Don't Repaint a Room Without Taking These 10 Steps
If it’s been nearly a decade or more since you’ve touched up the paint job in a given room, a repainting project might be in order. Some homeowners will defer to professional interior house painters to handle these matters, but others prefer to tackle these jobs on their own, either in part or in full. If you’ve been bitten by the DIY bug, know that properly repainting a room involves a number of steps that can make or break the end results. Indeed, it pays to take the time to plan every part of your project before you get ahead of yourself and wind up back at square one.
What to Do Before Painting a Room
1. Clean Every Inch of the Room
It might seem obvious, but there’s no way to successfully repaint a room that’s cluttered and filthy. Your first course of action in preparing to paint your space, then, is to clear out any and all moveable features (i.e. furniture, decor, artwork, electronics, etc.) and start dusting, sweeping, mopping, and scrubbing your surfaces. Consider this repainting project an excellent excuse for doing some deep cleaning. Once you’re done, you’ll be left with an accessible and spotless space that’s more prepared for the ensuing paint job.
2. Thoroughly Inspect Your Surfaces
There’s still a long way to go before you should start painting your recently cleaned room, however. The next step involves closely inspecting your surfaces for peeling paint and signs of damage (i.e. holes or cracks in drywall, large gaps, water damage, mold, etc.). It’s important to address these concerns prior to repainting -- otherwise, your new paint job might not adhere to your surface properly and/or you might end up concealing a growing problem that will come back to bite you down the line. Take detailed notes of the areas that need fixing up so you remember to purchase the necessary supplies to make any minor repairs. You’ll want to hire a professional contractor to handle any major repairs.
3. Take Precise Measurements
Now, break out your tape measure (or buy one if you don’t already have one) and size up the square footage of the surfaces you plan on repainting. Taking accurate measurements will allow you to determine the amount of paint you’ll need for your home painting project. A single gallon of paint will cover approximately 400 square feet -- two gallons is typically enough to coat an average-sized room. Keep in mind, of course, that you might require additional coats. This is where the next step comes into play.
4. Determine Exactly What You Want
After you’ve thoroughly measured the areas you’ll be repainting, it’s time to nail down the details of your project. More specifically, think about the color(s) and finishes you wish to incorporate, the type of paint you plan on using (i.e. which brand, acrylic or oil-based, low-VOC, mildew-resistant, etc.), how you want to decorate the room after it’s painted, and so on. Establishing a clear vision is crucial in ensuring that you end up happy with the results and don’t regret any of your choices. If you’re unsure of how to select interior paint colors, finishes, paint types, etc., it’s worth reaching out to a reliable painting service to get some advice. Even a brief consultation can significantly streamline your project and give you the confidence you need to tackle the rest of the work.
5. Purchase Everything You Need for the Job
This step is directly tied to the previous two -- you can’t buy the necessary supplies for the job if you don’t know what you want or need or how much. So, once you’ve clarified your vision and determined how much paint you’ll need to fully coat your room, take a trip to your local paint supply/hardware store and stock up on paint, brushes, rollers, trays, scrapers, drop cloths, rags, sandpaper, drywall patch kits, etc. (you can also purchase these supplies online if need be). It’s best to slightly overestimate the amount of paint you’ll need to avoid making multiple trips to the store -- the worst-case scenario here is that you’ll end up with some leftover paint that you can store for future touch-ups and/or color matching purposes.
6. Ventilate Your Space
When painting interiors, proper ventilation is important. While most modern paint products contain minimal volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and odors, a well-ventilated space will mitigate any potential harmful or irritating paint effects and also facilitate the drying process. If the weather and temperature are decent enough, you might open up doors and windows. During the colder months, make sure your HVAC system is functional and clean.
7. Gear Up
You’re now one step closer to finally repainting your room. Before you get there, though, you’ll want to dress appropriately for the task at hand. You’ll want to be comfortable while you work, so put on an old T-shirt and a pair of pants you don’t mind getting messy. If you really want to dress like a residential interior painting pro, invest in some painter’s pants/overalls. Make sure you protect your hair and head with a hat or bandana as well. Wear some eye protection to keep paint particles, dust, and other debris out of your eyes -- safety goggles are ideal. And lastly, wear durable, comfortable shoes with strong traction to reduce the risk of slips, trips, and falls (you can wear shoe sleeves or tie bags around your shoes to protect them from paint stains).
8. Prep the Room to Minimize Messes
Paint jobs are inherently messy, so make sure you protect the surfaces you don’t wish to get paint on. Lay down drop cloths to avoid getting paint on your floors, cover fixed features with tarps, apply painter’s tape to the edges of your trim and corners of your room to achieve clean, straight lines, etc.
9. Repair and Prepare Your Surfaces
Now’s the time to repair those minor issues mentioned earlier and prepare your surfaces to maximize their receptiveness. Small holes in drywall can be easily fixed with a drywall patch kit, while larger holes might require a more involved repair job. Any gaps between surfaces should be sealed with a caulking gun and let dry. Meanwhile, you should scrape away any peeling, flaking, and/or bubbling paint and sand down the surface until it’s smooth. If your walls need a lot of work in this way, it’s best to prime them before painting. Conversely, if your previous paint job is in decent shape, you might not need to apply primer.
10. Apply the Proper Painting Technique
Finally, the repainting part of your repainting project can begin. As you get ready to paint your room, though, make sure you employ the proper technique throughout. Cut in your edges with a brush and paint your walls from top to bottom using a roller, tackling one wall at a time; roll your paint with long stokes in a “W” pattern to minimize roller marks and achieve efficient, even coverage; apply a second coat after the first has dried, and remove the painter’s tape while the second coat is still wet so you don’t accidentally remove the paint. Knowing a thing or two about proper painting technique will allow you to work faster and more confidently, and achieve the best results.
Repainting Your Rooms: Too Many Steps to Take In?
No one would blame you for feeling overwhelmed after reading through these ten essential steps for repainting a room. At Nash Painting, we believe that anyone can tackle a home painting project on their own if they’re willing to put in the time and effort -- at the same time, there’s nothing wrong with reaching out to local painters to help you get the job done properly. So, whether you need advice, help with part of your project, or a reliable team to tackle the entire job, we’re here to serve homeowners and business owners in Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin, TN.
To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!