Friday, September 2, 2011

How to Paint a Wall: Our Living Room

Remember when I shared paint swatches for my living room waaay back here?  Ya, it’s been awhile.  Well, the official winner for paint was Agave from BEHR.  We took a trip to the Home Depot and came back with bags full of painting supplies and two gallons of BEHR Premium Plus Ultra Paint and Primer in One in Interior Satin Enamel.  Besides paint here is what you will need before you get your painting on:

  • Paint Rollers
  • Smaller Brushes
  • Drop Cloth
  • Painters Tape (I recommend Frog Tape)
  • Sander/Sand Paper
  • Paint Trays
  • A step stool (if you are short like me and need a little…boost)
  • Nail Hole Filler
  • Putty Knife
  • Screw Driver

If you remember, we were working with two dark and mysterious maroon walls that definitely needed a makeover.

The first step is to prep your surface.  This means taking off all light switches, vent covers, etc. that will be hard to paint around.

Then put down an initial drop cloth (to catch all the dust).  We used a cheap plastic one from Home Depot. 

Next, you need to make sure your wall is nice and smooth so that new coat of paint looks nice and smooth.  Take out all your nails and sand down the nail holes and rough/raised patches.  This can be anything from a bad mud job that left some bumps on the wall to previous paint drips.  It’s all gotta go. 

After all that sanding there are probably a few holes in the wall (from nails) and a lot of dust!  Wipe your wall clean and use a your putty knife to spread the nail hole filler over your holes. When doing this my first instinct was to wipe off all the nail filler with the putty knife and make it nice and flat.  That’s a bad idea because then when the mud dries there still may be an indent from your hole.  Thank goodness I had the hubby around to set me strait.  It’s best to leave the filler raised at bit.  Let it dry for 15 – 20 minutes (test it because you’ll know if it’s still wet) and sand down again to make a smooth finish.  Wipe down your wall and you are now ready for painting….while almost!

You then need to tape. Around everything.  This means trim, where one wall meets another (if the wall is a different color), and any other weird obstacles that are in your way.  It was pretty humid the day we were taping, even with the air conditioning on, so getting the tape to stay was a bit tricky.  We brought in our dehumidifier which was amazing for the tape, and also helped the paint dry better!

Then secure your drop cloth over your whole floor.  We have hardwood in the living room so it was really important to us that we didn’t ruin it with a big ole' paint splotch.  You probably feel the same about your house.  If we were expert painters we probably could have gotten by with just around the edges BUT did we want to take that risk? Nope!

Now you are officially ready to open that paint can!  A great tip the hubby taught me is that when you open the can, put a few nail holes around the rim of the can where paint tends to get stuck (which is a beeyotch when it dries there and either gets into your paint OR makes the can really hard to open).  This allows the pain to naturally drain back down into the can where it belongs.

Since we got BEHR paint with primer we got to skip the step/work/extra money for primer! Woo hooo!  I totally recommend this to anyone thinking about painting.  We got er’ done in only two coats!  Start by painting just around the edges of everything with a small brush.  This makes it easier when you are painting with your roller so you don’t have to get too close to the edges, or your ceiling, or anything else that could be disastrous.  It’s kind of like making a line to color in. 

Next use rollers to paint in the rest of your wall.  For most people, the W pattern works best, but you will find your rhythm of what works for you!

Let the paint dry the suggested time on the can.  I think we went a little over at 6 – 7 hours for dry time when the can recommended 2-4.  After your coat has dried, repeat painting the edges and filling in the middle with a roller as many times as you need to cover your wall.  For us it was only two!  Then roll up your drop cloth, clean off your brushes, and voila! You have a new room!

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