(ARA) - Sooner or later, you’ll need to
repaint that room -- the one that has become
outdated, must be converted to a new use or
needs to be redecorated.
Doing so is an opportunity to realize your
dream décor, whether it’s a complete makeover
or simply creating a certain feeling you want
through new colors, says Lou Manfredini, Ace
Hardware’s “Helpful Hardware Man” and national
home improvement expert.
“Painting is one of the most economical
ways to make a noticeable difference in your
home. Instead of investing in costly new furniture
and accessories, homeowners can spend minimal
dollars to paint their walls and ceilings
to create a fresh change in their surroundings,”
In fact, in Ace Hardware’s national “America’s
To-Do List” Study, 66 percent of 1,000 homeowners
surveyed said they paint because they grew
tired of their current paint scheme. About
one-fourth change hues to keep up with the
latest decorating trends or to accommodate
a change in how the room is being used.
Even for those painting for the first time,
the work should not be daunting, says Manfredini.
He offers the following advice that will help
you create your signature look in a room.
The Perfect Color
Manfredini says all the details of a room
together, including furnishings, woodwork,
lighting, accessories and color, are what
make it appealing and inviting.
Ideas for color schemes abound. He suggests
homeowners gather examples from sources such
as magazine photos of rooms that appeal to
them, to schemes they see featured in model
View colors in context of the overall feel
of a room and determine why they appeal to
you. Is the look contemporary or traditional?
Is the room dark or light? Are the colors
warm or cool? Playing with color is one of
the most exciting aspects of painting, so
don’t be afraid to experiment. Blues, grays
and greens are soothing, while reds, oranges
and yellows are warm and vibrant. Light colors
can brighten a room, while darker shades have
a “cozying” effect.
Take samples to your hardware store for
a paint match. Samples can include chips from
a paint manufacturer, wallpaper, a piece of
upholstery or drapery, a magazine article
The Right Paint
Oil-based paint usually serves as the better
choice when you need durability for surfaces
that take a lot of abuse, such as trim and
doors. It also levels better than a latex
paint with fewer visible brush strokes.
If you are painting a wall and ceiling,
latex is best and a roller works much better
than a paintbrush. It’s faster and leaves
a smooth, matte finish.
Tools You’ll Need
The real secret to a good paint job lies
in the paintbrush or roller. Quality brushes
have bristles that are firmly attached to
a metal holder, and the more bristles it has,
the more they’ll stay in place. Buy the best
brushes you can and clean them when you’re
finished to ensure they’re ready for the next
paint job. For latex, invest in a roller with
a hard core that doesn’t yield. It might cost
more than a cardboard-cored roller, but they
offer more painting mileage and are easily
cleaned with soap and water.
Your hardware store consultant can advise
on other tools you’ll need. Among the most
common are a scraper, solvent for oil paints,
drop cloths, crack filler, sandpaper, masking
tape, extra paint bucket and roller tray.
A good paint job is at least 50 percent
preparation. Be sure the surfaces are clean,
dry, dull, smooth and sound. Dirt, grease,
wax, oil, soap film and mildew prevent paint
from adhering properly, resulting in uneven
texture and poor color distribution.
Wash the surface with soap and water, rinse
well and allow it to dry. Mildew can sometimes
look like dirt. To remove it, apply a solution
of one part bleach/three parts water and allow
the solution to stand for 20 minutes. Then
scrub away the mildew with a soft-bristle
brush, rinse the surface and allow it to dry.
Be sure to wear safety glasses and rubber
gloves when working with this solution.
If the surface to be painted is dull, paint
will go on more evenly and adhere better,
so lightly sand finishes -- especially glossy
ones -- before applying paint.
It is also wise to inspect the surface for
any bumps or dents. To avoid surprises, shine
a bright light at a low angle across the surface
to spot any problem areas. Fill in any holes,
dings or mars with spackle, and remove peeling
flakes with a paint scraper.
Use masking tape where two paint colors
come together and where trim meets the wall
Apply a primer. Primers help seal the surface
for improved color and sheen uniformity.
Applying the Paint
When using a brush, dip the brush into the
can to load the bristles not more than half
way with paint. Touch the loaded brush lightly
to the wall surface at several points to apply
spots of paint, and then use long leveling
strokes to smooth out the spots. Finish each
area with back and forth motions and zigzag
When painting with a roller, start by making
several crisscross strokes on the area to
be painted. Then work up and down to spread
the paint evenly, but not too thinly, over
Use a special trim roller or brush in corners
and for trim work.
Special waterless hand cleaners remove both
latex-base and oil-base paints easily and
quickly. These waterless hand cleaners will
not irritate your skin like many solvents.
Wash latex paints out of a brush or roller
with clear warm water.
Clean brushes used with oil-base paints
with regular paint cleaner or some type of
solvent. Clean the brush thoroughly, then
wrap it in wax paper and store it for future
For more advice on painting, you may ask
Manfredini directly by logging on to www.acehardware.com
and clicking “The Helpful Hardware Man’s Corner”
icon. Simply type and submit your questions.
Manfredini’s answers are sent to the e-mail
address of each individual who posed the question,
within 48 hours whenever possible.
Courtesy of ARA Content