by Dawn M. Smith

It’s the beginning of the New Year and DIY motivation is high!

Use 2017’s new enthusiasm to complete a paint project in your home. The reasons can be as simple as desiring an upgrade for the living room, or because a real estate transaction is a possibility.

Is a spot on MLS in your home’s future?

Painting is hands down the best way to make an impactful update for the least of amount of money.  The process takes a bit of thoughtfulness before undertaking a project, however. These tips will put even beginners on the right track.

As with any project, the more effort made before the application process, the better results will be.


Not only are there thousands of color choices, but the types of paint are similarly vast.

Latex paint is water based and easy to work with, quick to dry, and simple to clean. There are three types of sheen:

  • High Gloss is very stain resistant, but the surface must be in excellent condition because imperfections are amplified.
  • Semi-Gloss is widely used on trim and high traffic areas.
  • Eggshell Gloss has the least amount of sheen, commonly used in bedrooms.
  • Flat doesn’t have a gloss factor, hides flaws well, but doesn’t withstand scrubbing. Flat paint is used for less trafficked rooms and ceilings.

Oil based paints are durable and are found in kitchens and bathrooms. Novice painters may find them challenging, especially because clean up requires mineral spirits.

*Important* Primers are applied to even surfaces and provide a layer of adhesion for the new paint. They may be applied first, or mixed in with the color, but most jobs require a primer.  They are water or oil based and some may include mold resistant additives.


Spending the least amount for the best quality (and reusable) tools is the way to go.

Brushes and Rollers:

  • Brushes are either synthetic or natural. Most DIY painters find synthetic brushes easier to clean and handle. Their widths vary for particular jobs.
  • 1 to 2 inch brushes are for windows, trim, and corners.
  • 3 inch brushes cover doors and cabinets.
  • 4 inch brushes paint large flat surfaces.
  • Rollers vary in pile length and fabric type. Pile depth dictates which surfaces they’ll cover. Smooth will work with drywall and rough piles handle stucco and popcorn finishes.

Other Accessories

  • Paint trays or buckets with roller grid
  • Painter’s tape
  • 5 in 1 Tool
  • Drop Cloth


Perfect wall surface is the ideal blank slate. Walls that have been repaired and clean will take the paint most efficiently.

  • Remedy nail holes, cracks, and grime.
  • Remove wall plates and doors.
  • Use Painter’s tape for perfect lines.
  • Clear as many items from the room as possible. Accidents happen!


There are two methods that most painters use.

  • “Cutting In” means painting only the intended surface, while avoiding connecting surfaces like ceilings or trim with Painter’s tape. Roller brushes fill in the wall surface.
  • The “Top Down” method means starting with the ceiling and heading down to the crown molding, walls, windows, doors, and baseboards.

Expect to use two coats, possibly more if the original color was very saturated.

Painting really can be fun. After learning the basic techniques and investing in quality tools, the process will move much more quickly.


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