish is usually a decision based on the type of room. You can feel what the different finishes look like at most paint stores. Here are some pros and cons of each type:
- Flat [no shine]: Pro - great for concealing imperfections; Con - does not clean well; Great for: ceilings, bedrooms, dining rooms, and living rooms
- Eggshell [low sheen]: Pro - easy touchups; Con - mars easily; Great for: bedrooms, dining rooms, and living rooms
- Satin [pearl-like sheen]: Pro - scrub-ability; Con - more difficult to touch up because differences in sheen could be obvious; Great for: children's rooms, family room, kitchens
- Semigloss [fairly shiny]: Pro - Resistant to humidity, stains, chipping, and is easily cleaned' Con - cannot touch up without showing imperfections; Great for: kitchens, laundry rooms, bathrooms
- Gloss [mirror-like finish]: Pro - Easiest to clean; Con - Shows imperfections like a mirror; Great for: molding, trim, and woodwork
3. Start with sanding and sponging the walls: I swear, it takes like 5 minutes but makes everything look so much better. Get a sanding sponge and extra large sponge. Start by lightly sanding every wall to remove any impurities and finish by lightly [with VERY little water] sponging each wall to remove any dust.
4. Tape:Frog Tape is a must. It might be a bit more expensive than other tapes, but the lines it leaves are so straight and perfect without allowing paint to seep under the tape. Also, when you're done painting, make sure to take the tape off while the paint is still wet. Yes, you have to be careful and you will get paint on you, but if you wait until it dries, you risk full strips of paint ripping off when the paint dries to the tape.
5. Your Painting Tools: While I'm not a huge fan of rollers [my grandfather would roll over in his grave if he ever knew I ever suggested others use one], but unless you want to take hours and hours to paint, you'll want to get three different painting tools: high quality paint brushes, a roller, and an edger.
I assume you know how to use the first two, but just in case: make sure you use the brush around the edges, near the tape and corners and use the roller in the big areas. The edger is something new I learned about while painting with Mike. Seriously, it's a miracle tool. All you do is pour a little paint in a shallow tupperware container big enough for the whole edger to sit in. Then, you make sure the little back button on the back is pulled backwards, dip the edger in the paint, and scrape off the excess with the edge of the tupperware. Finally, flip the black button forward to create the paint barrier, and roll it along the edge of the ceiling. It makes a perfect edge, every time! Just make sure every time you need more paint, you flip the black button back to maintain the paint seal.