Painting may not be everyone's favorite pastime, but knowing how to do it well is an important skill. After all, painting a room offers great impact at a low cost. With a few bucks and a few tips, any novice can transform a room from bland to bold, tired to lively, or outdated to updated.
Not keen to do it yourself? You still want to know what to look for and what you expect. At the end of the day, it's all about that paint, but it's not going to climb up onto the walls all by itself. Here are the most important things to know about paint, from buying to rolling.
1. Choosing a color
The look and feel of a room can be changed completely just be choosing a new wall color. But finding that perfect color is not always so easy. "Consumers typically try three to five paint colors before deciding on their final selection," said the Washington Post.
For those who don't know where to start, HGTV suggests experimenting "in a powder room or bathroom, a small hall or area between rooms, or an accent wall. To get started, select a favorite color drawn from artwork, a rug, dishes and an accessory or furniture piece as a main color or accent."
2. Buying the right stuff
If you're working with a designer, chances are you're going to end up with the good stuff, and there's nothing wrong with that. Good quality paint is just that: good quality. It's also, not surprisingly, good money. Experts swear by Benjamin Moore (and we're big fans ourselves), but Home Depot has a huge variety of paints for every budget, including some that compete in quality with the specialty paint stores.
Check out Yahoo's recommendations for paint that can cover in one coat.
All the necessary paint supplies can eat into your budget. You may be able to skimp on plastic paint trays (or use disposable plastic food keepers that might be hanging out in your kitchen cabinets) but treat yourself to a higher quality paintbrush and roller. Otherwise you might end up with stray brush bristles or chunks of nap stuck in your paint.
Check out Apartment Therapy's complete list of supplies before you go, and remember that household items (like plastic bags or cellophane for wrapping paint brushes and rollers while you're taking a break) can make do in a pinch.
4. Pick the right finish.
There are a number of finishes you can choose, and some work better than others in different types of areas.
"As for paint finishes, you can't fail with a matte or eggshell finish on walls and a satin finish on trim," said Real Simple. Although, if you have small kids and/or animals, or are prone to wiping your hands on the walls, stay away from matte. A shinier finish will be easier to wipe clean.
5. Make use of those supplies and prep well before going for it.
Once you've figured out the paint color, bought all the materials you need and are ready to begin, it's time to…stop. Fail to prep well for painting and you'll end up with a mess. On your furniture. On your baseboards. On your floors. On your ceiling. And everywhere else.
Prepping can be relatively easy or a huge hassle depending on the size of your space and the condition of your walls, but in the end it will all be worth it.
See DIY Network for a prepping overview.
6. Take your time.
Yes, painting your space may take longer than you want or expect, and you may be tempted to rush through it. But taking your time will yield the best results. Especially if you have a space that requires you to cut in, a little patience (and a steady hand) will be key to finishing the job in a way that doesn't require you to call a professional to come do it over.
7. Enjoy the finished project
Because painting is a relatively small job that can be done in a day or a weekend depending on the space, the gratification is near instant. Once you're finished, stand back, survey your work, and feel that sense of pride that comes with a job well done. And if, in the end, you don't like the color you chose, just remember: you can always start all over again.