Whether you want to fix an old paint job or you’re in the mood for a total design transformation, going the DIY paint route can save you a good amount of money. You may not be a professional painter, but following these four steps can help you make your at-home paint job a success.
1) Choose a Color
Walking into a paint store or going into the paint aisle can feel pretty overwhelming with the vast number of swatches lining the shelves. How to choose amid the seemingly never-ending color options? Here are some strategies for narrowing down your option and picking the right shade:
- Consider the color scheme of the furniture: First, look at what pieces are already in the room you want to paint. It’s easier to match paint to the furniture you already have, rather than to go out and buy all new furniture to match a certain color. You can pull a color from a piece, or you can use a color wheel to see what paint colors would complement the ones already in the room.
- Compare paints at home: Remember, the lighting in the store will be different than the lighting at your house. You’ll also be able to easily see how the color works with your actual furniture and flooring versus whatever backdrop you have at the store. Therefore, take the paint swatches home and hold them up against the walls.
- Check out gradual shades: If there’s a color you like but it’s not quite working, see the slightly lighter or darker shades of the color. Paint swatches often have these variations right next to each other, and that small tweak may be just what you need to find the perfect fit.
- Sample the paints: While looking at paint swatches is helpful, there’s nothing like seeing the actual paint on the walls. It’s even better if you can leave the paint there for a couple of days so you can view it in the different lighting throughout the day. Taking this extra step will hopefully save you from having to return a bunch of paint cans to the store or painting the whole room only to realize you’ve made a mistake.
2) Determine How Much Paint with a Paint Calculator
Once you’ve chosen your color and it comes time to purchase your paint cans, it’s generally a good idea to buy less first. You can always go back to the store to buy more paint, rather than spending extra money on a surplus you have no need for.
To avoid having too much or too little paint, use a paint calculator.With GIGA Calculator’s tool, just plug in the dimensions of the room you want to paint (including any measurements for windows and doors), the number of coats you want to paint, and the efficiency of the paint coverage (which is usually listed on the label), and the paint calculator will calculate how many gallons of paint you need.
3) Buy the Paint and Other Tools
After using the the paint calculator to determine how much paint you’ll need, you can head to the store to purchase it, along with the other tools you’ll need for the job. Grab some painter’s tape to prevent paint from getting on the ceiling and any trim, a drop cloth to keep your work area clean, a paint tray to pour the paint into, and, of course, a roller to apply the paint.
Depending on your paint job, you may want to get an extension pole for your roller or have a ladder so you can reach to the top of the wall. Some smaller brushes may also come in handy for those finer touch-ups and harder-to-reach spaces.
4) Get to Work!
With all that preparation out of the way, you can start on the fun part: the painting! Well, almost. Clear the room as necessary and remove anything from the walls. Lay the drop cloth down on the floor, clean and prep the walls, and cover any edges with the painter’s tape. Then, stir your paint with a paint stirrer (often given for free with paint can purchase) or a wooden stick so that the color is properly blended, and pour some into your painter’s tray.
Now, the painting really begins! Work from top to bottom in a V-, W-, or M-shaped motion, one wall at a time. When dipping the roller into the tray of paint, make sure to roll off any excess so you can avoid splatter. Once you’ve finished painting, wait at least six to eight hours before putting anything back on the walls so the paint can properly dry.
By following these steps and using a convenient paint calculator, you can tackle a DIY paint job at home with ease. Enjoy your newly painted room!
Cindy is a freelance writer and editor with previous experience in marketing as well as book publishing. Along with her content writing for a diverse portfolio of clients, Cindy’s work has been featured in Thrillist, The Points Guy, Forbes, and more.