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Advice from the Painted Lady

February 23, 2012

I fully admit that whenever I paint, I end up as the painted lady. I look better in bold colors so I am glad that the trend lately has been for colors I look good in (greens and blues). I hated it when dark reds and stark white was acceptable (I looked so washed out). I tend to forget that I am supposed to paint slowly and wipe off excess paint from my roller or brush before starting. I am a very sloppy painter (ONLY at my house – NEVER at yours!). I end up with it in my hair, on my glasses, down my shirt, and always a handprint or two on my legs and the butt of my jeans. I love the little smears – they always add character to everything I wear; it makes me look so professional. Remember: You too can add character to your wardrobe by failing to properly skim off excess paint.

To get you started on your DIY painting project I have listed several items below that will help prepare you for a painting project. These tidbits will help you get started and on your way to that picture perfect living space you will be proud to say you did all on your own.

  1. Remove all pictures, wall hangings: anything that is attached to the wall or ceiling and patch all holes. Start with a smooth, clean canvas. No mysterious wall lumps, ladies.
  2. Turn off the power in the room and remove switch plate covers on outlets and light switches. Once you have removed the covers, turn the power back on so you can see what you are doing. Bet you never did that before!
  3. Remove hardware from around the room: door handle, strike plates and handles on closet doors, etc. You are doing this for speed – you don’t need to prove that you can cut around a door handle. It’s a whole lot easier than taping around them.
  4. Put tarps or sheets over furniture to protect it. Or, if possible move it all to the center of the room so you have more space to work. Again, this is about speed. It doesn’t matter how careful you are painting, something will get splattered. (Trust me on this one – I KNOW)
  5. Put a sheet or tarp on the floor too. (Really, REALLY, trust me on this one)
  6. Purchase a special wall cleaner at the paint or hardware store to remove dirt and grime. Make sure you rinse the walls afterwards with clean water. Especially if you are repainting a kitchen.
  7. Once the walls are dry or to walls that you didn’t clean, apply painters tape in straight lines around molding (top and bottom) and along the ceiling line to allow for smooth edge painting. Stop whining. Again, this is about speed and the fact that you want a professional looking job. Since many of you have never needed to use tape before, make sure to let the paint dry before you remove it.
  8. I highly recommend that you apply a primer. However, most good paints now come with the primer already mixed it. In the kitchen, primer – or paint with primer – keeps grease and dirt from showing later. Primer is also necessary when covering a dark color with a lighter shade.
  9. When painting the ceiling, use the type of ceiling paint that’s tinted pink, but dries white. This way, you’ll know you’ve covered the entire surface. Be sure to use even strokes so that it does not show streaks after it dries.
  10. There are three kinds of paint that are used in a room – ceiling, wall and trim paint. Just tell the people at the paint or hardware store what you are painting and they will point you to the right paint.
  11. Paint each part of a room in the following order: ceiling, walls, baseboard trim, doors, door trim and, finally, window trim.
  12. Here’s the glossary of paint types: Flat (hallways, living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms and ceilings); Semi-gloss (kitchens, bathrooms -wherever moisture or cleanup is an issue); Gloss – a high shine paint (best for trim and cabinet doors).

To women holding hammers (and paintbrushes),

Jo Ellen Soesbee, The ToolBox TomGirl

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