Lockdown means downtime for some. Why not take a day to brighten up a room with a fresh new colour?

The best part is that a tin of paint doesn’t break the bank, says Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate.

Many think that painting a room is as simple as picking a colour, putting on some overalls and getting started but if you want the most professional-looking results, follow these easy steps below.

How to choose paint colours

Even though you have your heart set on a certain colour, the best thing to do is choose three different colours, then pick three shades of each of the colours you’ve chosen. The reason for this is that even though you know what you like, the colour sometimes needs to choose itself, especially when dealing with a room that has naturally dark lighting.

Types of paint finishes

Once you decide on the colour, you need to choose the finish for the paint. Here’s a few need-to-knows about paint finishes:

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Semi-gloss

  • Super durable and easy to clean.
  • Great for trim, doors, and windows.
  • Surface needs to be very smooth before painting.
  • Works well in the kitchen and bathroom.

Eggshell and satin

  • Softer in appearance compared to gloss and is easy to clean
  • Works well in the hallways and living rooms.
  • The satin is just a bit shinier than eggshell.

Flat and matte

  • Non-reflective and low-lustre
  • Great for textured walls and hiding imperfections.
  • Works well in the living/dining room as well as in bedrooms.

Tip: Although flat and matte finishes work best in bedrooms, it is not as easy to clean so when painting a kids’ bedroom or playroom, opt for a semi-gloss or eggshell finish.

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Buy paint samples first

There is nothing worse than buying a large can of paint, only to realise that the colour doesn’t work well in the room. To prevent this nightmare from occurring, purchase a few samples of different shades and try it out, before committing to one or two (or three) 5L cans. Test your samples around the room in small sections and make sure that you sample it on at least two areas that don’t get a lot of natural light.

Painting supplies

When it comes to tools and materials, invest in the best paint brushes you can afford and take good care of them. By doing this, you can ensure that you’ll have them for years to come.

Supplies

  • Drop cloths or masking paper
  • Rags
  • Painter’s tape
  • Paint pail
  • Trim brush
  • Fabric roller cover
  • Paint roller frame
  • Paint tray
  • Stir stick
  • Paint can opener
  • Ladder
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Prepping for painting

Now that you have chosen your colour and all your tools and supplies are ready, you are set to get started on your DIY paint job. It’s essential that you prep your space before starting to ensure that you have everything you need, and all your valuables are well-protected.

Wall prep

• Start by moving all the furniture out of the room, or towards the centre to keep safe from paint splatters (you don’t want to get paint splatter on that antique chest of drawers!).
• Dust the walls with a rag or clean mop so that they are dust-free.
• Tape off the border around all areas that need to be painted to make for easy trimming.

Floor prep

• Line up your drop cloths around the room so that they cover the space below the area that will be painted. If you’re painting a ceiling be sure to cover the entire floor.

Tip: Canvas drop clothes can be pricey and difficult to store afterwards. An easy hack is to either use masking paper or inexpensive shower curtains. Getting large rolls of recycled plastic works just as well and is easy on the pocket.

Mix it up

  • If you need your paint mixed, it is usually done in-store by the professionals, but if you don’t start on your paint job immediately, your well-shaken paint might be a bit stiff.
  • Give the can a good shake before opening and once the can is open, use the stir stick to swirl the paint around if the colour looks swirled or streaky.

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Time to paint

Now that your area is prepped, it’s time to get started.

Paint edges first

• Using a trim brush, apply paint around the windows, doors, ceiling, and the floor.
• Trim out at least a 7 – 12cm border, lightly brushing the edge so it’s feathered, not thick and drippy.
• After everything has been trimmed out, the next step is to apply paint to the walls with your roller.

Use a paint roller:

• Start at the top corner of the wall and roll paint onto the wall in a “W” shape.
• Work in an area that is within your arms’ reach, working from the top to the bottom, using the same “W” pattern to fill in as you go.
• Most often you’ll need to apply an additional coat or two, especially if you’re painting over a dark colour (even if you’re using a paint and primer). Be sure the walls are dry before you do your second coat. Paint dries relatively fast, but the weather can have an effect on drying time.

Paint clean up

• Once you have completed your paint job for the day, clean your paint brush.
• The best way to clean latex paint from a paintbrush is to fill a clean container with warm soapy water, then dip the brush around in the solution so that the soap works into the paint brush (you may need to let the paint brush sit for just a few minutes).
• Once soaked, rinse the brush until the water runs clear and all the paint is gone.

Tip: A paint brush comb is also a great tool to have on hand while cleaning your brushes.
If you follow these steps, you are guaranteed a beautifully-finished paint job. And the best part is that you did it yourself!