how much paint
do you need?
There's a simple formula. First, multiply the width and height of each wall. That's your square footage. If there are a lot of windows and doors, deduct their surface area.
Now commit this to memory:
One liter of paint covers 100 square feet. So a one-gallon pail (four liters) will cover 400 square feet (37 square meters).
If you're painting over a dark color, you may want to get more for an extra coat. Also, buying a primer that's the same color as the topcoat is a good idea, and it makes the topcoat smoother and less transparent.
Don't be afraid to consult a specialist at your local paint store if you're not sure.
choose your equipment
Arm yourself with the following items:
- paint roller and extension pole
- replacement roller pads
- roller tray
- 3-inch flat brush
- angled brush for corners
- rubber gloves
- bucket to clean brushes in
- spackle and putty knife
- turpentine (for oil-based paints)
- drop cloths or newspapers
Now, slap on some old clothes and call some good friends for help. Get one of each of the first six items for each "painter." To be safe, get extras so that you don't have to run to the store mid-job.
If using oil-based paint, get brushes with natural bristles and rollers with natural materials (e.g. lamb's wool). For latex, use synthetic brushes and rollers.
Also, choose thicker roller pads for rough, porous surfaces and thinner ones for flat walls.
prepare the surfaces
Believe it or not, this is the most time-consuming portion of a paint job, taking up nearly 80% of the time. For a good paint job, you have to make sure the surface is immaculate.
- remove all furniture form the room (or clump them in the middle and cover them with plastic)
- remove mirrors and art from walls (duh)
- cover the floors with newspaper or drop cloths
- remove light fixture if painting the ceiling
- remove light switch covers
Your first duty is to patch up holes and cracks by filling them with spackle and smoothing them out with a putty knife. Let it dry then gently sand the bumps and knobs into smooth perfection. Use #100 or #120 grit sandpaper if using wall repair compound, and #220 grit for spackle compound.
Now sand glossy or nonporous surfaces to help the paint stick better. Use a facemask if there's heavy sanding involved; particles from the walls can really wreck your lungs.
Wash the walls with a mild household cleaner to remove all dirt, dust and grease.
Line borders, trims and edges of walls where you want a different color with masking tape. This keeps a sharp paint line between surfaces.
Finally, layer the walls with a primer, especially if painting over a dark color. Bam! You're ready to go.