On Monday, I showed you photos of our big, clean, empty house! I snapped all those photos minutes after receiving the keys and walking in the front door for the very first time. Also at that very moment, I  had a trunk FULL (and I mean full!) of painting supplies. When we move, our plan is usually to get into the house a few days before our stuff is scheduled to arrive in order to paint. Why? Because it is SO much easier and less painful to paint when you don’t have to move furniture around and/or protect valuable items!  And, it gets done so much faster because you don’t have boxes or other things begging for your attention!
What this does mean, though, (if you are anything like me and you have a super ambitious painting plan) is that you are in store for a marathon paint session! My husband and I (with the help of some friends) survived four straight days of painting. We learned a lot along the way, so I wanted to share my tips and tricks for getting it done!

Painting Cooper Street-001

Okay, so before we get started (and now that I got your attention…he he he), a few disclaimers!
DISCLAIMER 1: We didn’t paint the WHOLE house…just all the rooms. We didn’t paint any bathrooms or hallways, nor the kitchen or laundry room. But we did tackle each of the 5 HUGE rooms….so in my book, we painted the “whole” house!
DISCLAIMER 2: All of the walls were already primed and ready for us. We had no holes to fill, sanding to do, or primer to put up. We were literally able to walk in and throw paint on the walls (well, not really throw…but you get the idea!)
With that out of the way…let’s get to it!
1. Plan Ahead. For this type of paint job, I wouldn’t recommend just walking into a home improvement store, picking swatches off the wall and wandering the aisles looking for what you need! You might get lucky and end up with great colors, but more than likely, you’ll make some not-so-ideal choices as well as walk away WITHOUT some supplies you will really need! I spent weeks (yes, weeks) analyzing paint chips, researching brands, reading other blogs and how-to sites, and compiling list after list of items we’d need to get this job done. When it finally came time to do the supply shopping, it was a big task (baby stayed home with Daddy), but not so overwhelming. I knew exactly what I needed, so I didn’t spend extra time or money getting things that would not get used.
Now, with all that said, we did make one big mistake. We didn’t do any paint “calculations.” In the past, we have only done accent walls here or there, so one gallon per color is all we’ve ever needed. This time, we were painting entire rooms…entire BIG rooms, and one gallon per room was.not.enough. After all my planning and list making, I ended up going back out to the store mid-paint marathon for more paint in a few colors. GAAA! Had I taken the time to measure the walls and do some quick calculations, I could have saved myself the headache (and extra trip)!
Oh..and one more thing. By lots and lots and lots and lots of tape! It will never go to waste. You might not use it all this time, but it’s a great thing to have around the house. I thought I was overbuying, but we ended up using all 8 rolls I bought!

Painting Cooper Street-002
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!

Painting Cooper Street-003
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!

Painting Cooper Street-004
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!

Painting Cooper Street-005
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!

Painting Cooper Street-006
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!

Painting Cooper Street-007
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:

Day 1

  • 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

Day 2

  • Tape out Baby’s Stripes (AM)
  • Second coat in living room
  • Second coat in master
  • Second coat in dining room
  • Paint baby’s stripes

Day 3

  • Edges and base coat in office/craft room (AM)
  • Second coat in office/craft room (PM)

Day 4

  • 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 😉
Here’s what I mean….

Painting Cooper Street-008
Painting Cooper Street-009
Painting Cooper Street-010

So I’ve now given you lots and lots of sneak peaks of our painting handiwork, but I am going to stop there for today! (I’m so cruel, aren’t I!?!) But check back Monday, because I will have all the before and after photos up for you! Until then, have an awesome weekend!

signiture 1

See You Soon!