DIY House Painting Tips For The Spring Season

Winter's nearly over and as warmer weather draws near, homeowners start pondering what to do with their home outside of general Spring cleaning. Some of us imagine new flower beds, lawn upgrades, replacing windows or look to their aging roof as a good place to start. Although, a good handful of the ideas center on updating their home's paint, either from an interior exterior standpoint. And when that happens, the decision's a two-way street: either go a DIY route and break out ragged clothes and paint supplies or skip that process entirely by hiring a professional paint contractor.

Should you opt for the DIY route, there are a number of steps and general tips you should know to make the project as painless and efficient as possible. From deciding on paint trims to perfecting your paint stroke, here are some important reminders before starting.

Choosing The Right Pattern - Regretting a paint coat after it's been applied is something no homeowner should have to endure. Which is why nailing the perfect color pattern(s) is important from the get-go. Take your time with sorting through colors, take samples home and put different colors against each on the wall. Sites like Home Depot, Lowes or local home improvement stores will be more than happy to accommodate questions and concerns, providing insight into popular choices, which colors contrast well together, etc.

Do A Supply Checklist -- Seems pretty standard for any paint project, but where this tip's different is in the quality of supplies you buy. Stocking up on trusted name brand paints can sometimes be the difference of one coat application versus two. Quality paints tend to bond longer, look bolder and can minimize fading spots. As for other supplies, investing in higher-quality paint brushes and rollers is recommended as well because thicker and stronger bristles can make edging less tedious with repeat strokes. And then there's everything else such as tarps, blue paint tape to protect edges around light switches, wooden floor panels and around the window sill.

Choosing When To Paint -- If it's an outside job, you must obviously account for weather and if rain's on the horizon. So let's say you want to paint a couple hours before storms roll in, make sure you aren't leaving fresh coats exposed to rain drops because the water will run through the paint and cause streaks and/or dripping. In some cases, the drips and streaks can be so problematic that you'll have to go over the affected area all over again. As for interior jobs, it's recommended that the entire room have an ideal temperature setting (somewhere between 60-75 degrees) to prevent what I call "paint sweats", where the paint drips or bubbles up because of extreme humidity conditions. Counter that problem by either turning on a ceiling fan, cracking a window or setting the thermostat to the temperatures I mentioned before.

Scraping, Priming and Basic Painting Strokes -- Now that the supplies and patterns have been selected, the rest of the process is prepping, priming and painting. First off, there's the prep work which involves scraping and priming. You'll want to scrape away loose or abraised paint chips away so that when it comes time to prime, the surface is as even as possible. As far any indentations go, take a little puddy to fill in the cracks to a level shine. Secondly, it's time to prime. Laying down a primer coat is highly recommended because it acts as a helpful bonding agent to the paint. I've seen some people skip this step for whatever reason, and know that eventually their paint coats won't last long or look as bold as they should. Then once you've primed the walls, it's on to the final step of applying the paint. Before you break out the roller or go with a spray gun, take a brush and edge around all the corners of the room or outside of the house. Get around the windows and paint enough of a space to where the roller or spray gun wouldn't accidentally touch the window pane or wood floor boards. Paint strokes from top to bottom is best, and if you're using a roller, roll with an "M" pattern to take care of any porous spaces and evening out the paint as best you can.

And that's a general idea of how to prepare yourself for home painting projects. It's one of those home improvement jobs that can't really be skimmed through both from a supply and performance end. The last thing you want to do is spend extra money on paint cans by having to go back and touch up areas that either look lighter in tone or show the old paint. Being proactive with your painting can make your home look its best for the Summer months and many years to come afterwards.

Date Created: 7-Mar-2012
Last Updated: 22-Nov-2014
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