Tip of the Week
The difference between a professional paint job and a do-it-yourself job that looks like a pro painted it is surprisingly simple. If you want that professional look while maintaining your DIY pride — and checkbook — take the time and effort to pay attention to often overlooked details.
Step-by-step prep: Move furniture and other items out of the room if at all possible. If not, be sure to completely cover and secure the items to fend off spills and spatters. Opt for a canvas drop cloth instead of a one-time plastic covering. Canvas is extremely durable and will lie flat, preventing any unforeseen tripping or rips that may expose flooring and furniture.
Use painter's tape to protect woodwork like door frames, window frames and moldings, and remove electric fixture covers and plates. Don't forget the door knobs or cabinet pulls. Use small plastic bags to cover them and secure with painter's tape if you can't remove them entirely.
Should you run into any issues of stray paint, use absorbent newspaper to soak up unwanted drops. Finally, gather rollers, brushes, paint and trays, and place them on their own drop cloth in an easily accessible area.
Focus on the details: Look for areas that, if omitted, will surely draw negative attention and make your room look unfinished: baseboards, trim, chair rails, molding and doors, as well as the interior of door and window frames. You'll want to use a compact tool that gives you more control, like a mini paint roller.
Wrap up the room: It is best to paint any trim before tackling the walls. Start with the baseboards and paint around the room in one direction, paying careful attention not to miss any areas. Next, paint any window trim, door trim and crown molding. Be sure to remove painter's tape before the paint dries for a cleaner line.
When you're ready for the walls, start painting from the top and work your way down the wall. As you get close to where your ceiling meets the wall or where the wall meets trim, take your time, and don't feel the need to paint right up to the edge with a large roller.
Before putting all your furniture back and paint cans away, take one last look around. Perhaps you have fixtures or furniture that could use a touch-up. You can take this moment to carry your color scheme throughout the room and add new life to mirrors or picture frames.