Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Beginner Painting

Now that the weather is getting a bit cooler, it’s time to think of some indoor projects. Around Chicago, we’ve had some rainy weekends- perfect for tackling that room that could use a new coat of paint or a color change. Hiring a professional can be pricey. Painting on your own is quite easy with a little preparation and care.

First, measure your room. Multiply the number of feet from ceiling to floor by the diameter of the room. Add the square footage of any doors or windows and subtract. When you buy paint it’s best to over, rather than under, estimate. Paint is difficult to match exactly. Latex paint is appropriate for most home uses. Use flat for ceilings and semigloss for the walls, as it’s easily cleaned with soap and water. You may choose oil-based for high moisture areas, like kitchens and baths, but remember you’ll need a solvent for clean-up.

I recommend cloth or newspapers for a drop cloth. Plastic disposable ones are quite slippery and not environmentally friendly. Tape the edges to the baseboard to prevent drops. Use flat, latex paint for the ceiling. Roll the paint in overlapping, two- foot strokes. Choose a medium nape disposable roller cover. Invest in a real paint tray and use disposable liners. When painting walls, always “cut in” first. Use a 2-inch angled brush to paint around the entire perimeter of the wall, around windows, and doors. Finish with the roller. Roll straight up and down, working in 3-foot sections, going from left to right (if you are right handed), the opposite way if left handed.

Windows can be tricky, but not if you are careful. First, tape off the glass with painter’s tape. And open both sashes slightly. Place toothpicks between sash and frames to prevent drying closed. Use your angle brush with a light hand.

Save leftover paint for touch-ups. Always remember paint is considered hazardous waste and cannot be thrown into city garbage. Contact your city or village hall for proper disposal of paint and painting garbage.