Hey everyone! Welcome to the second lesson in my DIY 101 series.
Have you ever been confused about the paint type to choose for your project? It’s by no means rocket-science, but if you’re a total DIY newbie, this lesson might save you a little bit of research!
When we first started pulling down all the wallpaper in our house, one of the first things we did was head to Lowes to figure out some paint swatches. That’s about all I knew about paint – you need swatches. Then I realized they had samples. Samples will save you a fortune in the long run. This gets me into my first tip:
- Samples are your friend. I’m sure you would rather spend $5 on a sample only to hate it then $30 on a gallon of paint that you cannot return. Once you have narrowed down your paint swatches to maybe two options, get samples. paint those samples on different parts of your room so that you can see it in different light and at different times of the day. You’d be amazed at how different the paint will look from the swatch AND how the color may change depending on the room it’s in.
- Figure out what paint finish you want. There are five main paint finishes that you need to be aware of:
- Flat – this is generally used for ceilings. It has a flat finish, there is no sheen to it.
- Eggshell – this is a good option for walls. it has a little bit of sheen to it so you can wipe it down if necessary.
- Satin – I would recommend satin paint for a bathroom or kitchen. It has more sheen than eggshell (but it’s not glossy). The extra sheen means you can wipe it down quite often and it will still look fine. Also, it won’t absorb moisture like the satin finish might.
- Semi-gloss – usually used on trim work. Semi-gloss is substantially more glossy than satin paint. I used off-the-shelf white semi-gloss for all the doors and trim in my house as well as when I previously painted my kitchen cabinets.
- Gloss – Usually used when you need a hardy finish, for example on an exterior door.
- Determine the shape you’re walls are in. If your walls need to be spackled and patched before you paint, be aware that a reflective surface will highlight any imperfections. For instance, if you use a satin finish paint, in certain light you’ll almost definitely be able to see those bumps (unless you’re a particularly amazing sander!).
- If you are painting a wall that previously had a very saturated color and you’re going for a dramatic color change OR you’re painting stained wood, you will need to prime the surface first. Primer gives you a blank slate to work from and will make sure your paint job is perfect and that the paint adheres correctly! It will also seal stains and odors, again, providing that blank slate that you want. My go-to primers are Killz or Benjamin Moore Fresh Start Primer.
- Paint Brands: So many people are obsessed with Benjamin Moore. I agree that they probably have the best selection of colors, but they are also one of the most expensive paint brands. I use Behr paint a lot, but I am by no means a snob to any brand. I’ve used most brands at one point or another. In my opinion, all the paint brands are pretty equal in terms of quality…it’s just a matter of finding the color you want!
- Bonus Tip: Don’t forget to get quality supplies.
- You’ll really notice the difference between a cheap paintbrush/roller and the more expensive ones. And, if you take good care of them, they’ll last a while.
- You will also need painters tape (Frog Tape is awesome), drop cloths to protect the area and a tray to pour the paint into. Don’t ever dip your paintbrush directly into the paint canister as you will contaminate it with dust and other debris.
- Another hand supply to grab is an “edger“. These are great for getting a straight line between the wall and ceiling or the wall and baseboards.
- For most household jobs, you will be using latex paint, which is water-based. This means that clean up is simple too. You don’t need any harsh chemicals. I just use warm water and dish-soap to get my brushes looking brand new again! Just make sure you clean them as soon as you’re finished (pop them into a zip-lock bag if you’re planning on putting them aside for a short while so they don’t dry out!).
I know this was a word heavy post but I hope it will be helpful to someone out there. If you have any suggestions about what you’d like to see in future DIY 101 lessons, leave a comment!