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Painting in Your Home? Don’t Start Before Reading This.

28 May 2013

It’s often been said that one of the quickest ways to change the look of a room is to paint it and we’re in agreement.  However, the painting itself is anything but a quick process.  There’s nothing more frustrating than completing a home improvement project only to realize that glaring mistakes were made along the way that leave you with the choice of redoing the work or living with blemishes that become the focal point of a room.  Here are some tips on how to make your next home painting project a work of art.

Being a Slave to Trends- In 2002, the color of the year was “true red” (think fire engine red).  This led to homeowners across the country painting their walls this color.  While this might have seemed like a brilliant idea at the time, we’re guessing that homeowners are spending a lot more time removing the color than they did applying it.  Have the foresight to consider how hard it’s going to be to remove a color prior to applying it and whether or not you’re better off sticking to a more neutral (AKA sellable) color.

Not Understanding the Differences Between Finishes- Common types of paint finishes are: satin, semi-gloss, gloss, eggshell & flat.  The differentiating factor between finishes is typically luster and wash-ability.    In determining the paint finish you need, consider how the room is being used and the current condition of the walls that the paint is being applied to.

Skipping Primer- Yes, primer is an additional step in the painting process.  If you’re impatient, it’s often tempting to skip it.  However, skimping on primer will lead to problems later such as: paint that looks blotchy and uneven, evidence of brush marks and flaking.  Do it right the first time and save the hassle (and cost) of redoing the job.

Foregoing Painter’s Tape- Applying painter’s tape can seem like a huge time waster.  However, failure to use it can leave you with paint in areas you hadn’t planned on such as ceilings and trim.  This leads to further effort on your part to either clean or repaint over these areas.

Impulse Purchases- This is one time when an impulse purchase is unlikely to work in your favor, as there are many factors that determine what makes for a good paint choice, including your furniture, personal taste and the size of the room.  A great way to decide what color works for you is to visit a store and collect swatches of color you are attracted to and evaluate your feelings towards them as you hold them up against your walls.  If you’re tech savvy, there are several apps such as Wall Painter that allow you to take pictures of a room in your house and play around with paint colors until you find a color scheme that you like.

Treating Rooms as Individual Blocks Instead of Parts of a Whole- With so many homes having an open floor plan, this point is especially important.  While red and green are both beautiful colors, we’re betting that if you put walls with those colors next to each other (even if they’re technically in two different rooms) your friends are going to dub your house the “Christmas house”.

Taking for Granted that Your Walls are Clean- You’ll get professional looking results if you start with a clean palate.  Take the time to wash your walls prior to commencing your painting project.  You’ll be glad you did!

Unfavorable Conditions- Water-based paint takes longer to dry when the weather is full of moisture.  It’s not a bad idea for you to skip painting on a humid day so that you can achieve optimum results.