August 17, 2016

House to Home: Choosing Paint

      Today is super exciting as it's my first real post in my House to Home series! Before moving in two weeks ago, my boyfriend and I decided to tackle on painting the bedroom ourselves. Let me just say, it's not as easy as it looks if you've never painted before (which we hadn't) and all those hours  I wasted watching HGTV only paid off marginally. But, now that I've painted an entire room, I can confidently say it's like riding a bike - learn it once and you'll never forget again (complete with the sore muscles that come with it).

Paint Shade

      I wanted to paint the bedroom a gray shade that had cool blue undertones to it. It had to be a medium toned gray that wasn't light enough to be mistaken for a white but not too dark so that the paint shade turned too dark at night. I had actually hoped to get swatches of this Benjamin Moore shade I had been eyeing on Pinterest, but it didn't work out because the paint store that sold Benjamin Moore was out of the way and it was easier just to get all the paint supplies and paint from Home Depot (they only sell  the brands Glidden and Behr). I decided to go with Behr since Home Depot had tons of paint shades to choose from. I originally was debating between three paint shades; Loft Space, Double Click, and High Speed Access. They were all gray toned blues and I could see myself potentially liking all three of them. I decided to go with Loft Space which fit the paint bill. I also chose eggshell as my finish as it was in between a glossy and flat finish but it was flat enough to cover up any minor imperfections on the walls. I didn't buy the paint and primer in one since the prior owners had actually painted all the walls in the apartment white before they left.

Prepping and Painting Tips

     Prepping is obviously really important to ensure that you won't get paint in areas that don't need to be painted. I found that it was better to tape off areas using one full strip the entire length of the area you need taped off as it prevents paint from slipping into the area where you placed the new strip of tape. Also take off all the electrical outlet covers and cover the sockets with blue tape, but only the sockets themselves to ensure that you paint enough of the area surrounding the socket. 

       Before painting the majority of the wall, you must "cut in" which means first painting the area immediately next to the trim, corners, and the part where the ceiling meets the wall. When cutting in, painting in up and down strokes (versus side to side) will be faster but it'll probably require a true second coat. When cutting in and using your smaller 2 or 2.5'' brush, be sure to feather out the edges with leftover paint on your brush to prevent "hat-banding" which is when you can see that one area was painted in a different directional stroke than the rest of the wall. Speaking of your paintbrush, only dip in the brush 1/3 of the way to prevent gloppy paint application - tap the brush in the bucket don't shake it when trying to get off excess paint. 

      In terms painting with the roller and nap, make sure to get an even coat all around the nap before you place it on the wall. Always keep a "wet edge" which essentially means when you start to paint a new area be sure to start it slightly over (1-2'' is enough) where you ended so that the two areas will blend in together when it dries. Be sure to do long even strokes in a "W" pattern. Paint two coats to ensure that the true color of the paint is achieved.

Check List

  • Drop Cloth (plastic is cheaper but slippery)
  • Paint Roller (any will do)
  • Paint Roller Extender
  • Paint Roller Nap (3/4'' is standard and will work for most surfaces)
  • Small 2-2.5'' angled brush (to "cut in" and paint the edges around the trim and corners)
  • Five Gallon Paint Bucket (if you have more than one gallon of paint you must pour all the buckets and mix them together to ensure a consistent paint shade - this is called "boxing")
  • Paint Trays
  • Blue Painter's Tape
  • A 5-in-1 Painters tool or Paint Can Opener

Final Result

      As you can see, I think my boyfriend and I did a pretty good job for first-timers! We painted two coats and although the paint shade came out slightly more blue than I anticipated, I'm still happy with the final result. The first picture is taken in the evening (don't mind the yellow light from the light bulb which has already been replaced by whiter light bulbs) which is when the paint looks like a true medium gray shade. The second photo above is taken in the morning when the light is cooler and the paint shade also looks more blue toned. I hope this was helpful to anyone who is also thinking of painting themselves for the first time!

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