Painting 101

  

When it comes to bang for buck, there is no better way to transform a room in your bachelor pad than by coat of paint. Painting is probably one of the most underrated decorating tools. You can have the perfect furniture, rugs, mantiques and artwork, but all can be lost to a poor paint color/quality or old yellowing wallpaper.

 

First, you’ll need to select a color for your room. It should be consistent with the rest of your place as you’re looking for consistency/continuity. Bold and overly dark or bright colors are very risky and most of the time can ruin a room. On the other hand, light and earthy colors allow light to flow through and offer a non-abrasive palette for your furniture and other decorating cues. After all, you aren’t trying to emphasize your walls but rather your decorating style. If you are having trouble deciding on a color, Restoration Hardware (www.restorationhardware.com) offers an amazing array of natural and neutral colors. Places like Home Depot (www.homedepot.com) and Lowes (www.lowes.com) are great places to get paint, but their selection can be daunting. It’s easy to go down a wrong path with so many choices, so have an idea in mind.

 

Buy a few colors that you like. Don’t settle on one immediately. This is a process so take your time. Most places offer sample sizes in either 7oz. or a quart (32 oz.). Grab a few of them and test them on sections of  your walls. Make sure you try each paint sample in a bright area of the room and a dark area. The same paint can look totally different in different light. Be aware if your room has natural light as well. All these factors can make or break a paint color.  It’s a lot to take in, but remember Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your bachelor pad.

 

Once you’ve selected a paint color then you’ll need to prep the walls. Don’t be hasty. Prep work truly is 90% of the job. If you have holes in your wall, spackle them and sand them. Nail pops, lightly hammer them in or sand them down. When in doubt, fix it. Remember: the higher the gloss of the paint finish will show all the inconsistencies there are. Here is a guide to paint gloss:

 

Flat – 1-9% gloss

Low Sheen – 10-25% gloss

Eggshell – 26-40% gloss

Semi Gloss – 41-69% gloss

Gloss – 70-89% gloss

I suggest always using a flat paint unless in a bathroom (low sheen or eggshell) or if you have small children (low sheen or eggshell).

 

Once you have done all of the appropriate prep work to the walls then you will need to tape off everything that you don’t want painted. Painter’s tape is a huge racket and has a huge mark-up in price. Unfortunately, it’s also a necessity. Get the good stuff. Also, drop cloths and painter’s plastic are very useful too.  Next step: painting.

 

Use a brush first and paint all the corners and hard to reach places. You should use the brush sparingly but cover everything that the roller can’t sufficiently reach. Once done with the brushing, time to move on to the roller. Make sure you have an adequate amount of paint on the roller before using. Go in an up and down motion and make sure you have a uniform pattern throughout. Several coats may be necessary.

Helpful hint!

Do this for an easy clean up! 

 

Painting is straight forward, easy and for most people fun. Some surfaces may need to be primed first, but usually it’s just a three step process: pick, prep and paint. Keep the colors light and the finishes flat. If you’re trying to add some personality to your room, paint is not the way to do it. Even Picasso started with a white canvas…