Monday, March 10, 2014


If you think painting is as easy as picking a color, you'd be surprised to know how in-depth the process really is. Everything from the type of brush to the primer has a hand in the success of your work. We've compiled a simple guide to walk you through the whole process, making sure your next painting project is done beautifully and correctly-the first time.

1. Pick the Proper Paint
Latex is the paint of choice for wall surfaces. These paints dry quickly and clean up easily with water, making them the natural choice for first-timers. Oil-based paints are often used on trim work because of their good adhesion and stain-resistance qualities.

2. Grab the Right Tool
Rollers should be used when painting large, flat surfaces. If using a latex paint, select a synthetic roller cover, such as nylon or polyester. Natural covers, such as those made of mohair or lambskin, should be used for oil-based paints. The same rule applies to brush bristles-synthetic bristles for latex; natural for oil-based paints.

3. Figure Out the Finish
A flat finish will soften a space, making it a good choice for bedrooms, dining rooms, and living rooms. Try a satin finish for your family room. It's easier to clean, making it perfect for this high-traffic area.

4. Priming Essentials
When in doubt, start with a primer. Using a primer will make your finished coat look even better, while providing a smooth, long-lasting finish. A primer is beneficial because it:

Seals the surface.
Helps ensure consistency of color and texture.
Covers stains and discoloration.
Creates a smooth shine.

Fills uneven surfaces.

5. Decipher the Color Code
Before you can pick a paint color, know the color classifications: active, passive, and neutral.

Active: These hues inspire action, and include reds, yellows, and oranges.
Passive: The shades in this category, such as blues, greens, and purples, work to pacify you.
Neutral: This group includes earth tones, such as grays and beiges.
To find the color combinations that will best suit the different rooms in your home, use your existing décor as inspiration. Your furnishings and accent pieces will pave the way to finding the perfect shade for each room. For example, if your furniture is beige and your throw pillows are brown, a neutral shade is probably best for the walls.

Another option is to consider the feeling you want the room to convey. Perhaps you want your guests to feel relaxed and at ease in your living room, but lively and fun in the family room. This will guide you to the right color palette for each room.

6. Perfect the Prep Work
Now that you know the basics, how can you set up your space so that it's paint-ready? Follow these simple prep-work steps:

Move your furniture. The last thing you want is paint dripping on your leather sofa. Either move your furniture into the center of the room or take it out of the space entirely. Any furnishings left in the room should be covered. (An old sheet makes for an inexpensive covering.) Do the same for flooring.
Remove any electrical switch plates from the wall.
Use painter's tape to cover any objects that can't be removed from the room, such as light switches and outlets.

You've selected the tools, found the perfect color combinations, and readied the room: Now it's time to begin. Happy painting!

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