One of the things I wish I had more time for was DIY projects. My last big project was refinishing our dining room table, but I haven’t had much time to take on anything quite as big. With our house about to be listed on the market pretty shortly it was time to refresh some of the walls and maybe tone down some of the colours to more neutral, buyer-friendly shades. So to Home Depot I went!
I’ve never really understood why anyone would pay someone to paint their house, it’s probably one of the easiest home renos you can do on your own, if you have the right tools. Most people are pretty surprised when I tell them I painted my entire house, “What? Like its hard?” (yeah, I totally just quoted Elle Woods).
My biggest recommendation when painting yourself is to buy quality tools and products. Not only will your tools last longer, you’ll get great paint coverage with much less effort. The first room I tackled on this round of painting was our rec room. Originally painted an emerald green, it was transformed into a beautiful, bright oasis called Denim Light. The best part of this project, 1 COAT! Yup, that’s right, I covered my dark green basement in one coat and with a lighter shade!
So here is my tool/product recommendation:
- Behr Marquee Paint (interior eggshell)
- Drop cloth
- 2 inch paint brush
- Paint tray plus tray liners
- Roller frame and rollers
- Optional: paint can spout & paint can opener
The two most important products on this list are the paint and the tape. The is the first time using Behr Marquee which is a paint and primer in one that promises 1 coat coverage. I did learn recently that the 1 coat guarantee is only for colours specifically designated for this particular product, but the first colour I chose was not part of the guaranteed colours and it worked amazingly. I’m set to paint our bedroom with a colour also not part of the guaranteed colours so I’ll let you know how it goes.
The second most important product is Frogtape. It is worth every penny. As you can see the few remaining green spots from the previous paint job were because I used regular green painters tape and the green bled through. Frogtape WILL NOT BLEED!
Both the Marquee paint and Frogtape are on the more expensive side of products but they make the job easier, efficient and ultimately cheaper if you only need to buy a single gallon of paint as opposed to potentially having to buy a separate primer and enough paint to do several coats. As an added note, when choosing your brushes and rollers make sure they are meant for the type of paint you’re working with. Most interior paint these days is a water-based latex, so you’ll want brushes and rollers appropriate for latex paint.
So how do I paint? Here’s my general set of instructions:
- Prep the area first. Move furniture out of the way, vacuum the area, wash down walls and baseboards. You want to have as clean of a surface as possible to work with.
- Remove as many lighting and/or electrical plates as possible. If they’re stuck and you can’t get them off use the Frogtape and tape around them.
- Tape your borders. Use your Frogtape to tape and protect your baseboards, door and window trim and ceilings. Some people don’t tape their ceilings and opt for those trim edgers but I still find them messy, so I prefer to just tape off the ceiling (even stucco).
- Layout your drop cloth. I highly recommend using a proper cloth drop cloth. Plastic ones get messy and rip, a cloth one is heavy enough to not move around too much while you’re working and easier to spot any drips (mostly important so you don’t step in paint).
- Open the paint can and stir well. I usually lay the can and lid across a bunch of newspapers. Make sure to grab several paint stir sticks, you’ll likely need more than one. Give the paint a good stir for a couple of minutes, especially if the paint has been sitting for a bit.
- Cut in. Basically that just means using a paint brush, paint all of your trim, edges and borders.
- Wash your brush. Once your done cutting in wash your brush immediately. If you’re just using regular latex paint and aren’t on a septic system you should be able to wash the brushes right in your basement or utility sink. I usually rinse with warm water until the water almost runs clear. Then I’ll add a bit of dish detergent to the bristles, work the soap in and rinse the brush clean. Finally, just lay your brush out to dry.
- Roll on colour. Now it’s time to paint those walls. Pour your paint into the deepest part of the tray. Roll the roller into the paint and wipe away the excess by rolling onto the ridged part of the tray. To much paint on your roller will lead to splatter, not enough, well that’s just annoying and you’ll have to work harder. You can use an extended roller but I never find the need, instead I keep a step stool or small step ladder at hand for the higher parts. If you’re lucky and you’ve used the 1 coat paint, you’re done! If you have to add more coats, repeat steps 4 through 7. It’s really important here to wait the recommended time between coats.
- Allow the paint to dry (at least 24 hours) and remove the Frogtape. Voila! You did it!
Extra tip: If, like me, you choose to do only portions of a room at a time or you require a second coat there’s no need to use more than one roller. Place your roller (paint end) into a plastic grocery bag and tie off the bag just below the handle. This keeps the roller from drying out and it can be reused within a day. Any longer and the roller will dry out and will need to be replaced.
Note: I didn’t talk about priming since most paints now come with paint + primer, but if you are priming separately, the same steps can be followed, just prime prior to using your preferred paint colour.