Repainting the Walls

Repainting the walls in your current home is the easiest and most economical way to refresh a stale look. Adding a splash of color to any room can even spruce up seemingly tired furnishings. There are literally thousands of colors to choose from. Deep rich designer colors can make a dramatic statement. Pastels and colors found in nature evoke a serene ambiance. The color you choose is a reflection of your design personality, just as your Christmas tree decorations are.

Once the color is chosen, the decision remains as to which finish you would prefer. Typically, there are three surface finish options when you're painting the walls. There's a flat or matte finish, which is non-reflective, is easy to apply, and works well with a rustic or natural design theme. You can choose and eggshell finish, which is slightly less matte and generally the preferred finish by professionals for it's versatility, as it's neither dull, nor reflective, and lastly there's a satin finish. Satin is slightly more reflective and a bit more durable. This finish works well in kitchens, children's rooms and bathrooms.

Though all finishes can be applied to the walls in your home, you'll probably want to reserve gloss finishes for accents like moldings and window or door trims. These finishes tend to be very shiny, however they are easy to clean as dust, smudges and fingerprints wipe right off. All paint finishes hold up to cleaning, however, the less matte the finish the easier to wipe clean.

You're now ready to repaint your walls. Begin by preparing and repairing any damage that's occurred over time. You'll want to spackle gouges, or scrapes, remove scuff marks with an erasable sponge, and wash down the walls making sure they are dust and debris free.

Once your spackle is dry and sanded, and your walls are clean, you'll start preparing the room. Remove all furniture, or move it all to the center of the room, away from the walls, and cover it with plastic tarps or sheets. Cover the floor area under the space where you'll begin. Using painters tape, tape around windows, baseboards, chair rails, doorways and closets. You want to make sure your paint goes only where you want it to go and not on the trim, carpet or furniture. Should some paint splatter or inadvertently find it's way to your painted surface trim, you can generally wipe it clean with water if you catch it right away.

Organize all the tools you'll need for your painting project. Make sure you have the right brushes and rollers for the job. You'll need a flat edged brush, an angled trim brush and a new roller and rolling tray. If you have a clean, empty coffee can, or disposable container, you can use this to refill your paint tray. It's much easier and less cumbersome than refilling from the gallon, which will help prevent spills. You never want to keep too much paint in the rolling pan as it can become tacky and dry out. Make sure you also have a damp rag and some water handy for cleaning splatters and that the room is properly ventilated. A box fan can come in handy.

Now you're ready for repainting the walls. Using your roller, apply paint to the wall in even strokes. Try to get as close to the trim areas as possible without getting paint on the actual surface. You'll use the angled brush to get into the corners and around the trim, the flat brush for touch-ups. Take your time and enjoy the process. You're transforming your room and patience is a must when repainting your walls.

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