4 Things You Need to Know Before Painting

Painting Tips
I was so excited to finally get the ball rolling on making our house truly ours. We'd lived in our home for about 18 months and the people who lived in the house before us picked some treacherous (and very dark) paint colors. The living room was the first room we ever painted in our home and I definitely learned a lot of lessons from that experience, which I’m sharing with you!

Remove the Trim

Any seasoned painter (or anyone who listens when their husband says we need to take off the trim) knows that you need to remove all the trim in the room before painting. Even if that trim is going to be painted the same color as either the base/primer color or the other color.

It's easier to paint it separately. Trust me! It can't be any more difficult than the way we did it. Plus, the wall under the trim will get painted properly this way, too.

So, if in the future, you want to update your trim (which I do) you won't have to worry about the possibility have needing to paint again. I'm still not sure why my husband listened to me when I told him we didn't need to take off the trim. I secretly think he was waiting to soak up that "I told you so" moment.
4 Things You Need to Know Before You Paint

Use the Wider Painter's Tape

We used the Duck Brand 1" Clean Release Painter's Tape. I actually bought a three pack from Wal Mart. The tape worked great! However, I should have known better than to think that the smaller tape would be enough to wholly protect everything.

Based on my experiences, you’re better off buying the wider tape! I'll definitely be using the 1" tape in the boys room for some detailing work I'll need to do. As far as protecting the ceiling and any trim/molding I can't remove, I'll be using the wider tape. I also plan on taping down a plastic sheet on the floor with the wide tape, which brings me to my next tip.

Protect the Floor and Do It Well

We had a tarp in our garage that was left by the previous inhabitants of this house. I was sure it'd be a great way to protect our wood floors during painting. However, I didn't tape it down or anything and it was really no help at all since it didn't cover the whole floor.

If there was only one person painting, that would be okay. However, typically there was my husband and me or my husband and a helper. So, paint drips happened. Oh, and my cat decided to jump onto a freshly painted window sill and then prance across the living room floor. Probably some new age way of marking his territory, I guess.

Anyway, next time I want to buy plastic sheeting or a drop cloth and secure it to the floor. However, eHow has some other suggestions, so I might look into those too.

Buy Extra Paint

Unless you've painted a particular room a time or two before, chances are that you're guesstimating how much paint it will take. Well, this guesstimating left me having to do two extra trips to buy paint for our living room.

My advice is to think about how much paint you'll need and buy at least one extra can. You don't want to get down to the last wall you need to paint and be fully motivated to do so, only to realize you're out of paint.

Some stores will let you return or exchange unopened paint, so you can check on that if you're worried. Personally, I don't think it's a terrible idea to have extra paint lying around.

Before & After

Before and After Painting the Living Room
The lighting is horrible in the before picture, but you should be able to see what an ugly pea-green the room was! I know it looks very minimalistic right now, but I was trying to avoid shoving crap back into the room that I don't want in there long term.

Of course, much of that crap has now accumulated in the extra space in the dining room. Anyway, I'm super happy with how it turned out. It's so much brighter. I can't wait to get new curtains (and furniture and other stuff, but I'm getting ahead of myself there). So, it's not designer living, but it’s definitely an improvement!
That collage is  from The Coffee Shop Blog!

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4 Things You Need to Know Before Painting

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