Painting is one of the easiest projects that any homeowner can tackle on their own. It is a simple and easy project that requires some time and attention. A painting project can run between half a day to three days depending on how many rooms you are about to tackle.
Once you have picked your paint colours, tackling a painting project can appear easy, but before you run out to your local paint store to get your paints mixed be sure to do some initial research and preparation.
Make a list of how many rooms you will be attempting to paint. Take rough measurements of the width, length and height of your room.Â Getting basic calculations will allow you to figure out how many gallons of paint you will need. Bring these to your local paint store and they will help you figure out how many gallons will be required for your project.Â A basic rule of thumb is that one gallon of paint covers about 350 sq.ft.Â (wall square footage.)Â One gallon should generally cover a small bedroom that is approximately 10×10.
Today the most widely used interior paints are latex-based paints. Oil-based paints are becoming obsolete.
You must also consider the existing conditions of your walls. If you live in a brand new home, chances are the builder has already primed the walls and therefore one coat of paint on the walls and one gallon for a small bedroom will suffice. However, if you live in an older home, you must assess the surface of your existing walls and determine whether the prior paint application was oil or latex-based paint. If you are uncertain if the walls or baseboards in your home were painted in oil or latex there is a simple trick of the trade that you can do: take a rag and dip it into some alcohol, lightly scrub an area of the wall; if the paint melts or rubs off then you know for certain it is a latex paint. If the surface you are rubbing stays in tact then it is oil!
If oil-based paints were used on the walls of your home, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can simply paint over it with a few coats of latex paint! It will chip, peel and bubble right off. There are a variety of primer/sealer products on the market that have been designed specifically for switching over from oil to latex. One of my favourites is a Zinsser B-I-N, primer/sealer. Many of the big brand paint companies also have similar products for this application.
When painting over walls that have existing dark and deep tones take note that you will likely need a few coats of primer and a few coats of paint. Deep reds and blues are more challenging to cover over and require this type of treatment if you are switching over to a neutral palate.
When it comes to the type of finish, the possibilities are numerous and sometimes confusing. Most big brand paint companies offer the following options, in order of luster, from matteÂ to shiny:
Flat,Â Eggshell, Pearl, Satin, Semi-Gloss, High Gloss.
There is a general rule of thumb that I use daily: depending on the surface there is a suitable paint finish for each application.
– For bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms and hallways I select a latex-based flat or eggshell.Â Flat is lusterlessÂ and is now widely used in modern applications, while eggshell is a perfect medium that provides a durable and washable surface. This is great for homes with little kids and lots of traffic.
-For kitchens and bathrooms I highly recommend that you choose a good quality latex-based kitchen & bath paint designed with unique properties to prevent mold and mildew, resist damage from household cleaners, and clean up easily without damaging the surface. Benjamin Moore’s Kitchen & Bath paint comes in a Pearl finish, which results in an elegant surface for these types of rooms.
-For ceilings, I only recommend that you use a flat finish. Make sure that you use the same type of white ceiling paint throughout your space. Mixing different brands for ceiling paints will result in a shift in shades. Tip: using tones and colours other than a brightÂ whiteÂ will make your ceilings feel dark and low, something that many of us want to avoid.
-Doors, woodwork and trim look best in a semi-gloss finish. It keeps these areas durable and allows them to stand out without being too striking. High gloss resembles oil paint and is no longer a contemporary choice for trims.