Painting is the most affordable way to transform a space from boring to wow! With the proper tools, helpful techniques, and a plan of attack, painting is for beginners and professionals.  Before you get started with your painting project, decide what colors you want in your space.  Arriving at the home improvement store without your colors chosen will make your trip that much longer, and possibly more costly. Once you’ve chosen your colors, look at these tips to make your painting job easier.

1.) Have a friend help: Painting isn’t necessarily a two person job, but it can be made easier and quicker with a partner or two.  Multiple people can help in cleaning, lessen preparation time, help in moving ladders and scaffolding, and keep you company!

2.) Make a painting tool/supply list: Even if you have painted a few times before, having a list of supplies will save you time at the store, keep you on budget, and make you less stressed knowing that you have all the materials you need to start your painting job.

3.) Bring paint/fabric swatches when purchasing paint: Instead of waiting until you get back home to make sure your paint color is correct, bring your samples to the store with you.  Often times the paint color you chose in a book, isn’t the same shade as when you see it in the store.  Ensure you make the right color choices, the first time.

4.) Buy extra supplies, and save your receipts: Buy more paint rollers and roller refills than you need. Purchase different size paint brushes for different applications, and have enough supplies for your friends.  There is nothing worse, than having enough man power – but not enough tools!  Once your project is complete, return unused supplies with your receipts and don’t wait weeks to return to the store for a refund.

5.) Remove switch plate covers and tape screws to back: This easy tip is usually forgotten and at the end of the painting project switch plate screws are lost, or covered in paint! Before you open a can of paint use a screwdriver to remove all switch plates/screws and place in a separate room.  Between moving furniture, drop cloths being spread everywhere, and painting, you will be happy you did this step.

6.) Repair dents, dings, and blemishes days before painting: The time to examine your walls shouldn’t be when you are painting.  A few days before painting examine the walls, trim, and areas you wish to paint.  Repair small dents in drywall with spackle/joint compound and apply with a putty knife. For larger holes ask an associate at your paint store, you may need a small piece of drywall to repair it. For repairs in wood trim, consider using wood putty and let dry, then sand smooth.

7.) Protect your floor and furniture: Drop cloths come in varying thicknesses and materials. The cheapest ones are plastic and very thin. Plastic drop cloths are not recommended for repeated use.  Once the paint dries on them, the plastic sticks to it and can cause holes. Varying grades are more durable, and the most expensive are made from fabric and are reusable. If you plan on painting in the future, the fabric ones are great for other uses around the home, like school craft projects with the kids!

8.) Ventilate your workspace: When buying paint ask for low or no VOC paints that will emit fewer fumes when painting. Work in a well ventilated area, and ensure fresh air can pass through the space while painting and a few days following completion.

9.) Clean your tools appropriately: Cleaning paint supplies are not usually on a high priority list for some.  Although, the time you spend in ensuring they are clean will save you time and money for the next painting job. Read the manufacturer’s cleaning suggestions on the side of the can. Depending on the type and finish of your paint, water and mild detergent may clean it, or you may need mineral spirits or a stronger detergent to clean paint brushes and rollers.

10.) Label all paint cans before storing: Most likely you will not need the can of paint you used for months or maybe years later. Label all cans with the room you used the paint for and the store that you bought the paint from. If possible write the name of the color on the can as well. Most home improvement and paint stores will include this information automatically on the paint lid.  You will be happy when it’s time to sell your home, and you can go right to the paint can you used. Even if the paint isn’t good, you can go purchase the correct color or get it matched.

Painting can be therapeutic and your walls can benefit from your labor and planning.  Use these tips to help you save time, energy, and get the most from your painting experience.

Freshome reader’s, have some painting tips that we can add to the list? Leave us tips you’ve used when painting your space.