How To Paint Your Whole House (in 4 days!)
2. Identify a Paint Station. We have a one+ year old, and all things considered (open outlets, tarps all over the floor, NO toys to play with), he did awesome. But we also worked really hard to make sure all of the painting supplies were mostly out of reach. Not only did this keep him safe, but having a central place for all of the paint, brushes, tarps, paint sticks, rollers, trays, etc really made keeping everything organized so much easier. We got into a very systematic routine of: open can of paint and stir, pour in to tray with liner, find the next ready and dry roller, go paint…and when you come back: dump paint back into can, close can up, wash out roller, throw away tray liner…and move on to the next color. This really helped us from having tons of open paint cans, tons of wet rollers, and a big ol’ mess!
3. Tape It All Out at Once. Yes, taping can be somewhat of a pain…but it really is worth it. And when you add it all up, it doesn’t really take THAT much time. I highly recommend doing all the taping in one shot. Once the paint (and the mess) comes out, it’s really nice not to have to slow your painting momentum to put more tape up. We got the keys to the house Friday afternoon, and set right to work taping everything out. We wanted to have the whole house taped so that we could wake up Saturday morning and get rollin. We were done with all the taping in just a few hours!
4. Follow the “Painting Rules.” Again, it’s somewhat of a pain, but the experts recommend what they do for a reason. Once everything is taped out, go around all the trim and outlets and nooks and crannies with a brush BEFORE you start rolling the big “Ws” of paint. With all the edges already done, the paint actually goes up much faster. And do this same thing again when you apply the second coat of paint. Nothing is more distracting than wall peaking through the firs coat around the doors and windows. No lies, painting all the trim takes a long time, but it will make the overall process smoother. Oh, and we tried to cut corners with those “edgers” – not worth it – we ended up using an old-fashioned paint brush to get the job done!
5. Lay Tarps Down. This is another one of those pains-in-the-butt, but again totally worth it. It seemed like it was Murphy’s law..in the few spaces we didn’t have plastic down, we spilled paint, making more clean-up work for ourselves. Each room we moved to, we said “should we put more tarps down?” and we always did. The baby hated them, they sure do make walking around the house harder, but clean up went so much faster. Spend the money, plop them down, deal with the nuisance….but enjoy pulling them up on the last day to nice clean floors!
6. Enlist Friends for Help. I am not really sure we would have finished our planned paint job before the moving trucks arrived if two of our friends hadn’t so graciously offered to help! I’d like to think we would have painted through the night to get it all up, but in reality, you can only paint so much….your arms and will power only last so long! When our friends offered to help, we eagerly accepted because four people really do get paint up on the wall MUCH faster than two. If it hadn’t been for our friends…we may not have lived to tell about this experience 😉 If you really are down to the wire, ask for and accept help. Plus…painting parties are fun!
7. Plan Out Your “Schedule.” This is probably my biggest and best tip! If you are doing “fancy” paint jobs (techniques that require multiple layers, tape, stencils etc) make sure you plan out a schedule to ensure your paint is dry enough to proceed. Two of our five rooms were straight, simple painting in one color. But in two of the rooms we did stripes, one room we put up a chair rail, and in one room we painted the ceiling. All of these “techniques” required that first layers be thoroughly dry before we did the next. Had we haphazardly worked through the house, we may have found ourselves sitting with nothing to work on while paint was drying. We didn’t have so much of a schedule but an order to follow. First this room, then this room, etc. Here is how our “paint plan” looked:
- Edges and base coat in living room
- Baby’s ceiling
- Edges and base coat in master bedroom
- Measure out dining room chair rail
- Edges and first coat in dining room
- Tape out Baby’s Stripes (AM)
- Second coat in living room
- Second coat in master
- Second coat in dining room
- Paint baby’s stripes
- Edges and base coat in office/craft room (AM)
- Second coat in office/craft room (PM)
- Measure and tape out living room stripes (most of the day)
- Paint first layer of living room stripes (PM)
- Put up chair rail and put all electrical plates back on while waiting
- Paint final layer of living room stripes and remove all tape and tarps (LATE 😉