Top 9 Tips for Painting and Wallpapering Your Home

If you are taking on the project of painting a room in your house, read these top nine tips before getting started.

Have you decided to take on the next painting project in your home yourself? These nine tips will help you paint like a pro from start to finish and enjoy your finished project for years to come.

Don’t use cheap paint on big projects. Eric Lindeman, owner and operator of Oak Park Painters LLC recommends, “Lower grade or cheaper paints are good for specific situations, but when it comes to painting interiors, I use Sherwin Williams ProMar 200.” He also suggests starting with one gallon, especially for a room that is 300 square feet or less. You can always go back to get another gallon if you need it.

Prep is the most important step. In fact, Lindeman says 60 percent of the project should be prep, while 40 percent of the project is the actual painting. “The prep is what separates the pros from the amateurs.”

Move furniture so you can easily move around to every spot you need to paint and add drop cloths over everything. Caulk any holes or cracks that need to be evened out and then spend time sanding the walls to create smooth surfaces for your paint. Next, you will want to prep your brushes. Lindeman provides a pro tip for this, saying, “You want to put your sleeve onto the handle and a piece of tape up to the head and then take the roller and rub it up and down on the tape and extract all the little hairs. That way, the little fibers that are loose won’t fall out in the paint.”

Sample your color. At the store, you will want to pick up a sample of the paint color you are interested in. Add it to the room you want to paint in multiple spots—one that gets direct sunlight and one that does not. That way, you can get an idea of what the color will look like at different times of the day, with and without light.

In terms of color, greys are very popular right now, but they can often look blue once applied to the walls. While beiges are on their way out, greens are becoming more popular.

Move from the top down when painting a room. Lindeman explains, “Because of gravity, the paint is going to run so start with the ceiling. First you can cut the walls and then move on to rolling. Amateurs always want to roll first so they can see their effort. That’s the worst thing you can do.”

Start by cutting the walls. This requires taking a paintbrush to all of the edges of your room’s walls and applying paint. Then you will be ready to use your roller for the large spaces. Don’t forget to go over with a paint brush after and touch up where you can see the roller marks.

Paint an entire wall without stopping. A big mistake many first timers make is thinking they can start painting one wall and come back to finish it later. “To make the walls look consistent without roller marks, you can’t stop in the middle. You need to roll the wall from start to finish. If you split it up, the two spots will look slightly off from one another,” said Lindeman.

Paint baseboards or trim with two thin coats. Instead of trying to use just one thick coat, adding two thin layers will avoid any drips. This will also allow for quicker drying times.

Store your paint in a temperate climate. Many people think the garage would be the best place to store their paint between or during projects, but a basement or closet is ideal where it won’t freeze or be affected by weather conditions. Not following this step will affect the performance of the paint.

Wallpapering is truly a job for the pros. To remove it yourself, you can start by trying to get as much of it off the walls when dry by ripping it off. Hot water and wall paper removal will be used next with a spackle blade. Lastly, sponge down the walls and get the glue. Lindeman recommends, “Call a professional and make sure that they hang it in the right direction. You’d be shocked how many people do it upside down. It’s a difficult process and I would not recommend a homeowner do it themselves.”