Household Paint Tips: 6 Steps To A Perfect Paint Job

Painting the interior of your home perfectly requires little skill, but a great deal of time and patience.

There is no other home improvement that can more easily and more dramatically change the appearance of a home than a new paint job. The process is relatively inexpensive and requires less skill than other remodeling and redecorating projects. However, painting does require a great deal of time and patience. Here are six steps to help you successfully paint the interior of your home.

1. Prepare. Paint only one room at a time and begin by adequately preparing the room to be painted. Remove all furniture that can be safely stored in other areas of the house. If you have no other place for the furniture, slide it to the center of the room to be painted. Remove all pictures from the walls and curtains and blinds from the windows. Also remove faceplates from electrical outlets and light switches. Fill in any holes in the walls and trim work with spackle compound. Use a damp rag to wash any dirt from the walls. If you are painting paneling, wipe down all wall and trim surfaces with a damp rag.

2. Tape. Use masking tape or painters tape to tape off any areas that you do not want to paint. Tape the edges around all windows, door locks, knobs, and hinges, ceiling light fixtures, and electrical outlets and light switches.

3. Paint the ceiling. Paint jobs are sometimes limited to the walls and trim work. Applying a new coat of paint to the walls will accentuate the deteriorating condition of the ceiling, however. Most ceilings are white, and turn yellow over time. This discoloration is often not evident until the walls are painted. Painting the ceiling is often difficult because the paint sometimes drips from the ceiling onto the floor and walls. Therefore, you should paint the ceiling first, since the any drips on the walls will be covered later in the process. If you are painting the ceiling with a roller, you will need to apply two or three coats of paint to cover spots where the roller skips. These spots will often not be evident when painting a white ceiling until the paint dries. To avoid leaving spots on the ceiling unpainted, use ceiling paint that goes on one color (typically gray) and dries another color (typically white). This will allow you to more easily detect and repaint spots skipped by the roller.

4. Paint the trim. Trim includes windows, crown molding, doorframes and doors, and baseboards and quarter round. Apply two coats of paint to all trim to assure adequate covering. Use a small detail brush to paint the trim so that you will less excess paint applied to undesired areas. If you are painted quarter round, you may use a putty knife to assure that the paint does not get onto the floor covering. You might also consider taping the edges of the floor underneath the quarter round to prevent applying paint to the floor. Allow the trim to dry for approximately twenty-four hours before beginning to paint the walls.

5. Tape the trim and cut in with the colors around the trim. Once the trim is painted, the best way to insure that you will paint the walls without accidentally painting tiny drops or lines on the trim is to tape off the trim work. Use masking tape to tape the trim work in all of the areas where it meets the walls to be painted. Once all of the trim work has been taped, use a paintbrush to paint a stripe around the taped areas. Also paint the corners of the rooms using a brush.

6. Paint the walls. Once all of trim lines and corners have been painted with a brush, apply one coat of paint the remainder of the wall surface. This area can be painted with a brush, but is more easily painted with a paint roller. Apply one coat of paint to all of the wall surfaces. Apply a second coat around the trim lines and wall surfaces. Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours. Use a utility knife to cut away the tape from all surfaces.

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