I've painted many rooms in my day (I'm a little bit of a painting junkie), and like so many other things, once you get the hang of the process it's really quite fun. Throw on some old clothes, kick out the jams, and after a few hours of good old physical labor, you'll have a wonderfully transformed space.
I've found that getting my supplies in order makes a big difference when the time comes to start painting. Having all prep and paint supplies at the ready cuts down on frustration and helps the process move along more quickly. If you're getting ready to start your own painting project, here's a supply checklist that should cover everything you'll need.
Before getting to the fun part, it's important to spend a few hours prepping your walls; patching holes, cleaning, and sanding are all important to achieving the best result.
• Spackle & spatula - Use to patch any holes.
• Metal paint scraper - Use to scrape off any peeling or cracking paint (if necessary) before sanding.
• Fine grit sand paper - Use to even out rough texture and smooth down any bumps.
• Mild soap & water solution - Use to clean any dirt or grease off walls before priming.
• Painter's tape - Use to tape off borders so paint doesn't bleed into areas you are not painting; also use painter's tape to cover hardware and outlets. I really like Frog Tape, which I've found to work great to achieve clean edges.
• Canvas tarp or plastic drop cloth - Use to protect floors and furniture (if furniture cannot be moved out of the general painting area). I've even used old newspapers in a pinch, but wouldn't recommend if painting in a carpeted area.
• Angled paint brush - Use to paint corners. Angled brushes help achieve clean edges without paint bleed, which can be tricky in corners if using a regular flat brush.
• 3-inch flat paint brush - Use for "cutting in", which is the process of painting the border around the taped-off area.
• Paint roller frame & roller covers - Use a roller for the majority of painting, since it's a much faster method than a brush. If you're painting a large room or a room with high ceilings, I would recommend using a painter's pole, which you attach your roller to for extended reach.
* Note about roller covers: Make sure to choose an appropriate roller cover for your project. All covers are not made the same, as some are designed for smooth wall surfaces, others for stucco or brick, and yet others are designed for extra smooth surfaces like metal.
• Paint tray - Use to hold smaller portions of paint as you work. Also useful to avoid dipping brushes directly into paint cans, which can contaminate paint with dust and dirt.
• Primer - Primer is an undercoat applied before color. If you are painting over an existing color, primer covers existing color and creates a blank slate so the new color will go on evenly and require less coats. Primer also contains binding properties that allow paint to adhere more evenly, so you can achieve a much more polished result in a shorter amount of time. Many paint brands now have the option of having primer mixed into the paint color, which can be a time-saving option.
• Interior Paint - Finally, the fun part! Beyond choosing the color, there are different types of paint and each type is suited for different purposes.
- Flat paint is suited for low-traffic areas and ceilings, since it provides a dull, no-gloss finish and is harder to clean.
- Satin and Eggshell paints are suited for higher traffic areas (e.g., living and bedrooms) since they are easy to clean and offer light-reflective qualities that are desirable in most rooms.
- Semi-gloss and High-gloss paints are suited for trim, windowsills, banisters, or smaller surface areas; these paints are not recommended for wall surfaces.
For those of you who are nervous about taking on interior painting, don't be. It may not go perfectly the first time out, but in the words of Bob Ross, the man, the myth, the painter of so many happy little trees...just so, so many little trees: "There are no mistakes, just happy accidents". Word. Now go paint some happy little walls!