One of the easiest ways to change the ambience of a room, or a house for that matter, is to give it a new coat of paint.
The first step is to evaluate the condition of the current paint job. Scrape and sand if it is flaking or bubbled. Then, give the walls a good washing with trisodium phosphate or the equivalent. This is to remove grease and dirt so the new paint adheres well. TSP (trisodium phosphate) is a little rough on the hands, so use proper gloves while washing. Always remember to wash from the bottom of the wall to the top to eliminate streaks.
If you want to cover a dark paint with a light colored paint, first paint the walls with a stain blocker. This eliminates bleed-through of the darker color or stain and will mean fewer coats of the lighter paint are required.
Next comes properly taping the borders of the walls. Use a high quality painter’s tape. This type of tape adheres well, blocks paint drips, and will come off with little or no gummy residue. Be sure to either remove fixtures (lamps, towel racks, etc.) from the wall or tape carefully around them. Press the tape onto the surface you are covering well so it will form a seal that paint doesn’t get through.
Now it is time to start painting. Use a smallish brush (about 1 1/2″ to 2″ wide. Start painting the corners of the walls. You need to paint in about 2 to 3 inches to avoid “roller burn” (the marks left behind when the roller touches the wrong wall). Do not be afraid to load the brush with paint. Stick the brush into the paint about 3/4″ deep, remove from the paint and slowly shake it back and forth until most dripping is done. Then put the brush on the wall and cover it thickly. Watch out for runs and bubbles and smooth these areas out. You will want to paint the same type border on the base of the wall as well.
After the corners and base of the wall have borders on them, you may proceed to the roller. Use a high quality roller that is appropriate for the surface you are painting. If there is light texture on your wall, use a semi-smooth or rough texture roller. You will be far less exasperated and will get a much smoother coat of paint if you use the right roller.
When you have finished, let the paint dry. Come back in 24 hours to inspect the paint job. There will be spots that the brush didn’t quite get or that the roller skipped. Touch these spots up with the paintbrush or the roller (depending on size of the sparse paint).
Come back in 2 hours and marvel at the total change in the ambience and feel of your room. You can do this for the whole house, experimenting with colors, texture painting, etc. Don’t be afraid to change things around and prepare to have fun doing it.
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