If you’ve just moved into a new apartment or purchased a new property, one of the first things on your mind is probably “when can I paint?” Perhaps the previous residents left a bold shade of green that doesn’t jive with your taste, or you’re itching to add style to blank white walls.
There’s no rule that you have to move your stuff into the new place right away–if you are able to, painting before you move into your new place is ideal because none of your bulky furniture will be in the way. If that’s not possible, consider placing large items in storage or mobile storage so that they are out of the way, especially if you are painting several rooms at a time.
Tackling your first major painting project? Here are some tips that will get you professional-looking results:
- Clear the room. If you can, move all the furniture and accessories out of the room. If you can’t, move everything into the middle of the room and cover with a drop cloth.
- Start with a clean surface. Wash dust and grime from walls to provide a sticky surface for your paint. If old paint is peeling or you have wall blemishes, you will want to scrape and sand those surfaces first.
- Don’t skip the primer. Priming your walls will ensure that your color sticks and its true hue will show.
- Be careful with the edges. Either use an edge pad or blue low-stick tape along door frames, ceilings and baseboards to ensure clean lines.
- Cover the floor. Use drop cloths or plastic sheeting to protect floors from the inevitable drips of paint.
- Tape the outlets. Remove wall plates where possible, and tape outlets and light switches for best results.
- Test the color. Buy a quart of paint before you commit to a gallon. Paint a small area opposite a window so you can see how the color looks with natural light.
- Always paint top-down. If you are painting the ceiling, start there, followed by the walls, trim, cabinets and doors.
- If you take a break while painting, cover rollers in plastic wrap and refrigerate so that you don’t have to clean them every time you stop.
- Allow paint to dry for 24 hours before you bring everything back into the room.