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Painting tips for homeowners

image of paint

Painting a home has such an impact. In fact, it is one of the single easiest things you can do to change the look and feel of a home inside and out. So, if you are picking out colors for a new build or you are planning to refresh an existing home, here are some painting tips for you.

On the surface painting seems like an easy enough task. However, as simple as it may seem, proper planning and execution makes a big difference. Here are some Do's and Don'ts for you to consider

DO invest in your brushes and rollers

The greats didn't use crappy brushes and neither should you. Buy at LEAST middling quality rollers and brushes, or risk having to return to the home store to buy more halfway through the job. Brushes should be stiff, thick and create a straight, even stroke. And here' a tip: DON'T wash them out between coats, and don't leave them resting in thinner. Put them in a plastic baggie or wrap one around the top if they're too big. Looking to add some power to your job? Invest in a power roller, which is relatively inexpensive and saves lots of energy, especially if you're painting a high wall or ceiling.

DON'T be afraid to paint your exterior

Besides landscaping, nothing does more for your curb appeal than the color and quality of your home's paint job. It also extends the life of your siding and increases the value of your home. It can also provide a much-needed shift in energy and "vibe" for your home.

DO keep an eye on the weather and time of day

It's self-evident that you shouldn't paint when it's raining, and you probably don't want to paint in the dead of summer and 100-degree heat. But did you know that you shouldn't paint when it's windy? Wind can cause paint to streak, dry too fast and it can blow dirt and other particles into the wet paint. You also don't want to paint when it's too cold. Paint should be specially formulated for temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (the label should tell you).

DO put in some work ahead of time

There is more to a fresh coat of paint than just running to your favorite paint or home supply store and then just slopping it on the walls. Most projects, especially in older homes, will require a good deal of work ahead of time. It's painstaking, yes, but the best DIY painting jobs require a good deal of taping (if you don't follow other edging methods), filling chips and holes in plaster and then smoothing the surface, and priming. Pro tip for parents: Taping is a great excuse to involve your kids in the process. Just be sure to let them take part in the satisfying reveal when you remove the tape to show off a sharp new room.

DON'T choose risque over retail

If you're sprucing up your home with an eye on selling in coming months, avoid the temptation to have the tangerine bathroom you've always wanted, or painting random stencil patterns on an office wall. You're trying to look good to as many potential buyers as possible, and sometimes that means playing it a little safe. That means neutrals. You don't have to forego color completely -- a vision for a space should be the buyer's not yours. Add splashes of pop and color via pillows, curtains and other removable pieces. You might even save yourself some money and time having to repaint at the behest of your eventual buyers... or your Realtor.

DO consider hiring a pro

If resale is your primary goal -- or if you simply don't have the time or energy to do the job right -- consider hiring a professional. You'll be amazed at how quickly the job can get done when someone else is doing it, and you're guaranteed to be satisfied. Consult an online referral site like Angie's list, or better yet, talk to your agent! He or she is sure to know a great painter who will help you get on the road to profiting from your sale.


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