Painting for a pick-me-up
There are jobs best delegated to contractors. While waiting (and waiting) for selected providers to show up for the big problems, I decided painting was a little thing I could do to dramatically improve my mood.
Whether your aim is to brighten a room, create a feel, change a decor or simply enjoy a sense of accomplishment, painting is an easy and inexpensive way to significantly change the look of a room.
Color palettes are so much easier to work with now for fun and unexpected solutions. You can also buy test paint for about $3.50 in custom colors. I found some great tools to make the job easier that were at least new to me (it’s been a while since I’ve tackled an indoor painting job).
Of course everyone knows how to paint (it’s kind of like writing – everyone can do it but there’s a big difference when it’s done artfully). Here are some tips to help you cruise through the task more easily and cleverly:
5 fun finds with painting tools, creative ideas & a smile finish
- Must have tools: Paint (of course), rollers, tray, angle brush, tape and clothes you don’t mind getting paint on (you will). They actually now sell kits that include all but the tape & clothes for around $10. Not the best quality but good enough for most small DIY home projects.
- Smile finds: Plastic inserts for paint trays at about $1/. If you’re one who tends to let clean up happen later than it should or are doing multiple rooms with different colors in the same day, these are great for saving clean up time or shifting gears quickly. Consider including a 4” (or 2”) roller for trim and areas above doorways and below windows. Most stores now offer custom samples (7-8 ounces) they’ll mix for you at about $3.50/. This is enough for trim if you’re room isn’t huge and a big money saver for small area highlights.
- Critical often forgotten items: While tape works well in most cases, you’re going to want to have an angle brush for areas where there’s flush trim of a different color below where you’re painting. No matter how carefully and completely you tape, you’re better off spending a little extra time being precise with hand-done lines here as gravity rules and paint drips where you can’t see it until it’s too late to remove. Also, spend the money to put plastic down below where you’re working. The heavy sheeting is the best and not that much more expensive than super cheap, so splurge here – and secure it before you start.
- Cool tips for better results: Most DIY folks paint either horizontally or vertically with a roller. Do both for a cleaner cover (let the paint dry before you start a second coat). Do final touchups in bright daylight. You’ll see a lot more and thank yourself for a final inspection before you put all the tools away.
- Getting great color combinations to solve problems: My biggest issue was the living/family room, which is small, has a northern exposure and was painted a dark, ugly beige, making it feel like a cave. I needed to brighten and warm up the room. I bought the wrong colors initially (started my search in a paint department – silly me), but they’ll work well in the bedroom suite, so no waste there. Then, I spotted a painting (OK, that’s a stretch – it was $30) with sunrise colors that answered the challenge. I bought it, brought it to the store and matched two of the colors for contrasting but compatible walls and trim. This dark, depressing room now beckons sunrise even at night. Get creative in what you see around you to capture that feeling you’re going for. You’ll melt into that space with a smile on your face for your imaginative brilliance daily.
So often, homeowners make painting decisions on what they think will appeal to company or the next buyer. For less than $100 (unless you hire a pro), you can make a room sing to your soul every time you enter it. Why not have some fun with the space you’re living in now? You can always throw on a different color later intended to appeal to another. In the meantime, you can enjoy every day gratitude for a creation borne from your own hands. Think about it. If you’re looking for a great book to help get you thinking about happy surroundings, consider picking up a copy of SoulSpace: Transform Your Home, Transform Your Life — Creating a Home That Is Free of Clutter, Full of Beauty, and Inspired by You.