Painting 101

Brushing up on the best way to paint a room, it might give you less stress, less mess, and a smarter way to paint a room.

Colour. The first step is paint colour selection. It’s a good idea to try a small sample on the wall or hang up a paint colour swatch to see how light affects the colour at different points in the day. Some paint manufacturers make it even easier for you. For example, Behr’s Preview Samples let you create your own custom-tint 8-oz. paint sample, enough to paint a 4′ x 6′ area of your home. You can order the inexpensive samples through the company’s Web site and they will be shipped directly to your home.

Sheen. After deciding on colour, you may want to select a sheen. For example, a flat/matte sheen helps hide surface imperfections. Low-lustre flat enamel sheen is very washable and perfect for high-traffic areas, while eggshell enamel offers superior scrubbability. Satin enamel has a silky warm, pearl-like finish, while semigloss is sleek, radiant and scrubbable.

Calculate. Determine the amount of paint you’ll need by measuring the height, depth and breadth of the room. Be sure to subtract the measurements of the doors and windows.

Prepare the room. Remove or cover the furniture. Make sure it’s away from the walls so you have room to work. Remove switch plates and outlet covers, and tape hinges, doorknobs and other small items you don’t want painted. Cover your floors with a drop cloth or plastic sheeting. Items that should not be painted (such as securely attached window valances and ceiling fans) should be completely covered with plastic sheeting or masking paper. Repair any holes or dents in the walls. Remove any loose debris from the damaged area using 100-grit sandpaper or a lightly water-dampened rag. Using a putty knife, apply a thin layer of patching material to any cracked or dented area, feathering the patching material one to two inches away from the repaired area to blend the surface evenly. Allow to dry. Sand finished area with 220-grit sandpaper, blending the patched area evenly with the surface.

Application. Once you get the paint home, stir it thoroughly. Use a high-quality, nylon/polyester brush.  Apply paint to the perimeter edges of the project area with a brush prior to rolling. Once the perimeter of the wall is done, pour the paint into a paint tray or a five-gallon bucket. Dip the roller cover completely into the paint, covering the entire roller cover area. Remove excess paint by rolling onto the ribbed section of the paint tray or bucket grid. Starting in an upper corner of the wall, place the loaded roller cover approximately three to four inches away from the painted perimeter. Working in a three-by-three-foot area, roll a “W” onto the wall. Roll back into the previously applied paint to maintain a uniform finish. Continue the “W” technique three to four inches away from the last section applied. Work from the top down, until the wall is completely covered.

Cleanup. Remove all tape and coverings. Take drop cloths out of the finished room and shake off dust and debris. When paint has dried, reattach switch plates and outlet covers and any hardware that was removed. Vacuum the floor, re-hang pictures and mirrors and put furniture and decorative accessories back where they belong. Wash brushes, rollers and pans in warm, soapy water. Work the cleaning solution throughout the brush bristles or roller cover, rinse twice in clean water. Allow to dry.

Sit back and enjoy your beautifully painted room. – DYH