Yes, painting is relatively quick and painless, but it is not instantaneous. If you start painting at 4 p.m., you’ll be up all night. Before beginning your project, make sure you determine how long each step will take. Allow for appropriate drying time for both primer and actual paint application. If you begin applying paint over wet primer—or a second coat over a wet first coat—you’ll have a big mess on your hands. Best practices call for at least an hour to two hours of drying time for most interior latex paints.
Start from a Clean Canvas
Many people simply want to slap the paint up on the walls and they don’t take the time to think about surface preparation. If you paint a new color on top of walls that are already cracked and full of nail holes, the new paint is not going to adhere correctly.
Instead, plan on washing the walls thoroughly and spackling any holes in the drywall before you apply the first coat of primer. A clean surface allows for a more even application and better quality finish. And don’t forget to use primer. Primer allows the paint to better grip the wall surface and thus helps to avoid cracking and peeling.
End with a Clean Canvas
If you start clean, you’ll end clean. That means you have to prepare for the final cleanup. Always be sure to secure drop cloths and painter’s tape to any area you don’t want covered with tiny little paint flecks. If you make sure to cover any exposed furniture, electronics, appliances and keep small children out of the room, you’ll spend far less time cleaning up after you’ve finished painting.
Up a Creek Without a Brush
Consumers sometimes forget that the tools they use to paint are just as important as choosing the right paint. A good rule of thumb is to have a multi-use painter’s tool, a sturdy roller frame with multiple roller covers and a few different sized brushes.
Cheap Price Means Cheap Quality
Although the color of your paint is the most visible aspect, the quality of the paint is much more important. If you choose the cheapest paint available, and then it starts to fall off the wall, it won’t matter what color it is. Some of the best quality paints are those manufactured specifically for durability. Make sure to research your paint selection. If you don’t plan on purchasing good quality paint, plan on a lackluster result and constant touchups.
There are a multitude of tools available to help you choose the right color for your space—everything from handheld color chips to poster sized adhesive sheets to actual sample size containers of paint. More importantly, don’t forget to choose colors that will flow from room to room.
Color flow refers to how the colors in each room of your home mesh and blend with each other. Having a deep red dining room buttressed directly against a soft green kitchen with white trim may eventually feel like you’re living in a Christmas tree. Make sure to stay in the same color family. If you really love browns and reds, then stay in the warm and neutral color family. Don’t paint one room blue (a cool color) and have the very next room a shade or orange (a warm color). It won’t look right.