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DIY painting tips: Painting your room

If you’re new to painting a room, you’ve come to the right place.

I spent some time with Progressive Insurance Facility Maintenance Technician Kevin Morris to brush up on some painting DIY tips. To put it mildly, he and the Facilities Team have painted a lot of walls.

“If you’re hiring a painter, it costs about $40-45 an hour and at least $1 per square foot,” he said. “At the end of the day, that’s a pretty big bill, which is why I would much rather do it myself.”

So, you’ve purchased your equipment and chosen your sheen. Now, you’re ready to paint your house—or, at the very least, a room.

“Don’t wake up and say, ‘I’m going to paint the whole house today,’ because it’s just not going to happen,” Morris said. “You’ll find that painting a room, let alone an entire house, is quite the project.”

Safety first, painting second

To prevent paint splatter from getting in your eyes or hair, wear protective glasses and a baseball cap.

If you need to use a ladder, make sure it’s working properly and is fairly new. “Don’t use that old, wooden ladder that your grandpa gave you,” Morris said.

Prepare your room for the perfect paint job

Wipe down the entire wall, including trim and moldings, with a damp cloth.

Using a putty knife, apply joint compound or spackle in any holes, cracks or bumps. Wait until dry, then sand down with an 80- to 120-grit sandpaper.

Protect the edges of the walls you don’t want to paint with painter’s tape. Rip off 1- to 2-foot strips and tape around the edges, then secure the edges with a putty knife. Be sure you’re not touching the part that you want to paint.

Cover furniture and TVs (or anything else that you don’t want to splatter with paint) with your painter’s plastic.

Lay the canvas down in front of the wall that you’re going to paint.

Sand trim with extremely fine grit sandpaper. Morris also recommended Krud Klutter® DeGlosser to wipe on trim prior to painting.

Paint the ceiling, trim, and then the wall

As a general rule, Morris recommended tackling the ceiling first, followed by the trim, and, lastly, the walls.

“Painting the trimwork before the walls is important, because it’s easier to tape off the trim. You also have the potential of pulling paint off the walls when you remove the tape—there’s less risk of that with the trim,” Morris said.

Let the trim paint dry a minimum of 24 hours before you apply the tape.

Pro-tips for painting your walls

First, use your paint trim cup and brush to paint around the edges of your taped sections. Morris recommends painting with your brush about 2.50 inches out from the side, which allows for an easier roll while keeping the paint off the walls you don’t want to paint.

Place your paint liner in your paint pan and fill with paint.

Connect your paint stick and roller and dip the roller into the paint. Slowly roll back and forth on the studded edges to get rid of excess.

Starting at the left or right side of the wall (your preference), roll top to bottom in a 3-foot area working your way to the opposite side of the wall.

Spread evenly and smooth over any excess paint blotches that pop up when you’re rolling.

Let the first coat dry 60-70 minutes, then put on another coat. Usually you can get away with two coats, but be sure to scan the entire wall to check for blemishes or differentiation in color.

Wait at least 30 minutes after applying the second coat before removing your painter’s tape. This will help prevent peeling the paint.

Remember to let it dry! “It’s not going to look good as you’re painting,” Morris said. “Give it that 60-70 minutes and then inspect your wall for re-coat and finish.”

It’s time for clean up

Pour the remainder of the unused paint back into the cans and save it for potential touch-ups in the future.

If you’re finished painting, Morris recommends tossing the disposable rollers and washing off the brushes with Krud Klutter® Brush Cleaner.

Fill a 5-gallon bucket with warm water, and clean the bristles thoroughly. Don’t be afraid to use your fingers.

If you run out of time and need to continue your painting another day, wrap your brushes and rollers in a plastic bag and stick them in the refrigerator. It will keep them moist overnight and eliminate the need to clean them until you’re truly finished.