Have you been thinking that your living room needs a fresh coat of paint? Or maybe you’re redecorating and want the walls to match the décor. For home improvement projects, you can save quite a bit of money if you can do it yourself.
Here are 12 recommendations for DIY painting projects:
1. Weigh the pros and cons
Quite often, a household project comes down to investing your time or spending your money. Decide which one makes the most sense for you:
- Time – You’ll want to finish the job as quickly as possible to avoid disrupting your regular routine. Carefully consider if you have the time to commit to the project.
- Money – According to HomeAdvisor*, hiring a professional painter can cost on average about $300 to $900 per room. If you do it yourself you could save up to 50 to 60 percent off that amount.
2. Assess the space
If you decide you want to do the job yourself, start by taking a good look at the area you’ll be painting:
- Decide whether the area needs to be cleaned
- Make note of any necessary repairs
- Measure the space so you'll know how much paint and primer to buy
3. Pick a color, any color
Have a vision of the completed project in mind when choosing a color:
- Select a color that is complementary to the hue, tone and style of your furniture
- Decide what color best fits the purpose of the room
- Find a color that won't fade from sunlight exposure
4. Choose your paint
Paint comes in a variety of brands, uses and finishes. Be prepared before you make a purchase:
- Ask friends and family for recommendations
- Make sure you get interior paint
- Know which finish you like best: flat, eggshell or satin for walls; and semi-gloss or high-gloss for the trim
5. To prime or not to prime
Primer seals the surface you’ll be painting so the paint adheres without soaking into it. There are several reasons you should prime before painting:
- The wall has never been painted
- There are areas of the wall you’ve repaired with putty
- Your new paint has a different finish than the old paint
- You’re changing the color of your wall from very dark to very light
6. Get the right tools
The right tools are key to home improvement projects. Make sure you have what you need before you get started:
- Paint – Buy enough for two coats and any touch-ups needed down the road
- Drop cloths – Use these to protect your furniture and floors. Of course, canvas cloths are more ecofriendly than plastic, they’re washable and they last longer.
- Masking tape – Protect the trim and ceiling by taping along the edges before you start painting
- Hand cloths – Always keep a cloth handy to clean up any drips or spills
- Patch and repair tools – Make sure you have putty, a putty knife and sandpaper to fill holes
- Ladder – Use a ladder that fits easily into your work area
- Paint tray – Metal is more ecofriendly than plastic and easy to clean and reuse
- Brushes – You need brushes for the edges of the walls and the trim. High-quality brushes don’t shed while you’re using them and clean up well.
- Paint roller and refills – Make sure the roller and its cover material—called the nap—are the right length for the surface you're painting
- Mineral spirits – You can use mineral spirits or paint thinner for cleaning brushes and the paint tray
7. Prepare the space
Preparing the walls, trim and work area before you get started will make the actual painting go much faster:
- Tape the edges of the trim and/or ceiling
- Remove plates from light switches and electrical outlets
- Fill any holes in the walls
- Repair damage
- Sand and wipe down the walls
- Cover the floor and any furniture with drop cloths
- Add extra lighting if necessary
8. Be safe
Better to be safe than sorry. Take these precautions:
- Ventilation – Make sure the space you’re painting is well ventilated. Open windows and doors and use a small fan if necessary
- Children and pets – It’s wise to have someone available to entertain kids and puppies so they’re not tempted to try their hand (or paw) at painting the carpet
- Ladders – Make sure your ladder is the right size for the area and is in good repair
- Anything that’s in your way – While it may take more time to move things out of the area, it’s better to have room to move around easily
9. Paint with style
Using a few simple techniques will help you achieve the look you want:
- Mix all the paint in one large bucket so you have consistent color throughout the room
- To avoid lines, roll the full height of the wall
- Paint one wall at a time, starting with the trim
10. Clean up
If you've followed the tips so far, cleaning up should be easy:
- Remove all masking tape from edges
- Make sure any spills on drop cloths are dry before you move them
- For latex- and water-based paints, clean brushes with soap and water. For oil-based paints, you’ll need mineral spirits or paint thinner.
- If you want to reuse a roller, while the paint is still wet you can wrap the roller in a grocery bag. If you’re done with the roller, you can use a grocery bag to remove it.
11. Dispose of old paint
Some paint is considered hazardous waste so make sure you follow disposal requirements:
- You should take oil-based paints to a hazardous waste facility
- Latex paint can be put in the trash if it's dry. Pour the paint into a cardboard box with some shredded paper, let it sit until you're sure it's completely dry and then you can put the box in the trash.
12. Making it last
Once you're finished, you'll want to make all your hard work last a long time:
- Keep the walls clean
- Install window shades, blinds or curtains to help keep the sun from fading the paint
- Repair damage as soon as it happens
*HomeAdvisor is an online service that connects homeowners with service professionals.
Keep it up. You're getting smarter about home buying.
4 Easy Ways to Improve Your Home’s Air Quality (Article)
Americans spend about 90% of their time indoors, so when’s the last time you thought about the quality of the air you breathe inside your own house? Here are a few simple ideas for improving indoor air quality at home.
4 Ways Location Will Impact Your Home's Value (Article)
Here are four important factors that may impact a home’s property value, along with tips to help you find the best place to buy a house.
4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Outdoor Space This Summer (Article)
From perfect lighting to the right accessories, these tips are sure to help you enjoy or rediscover your home's outdoor spaces.
5 Budget-Friendly Kitchen Upgrades You Can DIY (Article)
Spending a lot of time in your kitchen, but not in love with how it looks? Try these budget-friendly kitchen upgrades to make the heart of your home feel new—without paying the hefty price tag.
The information provided is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice. BB&T hopes you find this information useful but we cannot guarantee that it is accurate, up to date, or appropriate for your situation. Financial calculators are provided to assist you in estimating the approximate costs associated with any bank activity. Your actual costs may vary. You should consult with a qualified attorney or financial advisor to understand how the law applies to your particular circumstances or for financial information specific to your personal or business situation.
Loans, lines of credit and credit cards are subject to credit approval.
Truist Bank, Member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender.
New York City residents: Translation or other language access services may be available. When calling our office regarding collection activity, if you speak a language other than English and need verbal translation services, be sure to inform the representative. A description and translation of commonly-used debt collection terms is available in multiple languages at www.nyc.gov/dca.
Branch Banking and Trust Company is now Truist Bank. Learn more.
BB&T and SunTrust have merged to become Truist. Both institutions will continue to offer independent product lines for a period of time. This may include differing underwriting guidelines, product features, terms, fees and pricing. Our friendly teammates at your local SunTrust branches will be happy to walk you through their respective products. You can also learn more by contacting them at 800-SUNTRUST or SunTrust.com.