How to Start and Finish Painting Over a Long Weekend

Sponsor content courtesy of Glidden

By Diane Henkler

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Need to paint a room or two? Do you keep putting it off because you have never done it or would rather go to the dentist than have to get out the rollers and drop cloths? The actual process of rolling-on or brushing-on paint is very easy; it is the prep work that takes the most time and planning and I think is what makes us procrastinate when it comes to getting the rooms painted in our homes.

If you have a room or two that you would like to paint, but just haven’t had the energy to get completed, it may help if you put it on your calendar just like you would any other event. Scheduling "it in" will make it feel more like a commitment, and not so easy to put off. It also lets you build up to it like any other event in your life that you plan ahead for.

Last week I started transforming the office in my home that I dub my studioffice. I rearranged the furniture, but it was not enough change. I wanted bright and cheery and the tan on the walls that I painted 7 years ago was just looking too dreary. I found some fabric that I plan to use and picked a white for the walls called Pink Petal White.

It is white, but has a slight pink cast to it that changes ever so slightly during the day. I used super high gloss white paint on the trim so there would be some contrast from the eggshell finish walls. I wasn't even finished painting and I knew I loved it. 

Before I started I did a bit of planning to gear myself up. Here are some tips to help you plan ahead.

Choose a weekend and commit to it. Mark it on your calendar.

A week or so beforehand make a plan or map out which room(s) you plan to paint along with what parts—walls, ceiling, trim, windows, etc. Figure out how much paint you will need. If you are not sure here is a quick way to figure it out:

Step 1: For wall area, measure each wall's width; add together. Multiply total by room height.

Step 2: Find area (length x width) of doors and windows; subtract from wall area.

Step 3: If painting the ceiling, multiply its length by width, and add that number to Step 2. You now have the square footage of the entire room.

You will need one gallon for every 400 sq. ft. of surface area to be covered.

If you are still not sure, ask at the paint store and they will help you figure out how much you will need.

3. Write everything down and list the color, color #, and sheen of paint needed for each room.

4. If you are trying to get a few rooms done over one long weekend, then enlist the help of some of your friends and family. Tell them you are hosting a painting party, with pizza for lunch and grilled steaks that evening for all to enjoy. If you have small children, see if they can stay with grandparents for the day or weekend.

5. Early in the week before the painting weekend, buy all of your supplies.

Supplies you will need: paint, primer, brushes, rollers, trays and tray liners, paint can opener, stirring sticks, paint roller extension pole, painter’s tape, drop cloths, rags, sandpaper and sanding block, screwdriver to remove outlet covers, spackle and putty knife, paint pad to cut-in around ceiling, slider discs to easily move furniture, ladders, garbage bags.

If more than one will be painting, make sure to get a paint tray for everyone along with rollers and brushes.

Buy the best that you can afford—quality paint, brushes, and rollers will make all the difference in how your finished product will look. Buy short nap rollers for a smooth finish; get full nap if you want to add texture to your walls and ceiling.

Load up your iTunes and speakers with some upbeat songs so that you have high-energy music to paint along with. Create a fun atmosphere so that all weekend long as you paint it feels like a party, not a chore.

7. Open each can of paint to make sure it is mixed right. Believe me when I say this. Check each and every can. You don’t want to be surprised come Saturday morning when you open up the can and the color is not right. Mark each can by room and color with a magic marker.

8. Know that you are going to forget something and a trip back to the paint store is inevitable.

9. Have plenty of damp rags on hand for quick clean up of paint spills, drips, and smudges. Have a few big trash bags ready for used painters tape, paper towels, etc.

On Friday night: This is the time for prep work only—no painting. Clean all the trim and baseboards with soap and water. Painter's tape will not stick to dust. Clear out any cobwebs in the corners of the room. Move the furniture into the center of the room and cover it with plastic sheeting or a drop cloth if you are painting the ceiling. Cover floors and use tape to make sure the drop cloths stay in place. Remove outlet covers, fill holes with Spackle and sand smooth. Remove window grids if painting windows, and tape off trim. Remove curtains and rods and items hanging on the walls. Place all the screws and hardware in marked plastic bags so you can easily find them when you put the room back together again.

Gather all the supplies in one area. Lay a drop cloth down and place everything on top of it. You can call this your work station or staging area. Make sure all the paint cans are marked with the color, room, and wall, ceiling or trim. Place the liners in the trays and take any new tool out of its packaging.

Season the steaks, have the pizza delivery phone number handy as well as cash to pay for it and the tip when the pizza is delivered come lunchtime the next day. Make sure all the food for Saturday night’s dinner is ready to go or you have a reservation at a local restaurant. If you are eating at home, have paper plates and napkins ready as you will be too tired to want to wash any dishes.

Saturday is paint day. If prep work still needs to be done, do that first.

If you have little children give them a big pad of paper and a foam paintbrush and some water-soluble craft paint. Let them feel like they are helping. You can also make them feel important by giving them a role, like the runner who will bring things back and forth when you need them.
There are different schools of thought on what sequence you should paint the room in. I find it best to start by cutting in.

Edge or cut-in the wall first: using a brush or a paint pad, paint a 3" wide strip where the ceiling meets the walls. Repeat in each corner of the room where the walls meet as well as the floor or baseboard and around windows and doors.

After edging the ceiling, use a roller with an extension pole to do the remainder. For best results, and to prevent streaks and roller marks, you should paint the entire ceiling in one session.

Paint the walls:
Paint walls with a roller. For even application, roll in a "W" formation, then go back over the area with vertical strokes.

Save the windows and trim for last: 
Mask the glass with painters tape. Paint trim with a 1 ½" or 2" stiff angled brush. Leave window slightly open until the paint is completely dry.

Store brushes and filled paint trays in plastic bags when you break for lunch.

If you still have painting to do on Sunday, clean out the trays and brushes, but wrap your rollers in plastic bags and place in the freezer.

Sunday: Remove rollers from the freezer as soon as you get up. Keep them in the plastic bag until ready to use. It won’t take long for them to get back to room temperature. Complete any painting that needs to be done. Double check that you didn’t miss anything before clean up begins.

When the painting is finished, start removing the painter’s tape and then the drop cloths. Have a damp rag with you to wipe away any paint splatters or paint that seeped under the painters tape. Once the paint has dried, hang things back on the walls and move furniture back into place.

If you have any paint left over, make sure you can still see the color name and store it for future touch-ups. It is also a good idea to keep a list of all the paint colors along with the color chips in your house so if you need more you can use the list as an easy reference and won’t have to guess.

Once your room is back in order you will be rewarded for all of your efforts. Painting the walls in my studioffice was the first step in transforming the room. Even though I have just started and the room looks a little disheveled, as I look around all I can see is a fresh start. It kind of feels like New Year's Day.

It is a good feeling to see that change and move forward. That is the power of paint! If you want to make a few changes to your home, schedule a painting weekend and mark it on your calendar. You will be happy you did.


Next Up

What Painting Supplies Do I Need?

Sponsor content courtesy of Glidden By Melissa Michaels

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