Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sweat Equity

The beginning steps of a painting project are the most annoying -- but most important of the whole process.  90% of the project is in preparation and clean up.  Gathering all the supplies, prepping the room, planning the proper order of walls/trimming can be a bit tricky.  I take great pride in being very organized during a project. There is nothing more annoying than to stop mid-way and have to run across town covered in paint from head to toe to grab an extra drop cloth or Frogtape.

Having the boys away every other weekend allows me the time and ability to forge through an idea with gusto!  Today I will share some of my preparation for the boy's bedroom makeover.

First off, I start with removing ALL items from the walls (posters, pictures, screws/nails), ceilings and windows. I move the large and cumbersome furniture to the middle of the room and it gets a drop sheet on it for time and simplicity sake.

Next up is lighting.  Nothing bugs more more than getting all cleaned up, looking at a section/spot on the wall and seeing a neglected area or not enough coats of paint. I learned early on in my 'painting career' (three houses ago) that lighting can make or break your sanity when it comes to a beautiful result.  I take off every lamp shade, open all blinds (depending on the location of the sun--it can white out too much and throw the coloring off).  I get extension cords plugged in the walls ahead of time so that all I have to do while I am 'in process' is pick up any lamp in the room and walk with it.  It is important in evaluating your work after each section to scan for blotchy spots or major errors.

Once I have the good light beaming is when I patch up the walls with Spackle.  My home is 68 years old and sand paint is the texture I have to apply for the rooms, which is applied after the Spackle dries.

Purchasing the paint and supplies can become costly (the first time you do it).  Once you have a lot of the supplies, however, all you need is the paint.  I like to scope out paint colors online and I stick with what the websites say 'works' for having certain colors together. I usually have an idea of the color I want, then seek out the coordinating/accent colors from the professionals.  I have never been disappointed with my choices. I ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS spend money on the higher quality paint and don't tolerate something from a  (no offense) 'Big-Box/Man Store.'

When I get the paint home I like to examine the paint before I start the job.  There have been times when I have had the paint mixed and the mixing person does not share the color with me... that drives me absolutely nuts!  If I am spending $50.00 a gallon on paint, I want to see what I am purchasing from you.  So, if they haven't done that for me before I purchased, I get my OCD self home and check it out.  I also do a 'drop' sample on each lid and side of can.  This way I can quick reference from the shelves when stored away or when I am standing in the room painting away and need to open something up quick. I am all about making my future self happy, this is a serious time-saver.

It is important to have a sturdy workstation while painting (covered with a drop cloth if the furniture is important).  When starting out a job I like to have a list (found on Pinterest or any DIY website) with a suggested list of items.  (Why NOT use it-again time-saver).  Added on to my list are garbage bags-which I use to cover the paint tray and brushes overnight, rather than cleaning, some good tunes, 'junk shoes' (for standing on the ladder), a small bowl of water (with lid) and paper towels for small slip-ups.

Here is what my workstation looks like before I get going:

Once I have everything in one place, the room is cleared, I am dressed for a mess and tunes are on.. Stage 4 of prep starts... taping.  I use Frogtape (shown above) and a straight edge to help push down for corners, woodwork and alternating between wall and ceiling.  Taping can be a tedious job but it is worth it.  I don't have a sturdy hand AND I am a huge klutz, so I appreciate this step big time.  Once that is done, I am ready to rock with the drop cloths getting laid out, I pour my paint for trim work and begin....

I start with the ceiling. Every time. I start with the trim (any straight line is followed), corners and outlets/switches or areas that can't fit a roller between.  When I have trimming (coat 1) complete I roll out the first big area.  This is usually when I get excited because I know I am finally underway with the project and there is no turning back!  A sturdy ladder or step stool is important to have nearby so that every area of the room is accessible.  Note: it is important to roll out the entire wall/ceiling in one full coat completing it in its entirety. Reason being, if you have one area of the wall wet/the other dry and it isn't done together, you may mistake an area for not having a deep enough hue/shade.  Can you tell I have made this mistake?  Here is what the boy's room looked like when I started out:

Lots of work to be done!  More to come... 

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