The good news is: a quality paint job can make a HUGE difference in your space. A fresh coat of paint is a versatile and affordable make over without the cost of a giant remodel.
I have seen many kitchen and bath transformations that were a marvel to behold for pennies on the dollar. Instead of spending $20,000 on a new kitchen, you can have an awesome new look for $2000 or less.
Now remember that a good paint job is all about preparation. Painting is the easy part. The surfaces need to be clean and dry, and smooth finishes must first be sanded. Paint doesn’t stick to dust or dirt. Whatever you do, don’t skip washing everything that is going to be painted. You may also need to caulk and spackle.
Whether you do it yourself or hire the job out, the following list will ensure a room that will be the first stop on your house tour.
1. Clean, clean, clean. There is no such thing as a room too clean to paint. Before you even start prepping, vacuum or sweep the room. Expect to have to do this at least one more time before you open a can of paint.
2. Sanding sponges. Sanding isn’t fun, but these sponges make sanding easy on your arms and hands. You don’t need to go crazy in your sanding. Just make sure that you sand the shine off the trim and remove any little bumps from the walls.
3. Lightweight spackle. Fills small holes and wall dings. Lightly sand the spackle when it’s dry. Usually after 20-30 minutes.
4. Dripless caulk gun. A $7-10 investment, worth every penny. Cut a very small hole in the caulk tube. Keep your hands clean, have a damp rag at the ready, and use your index finger to smooth out the line of caulk into the corners. Wipe the excess spackle on the rag. Stop periodically to wash your hands or wear tight fitting gloves.
5. Quality brushes. Good brushes make it easy to cut good lines, which are especially noticeable between the ceiling and the walls. My favorites are Wooster two-inch sash brushes with the green rubber handles. Sticker shock! These brushes run $15 each, but they will make your work look good and will last a long time if you take care of them.
6. Paint. Don’t save money here. Good paint generally runs $40-60/gallon. There are numerous self-priming paint products on the market today that save considerable time. They are worth it. Make sure you apply the two coats recommended on the can.
7. Step ladder. There is no escaping the fact you need to reach high with a brush. Make sure you can safely get up there to do it right. I prefer an aluminum ladder with four steps.
8. Check references. If you are hiring your painting job out, make sure your painters have a reputation for being clean and tidy as they work, show up on schedule and understand the value of prep work. Good communication skills are important too. Who are your friends raving about? Call them. If you have painters who take pride in their work and treat your home like their own, you have a winning combination.
Don’t underestimate what a quality paint job can do for your space. You don’t need to take out a second mortgage to have great-looking rooms you love to be in!