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This is a guide to the physical act of painting, it does not address the hardest part,  picking colors.  : )

     1. Empty the room as much as possible. Remove all small things, any large objects left should be placed in the middle of the room and covered with a drop cloth. Remove window treatments and hardware.

    2. With a damp cloth, wipe down all dusty areas and cobwebs. If there are any glossy areas or heavily soiled areas to be painted, first wash with a TSP (trisodium phosphate) substitute.  

   TIP: Bathrooms and laundry areas usually have a soap film on walls and ceilings that must be removed for good paint adhesion. In homes built after 1978, light sanding works best.

    3. Remove switch plate & outlet covers, replace if necessary, pull all nails & picture hangers.

    4. If you want to clean the stained & varnished woodwork  to remove dripped & spattered paint from the baseboards & trim around the doors, windows & closet, try Goof Off in an inconspicous spot first.
        Do this first to get a nice smooth clean surface to apply masking tape to.

    5. Spackle & patch small nail holes, cracks, etc. Large holes need time for repair material to set before painting, plan ahead..  

  TIP: After a spackle patch is made use a damp cloth or sponge and press on repair to form existing texture in order to eliminate flat spots created by the putty knife. Large repairs require texture application similar to the original method. (This is where experience and experimentation pay off)

    6. Take the time to caulk where wood & wall come together, around baseboards, doors, closets & windows. The end result will be well worth it. Lay a bead of caulk, smooth it out, wipe off excess with a damp cloth.  

   TIP: Buy caulk in squeeze tubes that do not need a gun to dispense, less waste with replaceable caps  

    7. Using masking tape, tape off trim, baseboards, doors, windows, closets, etc.  

     TIP: Always remove tape while paint is still wet. 

    8. Now we are ready to paint. Ceilings first! If your walls need paint, so does your ceiling, even more so. Rising heat dries out the ceilings, do not neglect them.    

 TIP: If you have not painted in many years or a stain of any kind is present (water, kool-aid, crayon etc.) primer painting is necessary. If you made a large repair or texture application, primer is necessary. If you want an outstanding finish, primer is necessary. If you are covering a darker color with a lighter color, primer is necessary. Since you have already gone to all the trouble to do everything else right  DO NOT SKIP THE PRIMER, you are only going to be disappointed with the outcome if you do.
Remember, painting is not just for decoration, it is a protective coating for your home. A small investment protecting a large investment.
When you start a ceiling, finish that ceiling. Never stop in the middle of the job, always keep a wet edge.
Do not start in the entrance corner or the opposite corner.  A good quality roller cover will help you get better coverage & help eliminate spatter, as will a good quality paint. A drop cloth (or several) is always mandatory.

    9. THE WALLS: Never stop in the middle of a wall, go corner to corner keeping a wet edge. Never cut in all the edges then go back and roll the wall (this can cause what is known as ‘picture framing’ or ‘hat banding’). Always brush and roll together keeping a wet edge. Two things should be considered when choosing a roller cover, the type or paint being used & the type of surface being painted.

  TIP: Before painting, rinse out a new roller cover to wash out loose fuzz, this will also help the cover to pick up paint. With roller loaded, take it to the wall & start with a Z or W pattern & fill in the rest. Remember, a 3/8" nap roller cover fully loaded with paint, will only cover about 2 – 2 ½ sq. ft. Do not over roll or stretch the material too far.

Dry time is important! Some paints have better dry hide, some have better wet hide. Before you decide if you need another coat, give the first coat (of latex paint) at least 4 hours dry time. By recoating too soon, you may be rewetting & lifting your first coat making coverage a never ending task.

  TIP: Remember to remove painters tape as soon as you get each section done. Have a wet rag handy as there will probably be a few spots where the paint got under the tape.

    10. Stand back and admire what a fantastic job you've just done. Replace switch & outlet covers, window treatments and put your room back together, then hang pictures, shelves, etc. after it drys for a day or two

 Now you can start planning the next room. Being creative & being organized helps take the ‘work’ out of the project.

What do you need to paint?

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