I am very lazy. I am also a bit of a perfectionist. These two aspects of my personality are in constant battle. Who wins you ask? Lazy….that’s who. Today I’m going to show you how a lazy perfectionist paints her walls.
1. Prep Your Space
This necessary step is typically what causes me to put off painting. In order to just dive in, I do as little prep as possible. As you can see in the above photo, I didn’t bother cleaning my room before painting. I just moved everything, mess and all, to the middle of the room. If I had to have everything clean and in order, I wouldn’t have gotten my painting done.
I gather all my tools together before I begin. I use cheap rollers and I spoil myself with them. (The only thing worse than the prep of painting is the clean up!) I use an edger, a professional edging brush, and even paint brushes.
- Spackle all holes.
I like to use this pink spackle that dries white because I know when it’s ready to be smoothed. I use a sandwich spreader for small holes and sometimes just my fingers. I find this works better for me than a putty knife. I also don’t sand it when its dry. I hate the mess of sanding and find a damp sponge works great to smooth the spackle.
- Tape off your baseboards with painters tape.
I have absolutely NO luck with painters tape, so I hardly bother with it. I use it unconventionally to tape all my outlet switch hardware to the switch. This makes it much easier to put all the covers back on without having to search for all those little screws.
- Lay down your drop cloths.
Again, I use minimal drop cloths when I paint. I find I somehow manage to get paint on my floor whether I use them or not, and without a drop cloth I can actually SEE the paint on the carpet and take care of it before it sets in. If you use plastic drop cloths (the cheapest option), keep in mind that paint on the drop cloth won’t dry quickly and inevitably you will step in it and then track it around. I prefer using an old mattress pad as my cloth. I also set up my paint can, tray, and roller on its own “mobile” drop cloth so I can easily drag it around the room.
- Edge and cut it.
I HATE edging and cutting in. Ugh. Bleck. Blah. Huffy. Puffy. I stink at edging no matter how expensive the brush. Enter my savior, Shur-Line paint edger. I love this little guy. He’s not perfect, and if you get any paint on those little wheels he runs on, it will be all over your woodwork or ceiling. But I have much better success with him than I do with a brush. I highly recommend him, and he only costs around $3.
See how smooth that edge is? I seriously can’t do that with a brush. It would be all over the ceiling. I find that if I edge the entire room first, the rest of the painting goes quickly and is much more fulfilling.
- Roll it on
I have used paint that cost $9 a can and paint that cost over $40 a can. The difference? Depends. But typically, better paint is more forgiving and easier to work with. Cheaper paint tends to dry fast, or run, or show roller marks, or start to clump up and smear in little chunks on your wall. You don’t need to spend a fortune on your paint, but going cheap isn’t always the best idea. I’ve had success with both Behr (Home Depot brand) and Valspar (Lowes brand) paints.
You can see in the above picture the I have lofted ceilings in my bedroom. They are about 13 feet tall at the highest point. I had to enlist my hubby to edge one wall of my ceiling because I couldn’t quite reach it without falling off the ladder. In order to reach everything with a roller, simply unscrew your broomstick and fly around the room. Kidding. Just seeing if you’re still with me! Unscrew your broom from it’s stick and screw the end of your roller onto your broomstick. It works, and you don’t have to purchase another tool!
- How to roll it on
Load up your roller with paint and then without picking up your roller from the wall, paint a big letter W. Still without picking up your roller, fill in the gaps of the letter with even strokes. If you see any blobs of paint or uneven roll marks smooth them out with your roller. If you have cheap paint, you’ll notice that it won’t allow you to keep going over your painted area without a mess. This is where paint “forgiveness” is key. No matter what quality of paint you have, I have yet to find one that allows a great one coat look. The walls above only have one coat and from a distance they look okay, but up close you can still see some of the original yellow shining through. They need at least two coats to look great!
If you need to take a break from painting, take a large plastic bag and fit it around your roller and pan. Take any brushes and place them in plastic bags and seal tightly. Remember that it is air that causes paint to dry. You can even stick your brushes in the fridge for additional non-drying-security.
- Clean up
You’re going to get messy. I make it a habit to wear clothes that will work as drop cloths and rags. I wipe paint all over myself as I go. I also use baby wipes for getting paint off of the carpet, the ceiling, the woodwork, the dog’s fur, etc. These things work GREAT!
Here I have tossed my plastic drop cloth, my stick, my plastic pan liner, and my roller. Not very green of me I know, but I’m not sure anything would ever get painted if I didn’t allow myself this grace.
So how about you? Any great painter’s tips or shortcuts to share with me? Do tell!
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