home's interior can perform wonders! You can change it from drab
to dynamic, from shabby to sophisticated, and from faded to fresh!
The proper materials and a few basic painting tips are all you
need to transform one room or an entire home. Doing your own
painting can save you money, and if you plan carefully and follow
these instructions, you will achieve professional results.
The first step in any redecorating project is to select an overall
color scheme. That means taking all aspects of your decorating
plan into consideration -- furnishings, carpeting and wall color.
Color can create a mood, accentuate architectural assets and
hide flaws. Be sure to consider the items listed below when selecting
- What type of
mood you want to create.
- What furniture,
artwork, architectural features, or other aspects of the room
you want to emphasize.
- Any awkward
physical characteristics of the room you would like to overcome.
- The color you
decide to paint your walls should be an integral part of your
decorating decisions. Once you have decided on the wall color,
you can select a specific paint shade using samples of all materials
to be included in the room. Remember, color may appear differently
depending on how large the painted area is, whether a glossy
or flat finish is used, what other colors are nearby and the
type of lighting used in the room.
Before beginning any new paint project, assemble all of the items
you will need to complete it. Here's a list:
- 1. Paint - in
a sufficient quantity to do the entire job
- 2. Appropriate
applicators (brushes, rollers, etc.)
- 3. Dropcloths
- old sheets are fine
- 4. Stepladder
- 5. Screwdriver
- to remove wall hooks, door knobs and switchplates
- 6. Plastic automotive
tape - to edge window panes and cover other areas you don t want
painted. (Used for painting stripes on cars, it is available
at auto supply and paint stores.)
- 7. Hand cream
- to rub on your hand and arms before painting to make paint
- 8. Turpentine
or paint thinner - when using oil-based paint
Paint comes in a wide variety of brands and types. These brief
descriptions will help you decide which type best suits your
Latex paints - These are water-thinned
and apply easily with a brush or roller. Clean-up with soap and
water is a distinct advantage. Latex paints are available in
most gloss ranges and will do a good job in most interior areas.
They are not flammable and have a very mild odor.
- These are solvent-thinned paints. They apply well with a brush
or roller but need turpentine or mineral spirits for clean-up.
Sometimes preferred for areas where constant cleaning is necessary,
like kitchens and bathroom shower areas. Very high gloss enamels
are usually solvent-thinned. Odor is stronger during application
than with latex paints, but disappears after a few days.
Enamels - Enamels are generally
smoother and dry to a harder surface than other interior paints.
They are available in high or low gloss and can be either latex
Gloss - The gloss is the luster
or shininess of a dry paint. Paints are usually classified as
flat, eggshell, semi-gloss or high gloss. A wide variety of gloss
ranges is available.
- These are available for most surfaces. Wood floors, concrete
or masonry and metal surfaces require specific products. Consult
your paint retailer and read the paint can label carefully for
usually contains alkali, the paint used to cover it should be
alkali-resistant. Special paints are generally recommended.
Over iron or
steel, a rust-inhibitive primer is usually desirable. Any type
of enamel or paint may be used over the primer as a topcoat -
depending on the use of the area to be painted.
It'salways wise to choose good quality paint applicators. They
produce more satisfactory results and a better looking job. Here
is a list of the various applicators:
- recommended for thin-bodied coatings such as varnish, enamel
and shellac. They should not be used with water-thinned (latex)
paints. They wear down faster than synthetic brushes.
- especially suited for use in water-thinned coatings because
of their stiffness. However, on rough surfaces they wear down
faster than nylon brushes.
- similar to polyester, but more abrasion resistant. They lose
some of their stiffness after long exposure to latex paint on
hot days. The type of bristling material should be stamped on
the handle of the brush. Any brush you choose should be flagged
(split tips). This enable sit to retain more paint and spread
it more uniformly.
Rollers - when you want to paint
a large area in a short time. They are available in a variety
of widths. Like brushes, some are better for one type of paint
than another. A power paint roller that thumps paint out of the
can and through the paint roller is also available and is useful
for large jobs.
Pad applicators - apply paint smoothly
and fast, but require some skill. They come in various widths
and are used with a roller tray.
Spray applicators - mechanical spraying
equipment can be purchased or rented. These can be either airless
(hydraulic) or conventional air-atomized spray types. They are
good for large jobs or hard-to-paint areas like shutters and
louvered doors. Use spray applicators safely by following manufacturers
directions. Open doors and windows and wear an appropriate paint
- clear coatings, paints and enamels are available in convenient
spray containers. They are ideal for painting wicker furniture
or other small difficult-to-paint projects. Open doors and windows
to improve ventilation.
Proper surface preparation is the key to a professional-looking
and long-lasting paint job. Follow these steps for preparing
- Examine plaster
walls for cracks and mars.
- Fix small hairline
cracks with spackling material; fill larger cracks with special
matching plaster. Sand lightly when dry for a smooth surface.
- Clean the surface
to remove dirt, oil, grease, rust and flaking paint.
- Remove all hardware
from doors and windows and loosen lighting fixtures or cover
these areas with masking tape and scraps of paper or cloth.
Bare or new surfaces and surfaces with areas where the paint
has deteriorated will require a prime coat. If the old coating
is intact and free of rust and peeling or blistering paint, it
can serve as the prime coat after a light sanding. The topcoat
you have chosen will usually name the proper primer to accompany
it on the paint can'slabel. Sometimes the topcoat itself is recommended
as a primer - consult the can label.
Read all label instructions on the can of paint thoroughly and
follow all suggestions especially for stirring.
cream into your hands and arms - it will be easier to remove
all paint from your skin by washing with warm soap and water
when the job is done.
Cover floor and
furniture with dropcloths or sheets. Clean up paint splatters
as you go along. They re much easier to remove when they are
If you are using
solvents or solvent-thinned paints be sure all pilot lights and
fires are out before you begin. When using any type of paint
or coating, be sure there is plenty of fresh air and ventilation
in your working area.
To prevent one lap from drying before you paint the next lap,
work across the width of the ceiling rather than the length,
painting about two-foot wide, slightly overlapping strips.
If you are using
a ladder to reach the ceiling (rather than using a long-handled
roller), be careful not to reach too far or risk falling off
When you move
the ladder, remove paint, brushes, or rollers to avoid spilling.
Begin at the upper left-hand corner if you are right-handed,
and at the upper right-hand corner if you are left-handed; work
down toward the floor.
When using a
roller, paint the outside edges with a brush first for a neater
Use a round, one-inch brush for window sashes and a two to three-inch
brush for the remainder of the trimwork throughout your house.
floor molding, put tape along the floor, to protect it from paint.
Use tape along the edges of the glass, and then paint the various
window parts in this order: mullions, horizontal sashes; vertical
sashes; vertical frames; horizontal frames; sill; and apron.
When you ve finished
painting, follow paint can label directions for clean-up and
© National Paint & Coatings Association