Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Take Five: Painting Tips

When we moved into our house a little over a year ago, I knew we had some painting to do to make it our own.  Little did I know that I would actually enjoy painting our house and I'd start painting other things like cabinets and furniture later on.  Even though I'm no expert, I've learned a lot after painting 11+ rooms in our house.  Here are some tips--

1.  Get this brush.  Really.

I learned about this little guy from this post at Young House Love.  It is the BEST brush for cutting in and painting small spaces (i.e. between a cabinet and wall, inside a cabinet).  It fits comfortably in your hand and it's really easy to control.  I'm the one who does the cutting-in in our house, and with this brush I can freehand it with no tape.  I'm not sure if I have the exact same one as in the YHL post, but I've seen similar brushes at Home Depot and at our local hardware store.  They're pretty easy to find.

2.  Your best friend while painting:  A wet rag.
The paint department manager at our hardware store recommended this trick to us.  I am eternally grateful.  When you're painting, keep a wet rag handy.  Got paint on the crown molding?  Dripped on the floor?  Rolled too close to the baseboard?  All of these common slip-ups can be immediately corrected with the swipe of a wet rag.  The reason our house looks like it was painted by an adult and not a 3 year old was because I constantly wiped up any mistakes before they dried.

3.  Use good quality materials.

Paint:  I love Benjamin Moore's Regal and Aura lines.  The coverage is great and the paint is a good consistency to work with:  not too thick, but not too drippy.  I've tried Olympic, Duron/Sherwin-Williams, and Behr and I just don't think the quality is the same.  I know BM is pricier than other brands, but I think it's worth it.
Supplies:  I use the Wooster Pro-Doo-Z rollers that I buy at our local hardware store.  I also use Frog Tape instead of regular blue painter's tape.  Bottom line, pick products because of how they work instead of how cheap they are.

4.  Don't underestimate the power of sanding!
Sanding roughs up the surface to help the paint stick.  Before we painted our kitchen white, I sanded the red semi-gloss walls with a medium-grit sanding block to scuff it up a bit.  I sanded down the textured bathroom walls before painting them.  Electric sanders are also super helpful when you're refinishing or painting wood furniture.  You don't need to sand regular walls that you're just repainting, but keep sanding in mind when you're working with more-stubborn-than-normal surface.

5.  If it makes you smile, go for it!
Painting a small room or closet a fun color can brighten the space and your spirits!  I painted the laundry room/garage door entry BM's Kalamata and I absolutely love it.  It's my little space of happy off the kitchen.  My friend Mandy painted her laundry nook bright green and it's so bright and cheery when she opens the doors.  A favorite memory of my sister-in-law is when her mom allowed her to paint her closet doors hot pink because it made her so happy.  It's really amazing what a pop of color can do!

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  1. I happened upon your blog when you posted it on fb. I love what you have done with your house. I just recently bought a townhouse and am going through similar things to make it mine. I painted the kitchen this last week and I couldn't agree more about sanding (we had sponge paint and stenciling) and a wet rag. The rag saved me so many times. Keep up the good work!

  2. Thanks for commenting, Jackie! Congrats on your new house! It's so fun making it your own. :)

  3. Thanks for stopping by! I have that brush too and I love it!!