Fastidious, yet Fabulous Painting Tips

I’ve actually seen people freak out over paint color, in the bad way. “Oh my God, it doesn’t look like the chip in the store!! Oh my God! What the hell??” Generally, when I see people picking paint colors and buying them in the store, I’ll have my own Designer Intervention with them, and lay it down for them: you MUST take te card home and look at the paint sample in the room that you’re actually going to paint!

And that’s just the beginning. Yes, I do this for a living, and details are my life and fine, call me anally retentive about decor (I’m a Virgo… Born this Way!) but there are a bunch of little steps that are worth doing to ensure that the paint chip you love is the color you’ll get. And there are even more steps on how to paint (if you’re doing it yourself.)

SO… my point is that yes, following these ideas will take you longer, but your home will look the way you want it. Isn’t that worth a little extra time? Oui. Here are the steps I follow every time I paint. Try them. You’ll like the results!!

-Get a whole bunch of paint card samples at the store. More than you think you’ll need. Go home and look at the paint colors on the wall/ceiling in the daylight. I generally scotch tape them up and look from 5 feet away. You may have 2 or 3 choices,which is OK at this point.

-Benjamin Moore (95% of the paint I use) has these little 4 oz samples that you can buy for a couple of bucks. Great idea to get them and test the color on a big piece of oak tag, so you can see the color on a larger area than the tiny chip. Once they dry, look at them again in the area they would go. Now, once you like them in the daylight, look at them at night with whatever artificial lighting you have.

-Make sure the colors go with your furniture, rugs, etc. If you like the colors in the sunlight and lamp-light, get them. As far as finishes, I generally get eggshell for the walls and semi-gloss for the trim. (In the kitchen, I get Pearl for the walls. It’s easier to clean.)

-I buy cheap brushes (2 at 1″ and 2 at 3″) a 6-pack of moderate-priced roller pads, and good painter’s tape. Don’t skimp on the good tape! And if you get the disposable drop-cloths, the cheapest ones suck, but the medium ones are OK. If you want to be eco-friendly, get cloth ones and re-use them.

-Important supplies to get before doing any actual work: a great playlist on your ipod, a good friend or 2 to paint with, sandwiches, chips and wine or beer. Calories don’t count when you’re doing manual labor.

-Prime the whole room white (usually 2 coats) as whatever colors you have chosen must be applied on a white base, and not whatever color existed on the wall. Now, if you can prime the night before, that helps a lot. If not, the primer should dry for about 4 hours.

-Edge and paint the ceilings first, followed by the walls. Then the trim: windows, crown molding and base molding. Lastly, the door frame and the door. There is less chance of you getting paint on yourself that way. Everything should have 2 coats.

That’s it! Whew!! So, now that you know what to do, why not give it a shot for a weekend? Believe it or not, painting is actually fun to do, and you’ll like the feeling of accomplishment. Let me know what happens! :-)

To see some of this work in action check out

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