Painting Right

Planning and prep work for getting the job done well.

In the next week or so, I plan to paint the study nook that I have planned for my daughters.

I have successfully dismantled the gigantic, heavy desk that once sat in the space, and just last week, I went to a local paint store (that was having a sale) and bought a can of paint in the light shade of green that my kids picked out.

I plan to get two inexpensive desks from Wal-Mart  (in my daughters’  favorite colors, pink and blue) and put up a brightly colored wall decal (on the wall behind the desk) that my daughters picked out.

But this time when I paint, I plan to do it right. Back when I was working full-time as a senior editor for WSJ.com, I took a day off to paint my daughters’ bathroom. Because I wanted to get the room done in a day, the results were less than spectacular. Repainting that bathroom is another task on my long to-do list around the house.

I recently found when repainting my home’s laundry room that I work best when I paint very slowly, only aiming to paint a wall a day. (I usually paint when my kids are in school.)

I aim to spend my first day prepping the space for painting. Because I am a messy painter, I will carefully tape off the room, taping the ceiling where it meets the wall, so I won’t get any wall paint on the ceiling – like I did in my kids’ bathroom. I’ve read that it’s best to apply the painters tape in long continuous strips, pressing it down with a plastic tool, so that paint is less likely to seep in under the tape.

I will put down a drop cloth over the carpeting, so I won’t spill any paint. Before painting, I will remove switch plates instead of trying to paint around them, so I will be less likely to make a mess.

I found that both Sherwin-Williams and Behr offer helpful tutorials videos with painting tips.

If all goes well, my kids will soon be able to enjoy their new study nook.


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