Now that you’ve mastered painting perfect tapelines, it’s time to finish up. Painting a huge space can be a physically demanding task: squatting to roller the bottom, climbing ladders to roll the top. Here’s a few tips to minimize the pain of painting.
- Paint roller and covers – ladies, unless Paul Bunyan has offered to paint for you, do yourself a favor and bypass those humungous rollers. Not only are they heavy when loaded with paint, but the splatter they throw off is enough to make you look like a human Jackson Pollack. Grab what they call 6.5″ mini-rollers instead. These smaller frames and roller covers hold almost as much paint and they won’t have your arms screaming “uncle” after one wall. Choose the correct roller “nap” for the texture of your wall – more texture needs thicker nap.
- Roller handle extender – Mr Longarm‘s button release makes for super quick length adjustments.
- Paint tray – liners always wiggle in those fancy metal trays. These sturdy plastic trays hold up just great, fit your roller perfectly and can be tossed when you’re done.
• Ladder – preferably one with wide steps and a nice shelf. My lightweight 4′ Cosco has been my trusty assistant for a decade. I’m 5’6″ and can easily reach a 8′ ceiling from the top step.
- Dropcloth – doesn’t have to be fancy… some old towels can work fine, unless you’re really clumsy.
- Screwdriver – for your switch/outlet plates.
AND if you’re military, don’t forget to ask Home Depot and Lowe’s for their 10% discount (they will even honor it for online purchases – just “live chat” with one of their specialists)!
Make sure all your “cutting in” is done with a brush before you start rolling (wall edges and inside corners). Click HERE if you missed the post on perfect tape lines.
Step 1. Remove all light switch and outlet covers. Please don’t just tape and paint around them – not only is it lazy, but it will cement that cover to the wall in a very unsightly manner.
Step 2. Fill the tray well with your color-du-jour. I like to steady my tray edge against the baseboard, too. I’m going rogue here and not using a dropcloth, but you may want to. Attach your roller to the handle extender. Evenly saturate the cover and roll off extra on the bumpy part of the tray.
Step 3. Working in 2ft columns, start at the bottom and paint your way to the top. Run the roller in an X-ing motion – opposing diagonal strokes – for the best coverage. Using the handle extension allows you the ability to paint the entire wall standing in one comfortable position. Since you already painted 2″ in from all the edges when you taped, you don’t have to worry about getting super close to the ceiling or baseboards.
Step 4. Continue making columns up, then down, until the whole wall is covered. I have never met a paint that didn’t need two coats (at least). Paint the first coat around the entire room and typically it will be dry enough to keep going with a second coat by the time you get back to your starting point. Enlisting a helper makes it twice as fast and fun.
Step 5. Wait about 8 hours before replacing the switch covers – you don’t want them to adhere to tacky paint. It’s not worth rinsing out roller covers and trays either… just toss ’em.
You’re done! Did anyone notice we didn’t use the ladder?! Hooray! Well, it is my favorite ladder and I forgot to mention it for taping (where you do need it), so I threw it in here. The quickest way to change the mood of a space is with a new wall color and now you know how to do it right.
Stay tuned for death defying acts of awesomeness in my painting impossible stairwells post…