Recent surveys reveal that consumers will be doing a lot of remodeling this year. But with the sluggish economy, many are opting for do-it-yourself projects to squeeze the most out of their budgets. One of the most common undertakings: interior painting.
“Nearly everyone agrees that some jobs – like reroofing or electrical work – are best left to the pros, but most people think they can do their own painting,” says Debbie Zimmer, spokesperson for the Paint Quality Institute. “And, generally speaking, they’re right.”
According to Zimmer, many people regard painting as a weekend project. As such, they want to see the fruits of their labor by Sunday night. “That’s a realistic goal, but to achieve it, you have to plan out the job and be well-organized,” she says.
If your organizational skills leave something to be desired, Zimmer offers some suggestions:
1. Get all of your furniture out of the way by moving it to the center of the room, using plastic sliders on heavy items so you don’t have to lift them. Cover everything with plastic, blankets, or old sheets. Then, put down drop-cloths to protect your floors from stray droplets of paint.
2. Scrub all the surfaces you’ll be painting with a sponge and mild household detergent solution before going to the paint store. That will give them time to dry while you’re out shopping.
3. Making multiple trips to the paint store can consume gobs of time, so try to do all of your shopping in just one visit. Before leaving your home, see what painting tools and accessories you have on hand, then create a shopping list. . . or save even more time by going to www.paintquality.com to download a helpful checklist.
4. Buy technologically-advanced top quality 100% acrylic latex interior paint. These durable paints, some of which serve double-duty as both primer and paint, are better at hiding the color that’s underneath. As a result, you may need to apply just a single coat – saving you not only time and effort, but money as well.
5. Tape the edges of the surfaces you’ll be painting to enable you to apply the paint faster. You’ll quickly recover the time spent doing this. And taping will make your finished paint job look a lot neater.
6. Work “top down”: paint the ceiling; then the walls; next, the windows and trim; and, lastly, the baseboards. Following this sequence will help keep just-painted surfaces free of paint spatter or drip marks and cut down time spent on touch-up work.
7. When painting a ceiling or wall, start by “cutting in” a corner section with a paintbrush, applying a 3” band of paint around the edge. This will enable you to quickly fill in the area with a paint roller. Repeat this process in 3-foot increments.
8. Apply the paint liberally. Trying to “stretch” your paint by applying a thin coat is false economy: You might end up needing a second coat to completely hide the original color.
9. Assuming that you purchased top quality 100% acrylic latex paint, your cleanup will be a snap. Being water-based, these paints can be quickly and easily cleaned off of brushes and rollers with plain soap and water.
10. The last time-saver when using top quality latex paint? Not having to wait for the “paint smell” to go away. Eco-friendly latex paints have very little odor, so you can put a freshly-painted room back into service right away.
For more tips on saving time and money when doing interior painting, Zimmer suggests that you invest a few minutes checking out the Paint Quality Institute website at www.paintquality.com.
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