Do It Yourself: Painting Interior Walls

You can change the look in any room of your house in just one day with a fresh coat or two of paint. Easy and inexpensive ways to remodel your decor.

You can change the look in any room of your house in just one day. All it takes is a fresh coat or two of paint. Whether you prefer pastels or bright, bold colors, painting a room can incorporate a whole new atmosphere for your home. Once you've painted, it will be easy to add pillows, make some inexpensive curtains, and maybe purchase a few household accessories. Before you know it, you've created a beautiful area that you can be proud of.

Painting the interior of your home really is easy. The hardest part for you will be deciding what color or colors you want to use. If you have a fabric that will be used in the room, take a good look at the colors. Is there a particular color in the fabric that you would love to see replicated on the walls. If so, then take a small fabric swatch to a paint or hardware supply store. The employees that work there can usually use a computer to match paint to the fabric.

If you are unsure of what color or even shade to use, visit the paint or hardware supply store and grab a bunch of paint samples. They are free, so take as many as you like. It is a good idea to even pick up colors that you don't think you would really like. You might change your mind once you get them home.

After you have looked at your samples, try to settle on a few specific colors or shades. Once you've narrowed the colors down to a few choices, wait a few days and reassess the samples. Hold them up to your walls at different times of the day, so that you can see how the colors look in various lights. If you have already picked out fabric, lay the samples against the fabric to see how they look together. Don't forget to consider the color and type of flooring in the room when you are choosing a paint color.

Once you have chosen a color, you need to decide what type of paint. There are a variety of finishes including gloss, semi-gloss, satin, flat, and eggshell. Gloss and semi-gloss paints are typically the easiest to wipe dirt and other marks off of, but they can be harder to apply. A water-based acrylic paint is the easiest to clean up after. You can clean your brushes and yourself with soap and water. You might want to seek the advice of one of the paint experts on what type of paint and finish to buy.

Other equipment that you will need include a couple of good paint brushes, one large and one small; some drop cloths; a paint tray; paint roller and covers; and painter's tape or masking tape. Once you have all of your supplies, you are ready to begin. Apply painter's tape or masking tape around doorways, window frames, baseboards, and anything else that you will be painting close to but you don't want to get paint on. Spread your drop cloths on the floor and use them to cover any furniture that you have left in the room. Be sure and wear old clothes because you will inevitably get paint on yourself at some point.

You might also want to open a window for extra ventilation. If the wall you are going to paint is in disrepair, patch all of the cracks and holes, and apply a paint base. This base will form a barrier that will take the paint much easier. If you have just purchased your paint, it should already be well mixed. Hopefully, the paint supply store gave you several stir sticks. You can mix the paint a little with these sticks before you begin painting.

Pour a generous amount of paint into your paint tray. Take your paint brush and carefully work along the wall next to the ceiling. Keep your hand steady and try not to get any paint on the ceiling itself. If you are going to paint a wall that has a window or doorway, be sure and paint around these areas, too, before you begin painting the wall.

Once you have covered the top edge of one wall, generously coat your paint roller by placing it into the paint tray and rolling it back and forth. You want to have the roller well covered with paint, but you don't want there to be so much excess that the paint will drip as you bring it up to the wall.

Move your roller in wide, long paths along the wall making a v-shape first and then filling in the middle of the "v". Continue to do this, completely covering the wall. You will probably need to do two coats, so don't worry if it doesn't look like it is covering as well as you'd hoped.

Continue to paint all the walls of the room. Once you have applied the first coat of paint, you will need to wait several hours before you can apply your second coat. Read the directions on the back of your paint can to determine how many hours you should wait for the paint to dry, and then apply the second coat of paint using the same procedure.

When you have finished painting, carefully pull off the painter's tape from around windows, doorways, and baseboards. If there is excess paint on your door casings, window frames, and baseboards, take a clean, damp cloth and wipe away the paint.

Try not to touch the painted surfaces for several hours. Clean all of your brushes and clean or throw away your roller cover. Hint-If you have to stop painting for a couple of hours, you can put your roller or paintbrush in a plastic bag and place it in your freezer. When you are ready to begin painting again, just take out the roller or brush and allow a few minutes for it to thaw, then get back to work. With a little effort and some great color, you can transform an ordinary room into an extraordinary area of your house.

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