Update your home with Color

Thomas J Smith
Thomas J Smith
Published on February 6, 2018

One of the best ways to update your home is with paint.  It is relatively low cost and  you can do it yourself.  Here are some tips to help make the job look professional.

Paint and Equipment

Interior:  For bedroom and living areas most people choose a high-quality latex paint that is water based in a flat or eggshell sheen.  You can check out the  no VOC paint that is now available.  For doors, windows and woodwork, semi-gloss is the preferred choice.  Latex is still preferred to oil based paints because it cleans up with water, is easier to work with  and is friendlier to the environment.


Determine How much Paint You Will Need  Calculate the square footage and take that figure to the store with you.  A gallon of paint will cover a specific area.  Simply divide your square footage by the coverage per gallon.  Buy enough so that there’s some left over for touch up. Or check out the paint companies web sites for their paint calculator, (it is so much easier!)



Brushes and rollers:  You should use high quality equipment.  Cheap brushes and rollers will not do as good a job and will not last nearly as long.  For latex paint, use nylon brushes.  For oil based, like varnish, use natural bristle brushes.  It’s a good idea to have at least two sizes, a straight brush 2-3 inches wide and an angled brush 1-1 ½ inches wide for trim.  When choosing roller sleeves, the nap or thickness of the material, you should use depends on the surface texture”  The rougher the wall, the higher the nap you will need.


Other equipment:  You will need drop cloths, plastic or cloth, paint masking tape, spackle, a scraping tool, caulking compound, a caulking gun and sandpaper.  Experts at the store can help you select the right equipment


You need to prepare the surfaces properly.  Make sure the walls are clean and free of cobwebs and dust.  Patch any holes or cracks with spackle.  Once the spackle dries, smooth it out with the sandpaper.  Caulk around the woodwork, doors and window frames if necessary.  If you have marks you cannot wash off, they may bleed through the new paint so you should spot prime them.



If you are painting the ceiling, do it first.  Brush around the edges and around light and fan fixtures.  If you  are painting the ceiling and walls the same color, you can brush a few inches down the wall at the same time.  Next you will roll the ceiling.  You can attach your roller handle to an adjustable extension pole so you do not have to climb a ladder.

Repeat the process with the walls; first brush any areas you cannot reach with the roller, including the ceiling line (if a different color than the ceiling), corners and baseboard and follow up with the roller.  Roll up and down in a W pattern and fill in, making sure coverage is even across the wall.


To paint the woodwork, use your angled brush.  Many people put a strip of painters masking tape under the baseboard to protect the carpet and make painting go faster.


You can also check out the paint companies websites for additional painting tips and instructions.

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