Now that school bells are ringing again, it’s a perfect time to ring in the fall home painting season. With kids away for the day, interior painting projects are several grades easier, making it easier to ace almost any job in record time.
If you’re a would-be painter with school-age children, here are some tips to make the most of their daily “absences”:
Start by completing your “homework” early. Pick up color cards at your favorite paint store, plan your color scheme, and buy paint and sundries ahead of time, not on the day you want to paint. To get a painted surface that is more kid-proof, consider using top quality 100% acrylic latex paint in a glossier finish for a painted surface that is easier to clean.
The night before painting, move furniture away from the walls and cover it. Wipe down all the surfaces you’ll be painting, and patch any holes in the walls. Remove switch-plates and outlet covers. Then use painter’s tape to protect the ceiling, woodwork, and anything else you want to keep free of paint.
Having completed your shopping and prep work beforehand, you can begin painting as soon as the morning school bus leaves.
Paint the largest wall first. It will provide an immediate sense of accomplishment. More importantly, it will instill confidence that you can complete the entire job before the kids come home.
“Cut in” the edges using an angled trim brush, applying a 3-inch strip of paint where the wall meets the ceiling and adjacent to windows, doors, and molding. Then roll on paint in 3-foot by 3-foot sections, working from one side of the wall to the other. Apply the paint in a “W” pattern, then fill in the W with horizontal strokes and move on to the next section.
Repeat the process on the next-largest wall, and so on, until you finish the room. If you must stop painting, either to pick up the kids or for anything else, don’t quit mid-wall or you run the risk of seeing a visible line in the finished paint job.
If you’re also going to paint the trim, it’s usually best to do that the next day. However, if you started painting very early in the morning and the walls are completely dry, it’s okay to move right on to that part of the job.
Start your trim painting near the first wall you painted, where the paint has had the most time to dry. Apply painter’s tape to the wall adjacent to the trim; this will not only speed your painting, but it will also produce a neater finished appearance.
Using an angled brush, work top-down, painting crown moldings and chair rails (if any) first. Likewise, paint doors and windows from top to bottom, so you can smooth out any drips as you go. Finish by painting the baseboards.
Working around the kids’ activities is nothing new for most parents. And it’s a great strategy when it comes to home painting. If you’re dying to paint a room or two, take advantage of your kids’ new schedule and do some back-to-school painting!