Friday, March 04, 2011

How I Paint a Room Efficiently

    Well, I was going to title this post "The Best Way to Paint a Room."  Then I realized that was more than a little presumptuous, since everyone does things differently and has their own set of tricks and tips.  I thought I would share mine with you.  I have had many opportunities to refine my technique, because when we moved into our last house, we got a quote to have it repainted.  When the quote came in at $6,000, I decided that A) I could make a lot of money if I went into painting as a career, and B) I should paint our house.  Which I did.  Almost every single surface - trim, doors, walls, several ceilings.  And since we have moved into our new house, I have painted several rooms as well, because I have a high need for things to be original to us.  (John thinks this is a little crazy, but allows it since I do not ask him to assist in the painting in any way.)  And this is the way I do it.

     First, you must have the right color.  I have learned the hard way that sampling is important.  Very important.  So, I now always buy a sample and try out colors in the rooms.  This was a good move in this room, since the first color I picked out ended up looking like Pepto Bismal with a hint of purple.  Yuck.  Also, having the right paint is important.  I buy the Premium paint that has some kind of primer included in it.  For me, this saves time, because I can do one really thick coat and then touch up where it needs a little help instead of doing two entire coats.

     Second, you must have the right gear.  For me this means Purdy paint brushes.  These make cutting in so much easier, and though they are more expensive, I believe they save time and energy because they are so much better.  I do not use blue tape for trim.  I decided a while back that taping off all of the trim and then having to touch up where it bleeds through and then taking all the tape off would take longer than just cutting in with a good brush.

     This may sound lazy, but first, I go around the bottom of the room getting everything I can get sitting down.  I do this while my little friends are sleeping, because this is where they would be most likely to get into the paint.

Paint bottom

Next, I go around the room cutting in what I can reach by standing up.

Paint middle

Then, I do the top part of the room - everything that I need a ladder to get to.

Paint top

I have to usually paint in stages, because I have little friends who are high maintenance that have to eat and have their diaper changed and be loved on.  In between the stages, I wrap my paint brush in a plastic bag so that no cat or friend can get at it, but mostly so that it won't dry out.  Overnight I usually stick the wrapped paint brush in the freezer to keep it fresh.  (I have forgotten paint brushes in the freezer that have been found while moving.  So food safe.)


I take all the outlet covers off and cut in around them.


Here is Lily getting in on the fun.  She found the sample paints and paint brushes and was pretending to paint with me.

Lily paint

Finally, it is time to roll the walls.  Since all the cutting in is already done, this is a very fulfilling step.  It means I am almost done.


Now, you may be wondering where drop cloths figure into this.  I do not use them.  I am just extra careful with my brush and roller.  I do always keep a plastic bag under the paint can, and I do keep paper under the tray that I roll from.  I have had a lot of practice, so this works for me, and I figure that the extra time I take being careful is less than the time it takes to find and put down and pick up drop cloths.  I know this would not work for everyone.  This time when I did the craft room, this little spot was my only drip.  I am going to cut it off with scissors.


I have had painting disasters.  Exhibit A is the picture below from when Lily kicked over an entire quart of paint from the changing table onto the nursery floor.  That carpet has never been the same - in fact, we should probably replace but have not gotten around to it.

But, the craft room has no painting disasters yet.  I got all the walls to be the lavender that I wanted them.  Next up, I am planning on painting one of the walls plaid.  Should be exciting!



Miranda said...

This is a little silly! But I am impressed with your dedication to wall painting! You can come to our house anytime you want!

Anonymous said...

Very pretty colors and some great tips!! I will have to ask Papa if that is the way he paints. It is interesting to me that you paint your door and trim the same color as wall. It all looks great!! love you, Meme'