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Secrets to taking on the DIY painting in your home

(Public Domain Photo)

So you’re thinking of painting the interior of your house and wondering if you can do it yourself.

After all, you tell yourself, you probably won’t need complicated equipment, such as sprayers, giant ladders or scaffolding, as you may need with exterior painting. Maybe you’ve even had a little painting experience in the past.

You’ll find lots of information online on how to do the job. But here are some special tips from Don Brees, a painting and remodeling expert on the staff of Rosie on the House, that may add to your success:

Do more than pick a color

Taking home some color swatches is not enough. Get some small samples of paint and actually paint large square samples on the walls you want to repaint. Inside the house, you can use paint that combines acrylic material with vinyl or latex. Outside, use 100 percent acrylic paint only.

Know your finishes

If you’re confused about different paint finishes, remember that the stuff that makes paint shiny also makes it durable.

If you use flat paint, generally, it will not be durable enough. Low-sheen, eggshell or satin finishes are similar and are often used in bedrooms and living spaces because they’re easier to clean.

Semi-gloss or full gloss paints are often used in laundry rooms or sometimes bathrooms, but many homeowners prefer satin finishes, even in bathrooms.

Every paint company seems to have different names for these finishes, so talk to the sales person to get more information.

Ceilings are tricky

If you want to repaint ceilings, you need to be able to handle working near the top of a ladder to do the job successfully. Be sure to cover and protect your furniture and flooring adequately before starting the ceiling.

Plan to prep

During prep work, patch and repair any holes in drywall. That should include caulking cracks or separations that may have developed between the walls and baseboards over the years. Fill those cracks with standard acrylic latex caulking with silicon.

Don’t try shortcuts

Instead of masking off light switches or outlet covers or canopies at the top of lighting fixtures, remove them so that you can paint under or behind them. In the end, your job will look more professional, you’ll save tape and it will be less work.

One coat or two?

Two coats of paint is usually recommended because there will be more consistency in the color and sheen of the paint job, but one coat can work. Two coats is better if you are changing colors or sheen.

Technique and material matter

As you put the paint on with your roller, keep overlapping one roller length back over the area you did before. That way, you’ll avoid leaving voids in coverage or what some people call “painting holidays.”

Lamb’s wool is the optimum material for paint rollers, but a fifty-fifty combination or full synthetic roller cover can do the job.

For more homeowner advice, DIY tips and videos, and information about all the projects around your house, home, castle or cabin, visit Arizona’s largest collection of homeowner DIY advice and information at

And if you are in need of a quality contractor you know you can trust, visit our list of Arizona’s very best contractors or service providers for your home improvement projects at – Arizona’s most-trusted referral network.

Tune in to KTAR every Saturday morning from 7-11 a.m. for the Rosie on the House broadcast!

Rosie on the House

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