Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Mass. Confusion
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We've painted a lot - one condo throughout and two houses, so all this comes from learning from our mistakes
Buy a quart of paint and paint a big swatch before you decide on your color and buy the rest of the paint - a pretty color on the swatch can come out much darker or lighter than you were thinking.
Buy quality paint - cheap paint covers poorly and you use a lot more. We've generally used Behr and been happy with it (brand sold at home depot) - the one time we bought glidden (cheaper brand at home depot) we regretted it. Also, don't buy flat paint - or the Behr flat enamel - they claim it is washable - it is not, it discolors.
Don't bother with little devices to help you paint the edges - they don't work, they drip paint, etc Get a few quality paintbrushes with angled tips for edging.
Use the blue painting tape to protect things, but be careful - we used to put it on thinking we could just slap paint all over it and we'd just end up with the paint seeping in under the edge of the tape no matter how much we pressed the tape down - its very useful stuff, but you are better off with a steady hand carefully edging along the woodwork and wiping up drips than covering it all with tape and relying on that to create a straight edge.
Also get quality rollers - the cheap ones will leave fluff in your paint. BTDT!
Cloth drop clothes can still seep paint through - get plastic.
We generally paint a room this way - ceiling first - edge around the ceiling, then roll the ceiling (definitely get a pole for this - don't use a broom handle, they are too flimsy). Then we go around the edges of the room with the wall color, then roller the room, repeat.
If you are covering a dark color, use a primer - primer is cheaper than paint and it will take less to cover between primer & paint vs just paint.
Paint in bare feet - if you step in a drip of wet paint, you will feel it and can wash it off before you track it all over the unprotected areas of the house.
Get spackle and fill any holes in your walls - paint will not fill them, even if they are small once the paint is dry you'll see it again.
If you have anything that sticks out from the face of the wall (like a molly screw ancor) do not try to spackle over it, you'll end up with a bump. Pound it furhter into the wall so its fairly deep and then spackle.
Blue tape will not come off cleanly if left on for too long (it says how long on the package) - make sure you take it off sooner rather than later.
Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)