Painting your Room Arlington VA
Falls Church, VA
Takoma Park, MD
Painting your Room
When painting a room, you want the outcome to be something you can look on with pride and satisfaction. Although preparing the surfaces can take longer than actually painting them, professional painters say that it’s a necessary step to ensure the high quality results you want.
No matter how careful you are, you’re going to make a mess. The more you can avoid getting paint where it doesn’t belong, the better. Move furniture to the center of the room, and leave space to move around and stand on a ladder. Cover furniture completely with plastic or canvas drop cloths. Cover walking areas as well, either with drop cloths or with newspaper taped tightly to the edges of the room.
Wear a hat to protect your head and face from paint splatters. Wear shoes or plastic booties that you can take off quickly and easily when you leave the room, to keep you from tracking paint wherever you go. Open the windows; fresh air ventilates the room and helps the paint dry faster.
Remove and Protect
Before you paint, remove door handles and strikeplates. Also remove light switch plates and outlet plates. Put the screws back in their respective holes so you don’t lose them. Cover the cavities with tape, so you don’t get paint into them—you’ll thank yourself later. Climb up to the ceiling, and loosen and lower coverplates from ceiling fans and light fixtures. Cover them with plastic, and tape it securely. Apply painter’s tape along joints such as ceiling, windows, doors, and baseboards. Don’t forget the doorknobs. Loosen the plates and cover with plastic, securing the plastic with tape.
Also apply the tape to the top of horizontal surfaces such as doors and windows. It’ll keep those places clear of paint spatters. TIP: Sometimes paint can bleed beneath tape. To prevent this, paint along the edge of the tape before painting the rest of the wall with feather-light strokes to create a seal. Then, after completing the project, remove the tape before paint dries completely to keep it from pulling off the paint.
Prep Your Wall Surfaces
Hold a strong light against the surface of the wall to be painted. Examine your wall surfaces, and scrape off flaking paint with a putty knife. Smooth rough edges with sandpaper. If there are cracks in the wall, use a putty knife to fill them with plaster, joint compound, or lightweight spackling compound. You’ll have to wait until the compound or plaster dries completely before you can start painting. When it dries, smooth the rough edges with sandpaper.
Use a latex caulking compound to seal any gaps around baseboards and woodwork. Smooth it with your finger, and remove the excess with a damp cloth. If the walls are glossy or uneven, you might need to sand them lightly by hand or using an electric drill with a sanding disk. Don’t forget to vacuum or dust the walls after sanding.
If walls have water stains, grease, soot, or mildew, use trisodium phosphate (TSP)—or a TSP alternative—to remove it. You can purchase TSP at most paint and hardware stores. TSP is very caustic, so use it with caution, and follow the directions carefully.
If you are in doubt about whether you should apply a primer, do it. Primer smoothes the surface, making it easier for the new paint to flow on evenly and to better adhere. Prime the ceiling first, and then prime the walls. By the time you finish priming the walls, the ceiling is dry enough to paint. Without waiting for the ceiling to dry, you can start painting the walls.
Ready to Go
If you are using a new roller cover, wrap it in painter’s tape, and then tear it off to remove excess lint—so it doesn’t end up all over the wall. Reusing rollers is not recommended; they are cheap enough to replace, and any contamination from the roller can ruin the job at hand. Use an electric drill with a paint mixer attachment to blend paint thoroughly, and strain it into a paint tray through an old pair of pantyhose.
If your paint job requires more than one can of paint, pour all cans into one large bucket and mix it there. When you pour the paint back into the cans, you have exactly the same color in each can. Keep a bucket of warm soapy water close by, so you can clean up spills and spatters before they set. If you're using a brush for detail work, fill a small can with paint so you don’t have to carry a big can around.
Now you're ready to tune in to your favorite radio station, knowing you have taken care of the all-important preparations. Now jump in, and start painting!
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