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Day 8 – What I Learned Painting

December 23, 2012
Top 10 Painting Tips & Tricks

It has been a while since I painted a room.  There were quite a few things that I did wrong in the Laundry Room makeover that made it take a bit longer than expected :).  I wanted to share quite a few links, tips & tricks that I found on my quest to better painting!


Here is what I learned:

  1. Save your Knees!  As I mentioned, I spent a lot of time on my knees trying to paint, tape, trim, caulk and clean behind some very small areas (hot water heater and around numerous piping for the washing machine!) and boy did my knees start to ache.  I found an old pillow that I didn’t mind getting paint on and used it throughout the rest of the makeover and boy did my knees feel better!
  2. Caulk before you Paint.  I can’t tell you how much nicer the trim and cabinet looked after a little bit of caulk in those cracks.  The tube said to let it dry for about 40 minutes before you paint.
  3. No need to Prime!  So I found some old primer in the garage and thought I would start out with a quick coat before I headed to the home improvement store for the paint for the room.  In this day and age, apparently that is not necessary! Did you know they sell primer and paint all in one?!  The good news, an extra coat never hurt anything.  For future painting, I won’t waste time on that extra coat!
  4. Semi-Gloss for the Trim and Satin on the Walls.  I made the mistake of painting the trim originally with a flat paint (I thought it was Semi-Gloss in my defense) and by the time it dried it looked positively terrible!  Flat paint is fine for walls, but upgrade to a Semi-Gloss for that trim.  A quick trip back to the home improvement store and one more coat on the trim and now it looks lovely.  We also decided to use Satin paint on the walls, since this was a laundry room and is also where the doggie door is (i.e. mud, paw prints and dirt!) being washable is key!
  5. Buy Ceiling Paint.  Since a part of this make over included fixing the texture on the ceiling and a fresh coat of paint, I found “Ceiling Paint” at my home improvement store that made this job quite a bit simpler.  According to the gentleman at the paint counter, it is thicker, only requires one coat and reduces a bit on the drippage that comes from painting above your head.
  6. Seal your tape.  After taping off the trim and ceiling, I ran a rag along the line to make sure it was stuck real well to the wall.  Then I learned a neat little trick to seal the tape with the paint color that is UNDER the tape.  This way, if anything seeps under its the wall color that is already there.  I have to say, tested and proven, great tip for straight lines!
  7. Clean First.  This room gets a lot of 4 legged traffic and with them comes dirt, mud and more dirt.  I took a Mr. Clean Eraser to the walls and the trim and even an extra cost of primer just o make sure it as covered!
  8. Take off Hardware next.  Unless you can’t take something off the walls (i.e. the Breaker Box) then it is much easier to take it off then to try to paint around.  Even tape doesn’t work 100% of the time.  Everything that was removable like light switch covers, outlet covers and the smoke detector were removed, then painted, and once everything was dry, reinstalled.  No random paint splotches!
  9. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.  I wanted to paint behind the washer, dryer and hot water heater.  The perfectionist in me told myself that I needed straight lines and everything to look perfect back there.  Let’s be honest, there is a reason that area doesn’t see paint very often.  Most importantly, it’s not like anyone would even notice if it did have straight lines!  So, today, I tried to let go a little.  The corner isn’t perfect and there is a bit of paint on the floor back there.  I suppose my plumber will be very disappointed 🙂
  10. And finally, let it dry before you form any opinions!  I have to say, the drying period made for a very blotchy and ugly looking room.  Don’t panic!  It looked amazing the very next morning once everything had fully dried.

At the end of the makeover, I had a fantastic looking room.  The mistakes, hiccups and extra trips to Lowes just made for a funny experience.  Any one else painting a room this month?  What tips can you share with us?


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