Painting walls a different color can breathe new life into a room.

With many still at home due to the pandemic, now might be the time to tackle such a project.

But what do you need to know? The folks at Lowe’s home improvement store offer some advice.

First, you should prepare the room by emptying it of all furniture. If you don’t have enough space, move everything to the center of a room. Then use a drop cloth or plastic sheeting to cover items and the floor.

Make sure walls are clean, and apply painter’s tape to the edges of the room’s corners, moldings and door and window casings. Experts also recommend removing outlet and light switch covers.

To estimate how much paint you’ll need, figure on one gallon per 400 square feet.

From there, mix your paint and pour into a paint tray. Dip a roller in paint and work from the top of the room down. Long strokes in a “W” pattern provide for better coverage. If you’re painting dark walls a brighter color, be prepared to use three coats including primer and at least two coats of the new color. Only apply an additional coat once the previous application is dry.

Paint one wall at a time. To tackle molding and corners, use a brush to apply paint. And if you decide to paint the trim, start from the top and work your way down to the baseboards.

Experts also remind painters to make sure their room is well-ventilated. This means opening windows and using fans. Keeping a room warm — and using a fan — will help speed the drying process. And remember that paint will take longer to dry on damp days.

When painting is finished, remove all painter’s tape and drop cloths once you’re sure that all drips and spills are dry.

Paint brushes used with latex- or water-based paints can be cleaned with soap and water. For oil-based paints, you’ll need mineral spirits.

Outdoor painting offers different challenges and one extra variable — be sure to check the weather report for optimal conditions.


Painting prep

Typical items you need to paint a room:

  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Paint roller
  • Paint roller extension pole
  • Paint tray
  • Drop cloths or plastic
  • Painter’s tape
  • Rags to clean spills

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