Painting a room in your home is one of the easiest ways to give the space a facelift, but it can seem intimidating to do it yourself. How much paint do you need? Is there a right (or wrong) brush? Sometimes all you need to restore your interior-painting confidence can be learning a few tricks of the trade.
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Calculate the amount of paint you need in a flash. Here’s an easy paint-measuring rule of thumb: for every 350 square feet of surface area, you’ll need one gallon of paint. Take rough measurements of the room you’re painting and use this online calculator to help you decide how much to buy. Tip: Grab an extra quart of paint for touch-ups in the future.
Choose the right brush. Then brush you choose will depend on the paint type. If you’re using latex paint, grab a synthetic brush. If you’re using oil-based paint of a varnish, opt for a natural bristle brush. Use this rule of thumb: the more natural the bristles are, the smoother and glossier the paint finish will be.
Clean ceiling corners with a broom handle. Paint mixed with dust is probably not the décor look you’re going for. So before you start painting, clean dust and cobwebs from corners. Attach an old sock to a broom handle with a rubber band and attack those spider webs!
Use an old sheet to cover furniture. Instead of buying a canvas tarp for your furniture, use an old sheet. Clear the room as much as possible before you start painting – anything you can lift should be moved – and then drape sheets over any furniture that is left. The sheet will protect your belongings from paint splatters.
Put faceplates and screws in plastic bags. Before you grab a paintbrush and start painting, remove light switch covers and the screws holding them in place. Give them each their own separate bag to avoid any confusion when you’re ready to screw them back into place. Tip: An unused ice cube tray works for this, too.
Secure painter’s tape with a putty knife. After you’ve taped off the room, run a putty knife overtop the painter’s tape, pressing down to secure it in place. This will prevent any bleeding paint and ensure crisp, clean lines. Tip: No putty knife? The dull edge of a butter knife will work, too.
Don’t forget to tape door hardware. Make sure your door knobs and the door’s hinges are covered before you start. The same goes for the door’s frame.
Prevent paint spills. If you’re using a paintbrush and paint can (as opposed to a paint roller and tray), wrap a rubber band around the can from top to bottom so that it sits across the middle of the opening to prevent paint splatters and dripping. Tap the paintbrush against the rubber band instead of the lip of the can.
Place an onion in the room to dissipate the smell. A freshly painted room smells terrible, so grab an onion to alleviate the stink! When you’re finished painting the room, cut the onion in half and place the two halves in opposite corners of the room. Let the onion sit for a few hours. Don’t worry, this trick will help absorb the fresh paint odor without leaving a lingerng onion stench afterwards.