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When you are moving into a new home that had previous owners, it may not be decorated to your tastes quite yet. Nothing livens up a room and gives it a custom look and feel better than a fresh coat of paint. If hiring a professional painting crew isn’t in your moving budget, here are some simple tips that will help you paint any room like a pro.

Painting Prep

If at all possible, paint the room before you move in! Or keep your belongings packed in moving boxes until the painting is done. If that is not an option, remove everything from the walls and move furniture to the center of the room. Protect them from drips with a drop cloth or plastic sheet. Before painting, make sure the surfaces are clean. Repair holes or cracks with a putty knife and joint compound, then lightly sand when dry until smooth. Apply safe release painter’s tape along baseboards, window and door trim. Place drop cloths on the floor, and get painting!

Apply Primer

Taking the time to prime will ensure a professional look to your painted walls. Primer covers things like patches and inconsistent wall textures, and the finished product has a more even color and better quality. This is an especially important step when painting surfaces like laminate or wood paneling, walls that are already a dark or vibrant color, or surfaces that were previously painted with oil-based paint. This ensures that the new paint will adhere and the color will be consistent. If your walls have water marks, grease, or other blemishes, use a stain blocking primer. To cover repairs that have been patched, you may be able to spot prime without having to prime the entire room, although full priming is best.

Start with the ceiling

If the ceiling needs repainting, tackle that first. Use a paint brush on ceiling edges and around light fixtures, then paint the rest of the ceiling with a roller. After the ceiling, change roller cover (use a ½” to ¾” nap) and get ready to paint the walls.

Paint the walls

One gallon can of paint will cover up to 400 square feet. This is the average size of a small bathroom. Most rooms require two gallon cans of paint, large areas will need more, especially when applying two coats.  Because not all gallons of the same paint color are guaranteed to actually BE the same color, mix the gallons of wall paint together in a 5-gallon bucket. This will ensure a consistent color for the whole room. Just save a can or two for storing leftover paint. (You can use this for future touch-ups.) Use an angled paint brush at the edge where the ceiling meets the wall, around switches and plugs, windows and doors, baseboards, and in all corners of the room. Then wet a clean roller with paint. You can pour the paint into a roller pan or place a screen over the 5 gallon bucket. Remove excess paint from the roller to prevent drips, then start rolling in a 2’ area of the room. Use light pressure and a moderate pace. Go back over the area as the roller becomes less saturated to evenly spread out the paint. Dip the roller again and move to the adjoining 2’ area, slightly overlapping the area you just painted and smoothing any paint lines or drips. Repeat until the entire room is painted. Wait until the first coat has dried (usually 2-4 hours, but time may vary depending on temperature and humidity) before repeating the process to apply a second coat. If you prefer to use the same roller with the same paint color, don’t wash it between coats. You can wrap the wet roller in a plastic shopping bag, seal it with a twist tie to keep it from drying out, and place it in the refrigerator while you wait to apply the next coat.

Finish with trim

Make sure the wall paint is completely dry to prevent smearing, then carefully remove the painter tape. To ensure clean removal, use a razor to cut the dry paint right at the edge of the tape. Slowly peel the tape down and away from where you cut it. Paint the trim with a quality angled brush, going with the grain of the wood. Be careful not to get it on the newly-painted walls. Some prefer to paint the trim first, which eliminates the worry about over painting. Then you would tape the trim (once the paint is dry) before painting the walls. However, this technique runs the risk of the trim getting splattered by an energetic paint roller. It’s your call!

Clean up, decorate, and enjoy

Pack away or discard drop cloths. Clean up paint brush, roller, bucket, and roller tray/screen with water and dishwashing detergent in a sink (be sure to clean the sink right away, before the paint dries) or outside with a hose. You can also discard the roller cover if you prefer, and just wash the handle. To prevent them from sticking, make sure the paint is completely dry before hanging pictures and installing switch and outlet covers. Move the furniture and window coverings back in, kick your feet up, and relax in your beautifully painted room! If you need help with unpacking, or are still planning your move to a new home, Bisson is on the job. Contact our friendly experts for more information about our moving services and a free quote.