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erichw1504's avatar

Have any tips on painting a room?

Asked by erichw1504 (26341 points ) August 16th, 2011

I just moved to a new place and I plan on painting our soon-to-be baby girl’s room. The previous renters must have had the opposite gender in there because the room is yellow and blue with sports decals throughout the middle.

So, we have a pink color picked out and I’m worried about how well it will be able to cover up the current colors. Will I need to apply more than two coats? Will I need a primer?

What are some other good tips for painting a room? What tools should I use? Mistakes to avoid?

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30 Answers

tom_g's avatar

Remove all decals, clean, sand, and wipe down to remove sand dust. Sounds like you will then need to apply multiple coats to make sure the blue/yellow does not bleed through the pink. Brush around the edges/ceiling, then use a roller.

sliceswiththings's avatar

1. Put tape along the baseboards and over outlets and light switches. The blue kind is good.
2. Use a roller to cover vast expanses, but don’t accidentally touch the ceiling when you reach the top of the wall.
3. I would do a couple coats of primer, followed by a couple coats of pink. If you can remove the decals, do, since the shapes will show through if they’re raised.
4. If it’s furnished, move everything to the middle of the room and throw a sheet of plastic over it. Put down a dropcloth on the floor if you don’t want a pink floor. Open windows and set up a fan if you can so your daughter doesn’t go into this world smelling paint fumes.

I love painting projects, good luck!

erichw1504's avatar

Yes, I have already removed the decals.

Hibernate's avatar

I’d clean the wall to get rid of the old paint. I’d apply something like glue but made for these sort of things. Then I’d paint 3–4 times the wall. Add a coat of paint then wait for it to dry then add another.

But it’s just me.

Coloma's avatar

I can only add a creative twist to the tips given already.
Have a painting party!
See if you can round up a buddy or two, or a couple of your wifes friends and you’ll be done in no time! Painting is always more fun when you have help and beer and pizza. ;-)

Porifera's avatar

@Coloma I love your tip..so true!

Cruiser's avatar

What ever you do, buy the best paint you can afford and it will cover better and be easier to apply with a lot less splattering. Invest in good brushes and paint roller. Having a sturdy paint roller will go a long way towards even coats of paint. I would prime first then apply your top-coat.

erichw1504's avatar

Would it be okay to apply the primer one day and then the paint the next?

Cruiser's avatar

@erichw1504 yes. When I worked as a painter and got paid to do the work we would lightly sand first and wash all the walls with a TSP trisodium phosohate. Also if you want the primo job put a lamp against the wall you are working on and you will be able to see all the defects better.

erichw1504's avatar

Do they sell plastic sheets to cover the rug at Lowes/Home Depot or should I just use an old bed sheet?

BTW, there is no furniture in the room currently.

Cruiser's avatar

@erichw1504 Do plastic in case you spill. Bed sheets will not stop paint from soaking through.

dappled_leaves's avatar

If you plan to paint the ceiling, do that first. A freshly painted ceiling can make a room much brighter, and often it seems unnecessary until you’ve painted the walls – then all the dirt will be noticeable. If it’s stucco, use a much coarser roller, and cut the paint with water so it doesn’t soak into the stucco and fall on your head.

If you’re taping baseboards, etc., realize that your paint is going to leak around the edges, regardless of the quality of the tape. Usually I do the edges freehand, so I don’t have to deal with that.

The order should be ceiling -> wall edges -> walls -> trim. You want the wall edges to still be wet when you do the interior of the wall.

erichw1504's avatar

@dappled_leaves I bought me some of that Frog Tape. It’s supposed to have this adhesive that blocks paint from seeping through.

linguaphile's avatar

What @Cruiser said. I was taught by a guy who worked as a painter after I tried to self-taught route. I’ve tried both the cheap paint route and the expensive paint route. I will NEVER, EVER buy cheap paint again.

Cheap paint = less coverage+more runs and splatters = more coats = more work.

One coat of tinted primer should do the trick, and yes, yes, use primer. The red/pink family is the most difficult to work with.

Blueroses's avatar

I’ve done a LOT of interior painting and the best tip I have is go to a real paint store, like Sherwin Williams and get the SuperPaint to cover a darker color with lighter. It saves so much frustration. The tip: If you have a color range in mind (pink) but not necessarily a shade, ask to browse the rejected mix closet. I always find something close to the shade I want and pay a few bucks per gallon for premium $40+/gallon paint.

erichw1504's avatar

What do you guys think about paint and primer in one? Does it work just as good?

erichw1504's avatar

What’s the best paint brand with low or no VOC?

dappled_leaves's avatar

@erichw1504 – well, let me know if you get no leakage, because I’ve never met a tape that doesn’t leak at least a little. I’m just saying don’t be too disappointed.

Also, I absolutely agree with everyone who says not to buy cheap paint. However, I don’t usually bother with primer, unless I’m painting a much lighter colour over a darker one. Even then, I’ll usually only use one coat of primer. The reality is that I’ll end up doing 3 coats just so I’m satisfied with the evenness of the job, and at that point, I’ve pretty much eliminated the colour underneath if it’s good quality paint.

Cruiser's avatar

@erichw1504 For low to no VOC Benjamin Moore’s Aura is King of the Hill

YoBob's avatar

A couple of general tips:

1) Remove any stickers or decals instead of painting over them.

2) Paint matters! Get the highest quality paint you can. You will pay a bit more for it, but you will save yourself the trouble of doing a second or even a third coat. Personally, I like Sherwin Williams.

3) Invest in a paint edger tool . When my wife brought one of these home while we were re-painting a room I thought it was the most ridiculous thing I had ever seen. As it turns out, it is the most useful time saving tool you will ever own for painting a room. In short, it lets you cut in nice clean edges without having to worry about masking tape, which is a huge time saver.

Blueroses's avatar

I was going to suggest this. It’s my favorite painting tool ever.

josie's avatar

As above. The difference between a good job or poor job is the prep work. Remove decals and plug holes with spackle. Sand rough spots. If the existing paint is glossy, sand it. Clean sanding dust off the wall. Tape base boards. Remove electrical and switch cover plates. Remove fixtures that hang curtains or blinds. Leave the brackets if you are going to reuse the same window treatment.
I would prime especially since you are covering covering blue and yellow with something that has red in it. It does not take much to make your pink look orange or purple. Plus, you can see imperfections after the primer and touch them up.
Lay down drop cloth if there is carpet. Cover furniture that you can’t move. Plastic is a good idea. Make sure it is well secured along the baseboards and corners.
Use good equipment. A good brush to cut the wall ceiling angle If the ceiling is textured, otherwise those little edge rollers are cool, but you have to be super careful, and it is still laborious because they do not hold much paint, if you get paint on the little wheels, you are screwed.
Something real sturdy to stand on and tall enough that are not reaching too high to cut-it makes your hands shake if you are reaching too much. Plenty of light. Good quality roller. Good paint.

snowberry's avatar

When using painting tape, be sure to rub all the edges where the paint will go. It won’t work if the paint gets under the tape.

Don’t buy a plastic only drop cloth. Buy a plastic and paper combination. You’ll be less likely to slip on it.

Any painting experts?
Which side is best to place up- the paper or plastic side? I’m thinking the paper side because it absorbs drips, and you’re less likely to track into the rest of the house.

augustlan's avatar

I agree with primer, and high quality paint (I use Sherwin Williams). If you will have more painting jobs in your future (and who doesn’t?), here are a couple of tips to make your life easier in the long run:

Buy something like this and the liners that go with it. This will save you a ton of time going up and down your ladder/step stool to get paint while edging.

Buy a sturdy roller pan, and the liners to go with it.

Buy a good extension pole. This will save your arms and back, and enable you to paint ceilings and tall walls without a ladder. It’s adjustable, and I won’t paint without it.

Buy an ergonomic, short-handled, angled edging brush like this

Buy a paint can spout.

Buy a 5 in 1 painter’s tool.

My last tip is a little unconventional. I use cheap vinyl table cloths for drop cloths. Pick them up in various sizes for super cheap at K-Mart or any discount store, especially right after big holidays when the holiday themed ones go on clearance. I find the sturdy, long rectangular shapes much easier to manage than regular drop cloths. Use with the flannel side up. That catches the paint drips and absorbs, so it doesn’t run off the edge, while the vinyl keeps it from seeping through. When you’re painting walls, you can fold them in half length-wise and just pull them along with you as you go.

perspicacious's avatar

Go in this order:

crown mold
ceiling
trim
walls

erichw1504's avatar

I am only doing the walls.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@augustlan, the vinyl cloths are an excellent idea – thanks. I used to use plastic, but you pretty much have to throw it away after one room, and that adds up not to mention that it’s so wasteful. When I painted my current apartment, I used an old blanket that I was planning to throw away anyway, and that worked beautifully; I could move it from room to room and it was thick enough that the paint didn’t seep through. Obviously, I won’t want to do that every time I paint a place, though.

erichw1504's avatar

Update: the painting is going great. I used the vinyl table cloths like @augustlan suggested and they are perfect. I put one coat of primer, then the paint. I have two of four walls completed and will be doing the other two tonight. Looks like I most likely will be doing a second coat, though. Just so it looks perfect.

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