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Inexperienced painters

....Don’t be afraid to apply

Prior experience is essential when tackling many home improvement projects.   But not so with interior painting.  Even first time painters can get superb results when painting their house or apartment…and have a lot of fun in the process.

Go into any paint store or home center on a Saturday afternoon and you’re likely to see people huddled around the color displays.

This is where the inspiration for any paint job begins.  Like building a wardrobe, selecting a paint palette for your living space is a great form of personal expression.  But be aware that the shade of paint you see on a color card — or even in the paint can — may look a lot different when applied to an entire room.

To avoid unpleasant surprises, we offer these tips:

Remember that colors tend to intensify when applied to a large area. To compensate, it is often wise to choose a lighter value of a color, rather than a darker one. When you go to purchase your paint, the counterperson will likely ask which “gloss level” you’d prefer.

Paints come in a variety of sheen or gloss levels ranging from “high gloss” (the shiniest) to “flat” (virtually no shine).

Those with higher gloss reflect more light, so they can make a room look brighter.    On the other hand, higher gloss paints also tend to highlight surface imperfections, so if your walls and other surfaces are not in the best of shape, a flat paint might be the better option.

Color and sheen aside, the most important decision you’ll make in the paint store is the quality of paint you purchase.  Top quality paints provide superior adhesion, offer better stain resistance, and resist yellowing.   They also are tougher and more durable than ordinary paints, so they’ll keep a paint job looking great for a longer period of time.

Bottom line: Don’t skimp on quality; buy only top quality paint. Before you leave the paint store, make sure that you have the right tools and brushes to do the job.  Here again, quality counts — high quality brushes and rollers apply the paint more smoothly and evenly than economy-grade equipment.

In addition, quality tools apply a heavier coat of paint that will help hide the color below, be more durable, and stand up better to cleaning and scrubbing.

Once you bring your purchases home, you’ll be tempted to start painting right away, but most walls and woodwork need to be cleaned first to help the paint adhere better.  You can remove dust, dirt and grime with a simple detergent and water solution, after which you should rinse the surface clean and allow it to dry.  If nail holes are present, they can be plugged with filling compound. Small cracks can be filled with a quality acrylic caulk.

Applying paint to interior walls is as simple as “framing” them by painting the outside edges with a brush, then filling in the center with your roller.   An effective way to do this is to roll on the paint in a large “W” or “M” pattern, then fill it in, working in various directions.

When you’re done painting, protect your investment in the brushes and rollers by cleaning and storing them properly.  If you’ve used popular water-based paint, brushes and rollers can be cleaned with plain soap or detergent and water; cleanup of oil-based paints will require the use of turpentine or paint thinner.

The experts at The Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute remind you to always take safety precautions while painting.  That means not climbing a ladder any higher than the third rung from the top, making sure all stepstools are sturdy and locked into position before use, and wearing the proper eye and skin protection while preparing the surface and painting.

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