Painting can be done by anyone but I thought I would mention a few things that really helped me along the painting project:
Preparing for a DIY Paint Job
Prep work is the key to a good paint job, it is tedious, painful, and un-fun but this will be the factor that differentiates a good paint job vs a sloppy paint job.
- Use a quality painter’s tape. I’ve tried Scotch Blue Painter’s tape and got a lot of drips under the tape. So I tried Mutlisurface Frogtape (green) and it was a LOT better. It’s so much more sticky and it left clean sharp lines with very minimal dripping (which was mainly due to the uneven walls we have).
- Test your paint choices by buying the sample sizes. What you imagine might be totally different than the actual paint color in the room you’re painting. I tested my paint samples after I primed. They only cost $3.98 per 8 oz for BEHR’s.
- Spackle at least two times. Repairing those imperfections is the most important task in prepping. Use a flash light at an angle and meticulously spot any small holes, lines, and cracks. This is the time to be anal. If unsure, just spackle. You’re going to sand it nicely after it dries up anyway so it won’t damage your walls.
- Clean the walls with a wet clean rag or sponge or whatever you have (old t-shirts?). I didn’t use any soaps because the downstairs bathroom is a very low traffic room. So there wasn’t much to clean off the walls, besides dust.
- Gather your painting tools before starting. I have a handy list with prices and links embedded for your reference:
1. Roller frame: Economy 9 in. Heavy-Duty Roller Frame – $3.57
2. Roller cover: Roller Cover 9 in – I had this from before so I don’t know the brand or price and I’m not sure if it’s polyester or not. I’m sure I spent less than $5 on it though.
3. Angled paint brush: Zibra 2 in. Angled Sash Trim Brush – $9.99 (I’ve used the cheapest one at Home Depot before and I hated it! It left streaks all over because the bristles are so hard. This one is nice and smooth and soft!)
4. Paint tray: Economy 11-1/2 in. Plastic Enviro Paint Tray – $1.97 (You could cover it with aluminum foil to reuse. I tried doing it but it looked all funky so I didn’t do the foil)
5. Painter’s tape: FrogTape 1-1/2 in. x 60 yds. Multi-Surface Tape – $6.97
6. Spackle: Phenopatch 1 qt. Premium-Grade Patch-N-Paint Lightweight Spackling – $6.98
7. Putty knife: Workforce 3 in. Flexible Scraper – $4.37
8. Sandpaper: 3M 9 in. x 11 in. Surface Leveling Sandpaper (3-Pack) – $3.97
9. Hand held sander: I bought mine long time ago but is similar to the Homax Hand Sander – $4.98
10. Ladder or high chair
11. Cotton blankets (thrift them?) or tarp or plastic drop cloth
12. Cotton rags or old tshirts or cleaning sponge
13. Screwdriver to remove outlet/light switch covers
14. Large plastic bags or newspapers
16. Primer: BEHR Premium Plus 1-Gal. Stain-Blocking Primer and Sealer Interior – $20.88
17. Paint for your trimmings, moldings, etc. – I used BEHR’s Ultra Pure White Satin Enamel 7050
18. Your choice of paint color – I used BEHR’s Adriatic Mist 490C-2
NOTE: Paint samples are $2.94 each and it comes with 8 oz. Worth the little expense to avoid painting with a color you hate. Total varies according to how large the room and how many items you already have. I spent about $75 in everything.
Priceless DIY Painting Tips
- Saran wrap all your brushes to keep them from drying up overnight. You don’t have to wash off the paint if you’re not changing colors but if you are, then make sure to remove as much of the water possible because it’ll dilute your first few strokes and it’ll make your wall very wet. You could also place them in the refrigerator and then letting it adjust to room temperature before using them.
- For small, cramped spaces, like behind the toilet, find other ways to get in there. Where there is a will, there is a way! I Googled it and got a few great ideas, like buying painter’s replacement pads and taping them to a long stick. I ended using a mini-roller because it actually fit in there. But bottom line is, don’t skip on painting areas that are visible (even if slightly so) just because it’s difficult because there are other ways to get in there. Sometimes though, you just gotta give in.
- You don’t need to buy tarps or plastic to cover the floor. Just use an old, unused blanket, or buy one at the thrift store instead. Also, you can cut up the oversize garbage plastic bags into pieces and tape them along the wall about 10-12 inches out to protect the borders and corners. But everything else, just place a blanket.
- Caulk early on so it dries off well. I skipped on the caulk because I seriously didn’t want to wait a whole ‘nother 24 hours and since the contractor placed them upside down, I figured, I’d have to fix them eventually. The reason why I’d caulk early on is because it’s recommended to paint the caulk as well.
Before, During, and After Paint Job!
It took me 4 DAYS and LESS THAN $100 to repaint the bathroom. The bathroom is very small, it’s only 6 ft x 8 ft x 5 ft. It only has the toilet, one small window, mirror, light fixture, sink, one outlet and light switch area. It only has floor baseboards and door trimmings. I noticed that the prior contractor that painted the room place the baseboards facing the wrong way. Smart guy. I was going to redo the baseboards but I might just leave that for another DIY project. Too much for my limited DIY experience right now haha
- remove everything from the bathroom
- use a putty knife to remove small bumps and prep for sanding
- sand the entire room (top to bottom) to even out obvious areas (sooo painful on my back and arms)
- wipe the walls with a clean cloth
- spackle the heck out the walls
Finally, Time to Paint
- Prime the walls. It might be obvious but some people want to save time and avoid priming altogether. But when I compare the walls in the house that were not primed vs the walls the were primed, I see a HUGE difference.
- Paint top down, starting with the ceiling to the walls to the trimmings. I like this approach because I don’t have to spend time taping the whole room twice or three times! I hate taping. It’s so tedious. Wherever my paint went over the base moldings, I just primed over those areas, let it dry a few hours, then painted with a higher gloss white paint.
- Make sure the paint is dry to the touch when recoating and make sure the paint has dried for at least 24 hours if painting with a new color (i.e., primer to paint color to trimmings). In some areas because of the humidity, it didn’t dry long enough so when I removed the tape, it bubbled up dragging the whole paint with it! Ahh! Worst thing ever. So make sure it’s really dry before putting painter’s tape.
- Painting the ceiling is super easy. Since this is a very low traffic room, I didn’t buy any special paint for the ceiling. I just painted with the primer twice and was very happy with the clean white look. I chose a flat finish for the walls so I didn’t feel the need to paint over the primer. Also, I used the same roller and angled brush that I used for the walls. Don’t be intimidated by the ceiling but do buy eye cover in case of paint drips
- sand every area that has spackle (I didn’t spackle twice because I was too eager)
- clean the walls again. I made a dumb mistake… I used a moistened clean rag to wipe the walls again and removed some of the spackle I had just placed! DUUH! O.o I know… But it’s OK, I can live with it. I didn’t want to re-do everything.
- tape off the floor edges with plastic
- place painter’s tape to protect glass window
- cover the light fixture and toilet
- prime the entire room, top to bottom two times
- wash all brushes well and saran wrap them
- test paint samples (you don’t need to buy a new brush, just use the brush you have and wash it after each time or buy one small brush just to test all your samples)
- admire white room
- select final paint color and get a gallon of flat finish – adriatic mist
- tape the ceiling edges
- paint first coat of pretty new color
- wait for three hours to dry
- recoat with pretty new color
- wash all brushes well and saran wrap them
- admire new color
- tape around the baseboard moldings, door trimmings, and window
- reprime areas where I accidentally painted over
- let primer dry for a couple of hours
- paint trimmings, moldings, and window area with satin enamel ultra white pure
- wait about 4-5 hours for the paint to dry to the touch (it should be dry a little more than just to the touch to make sure it doesn’t peel the new coat of paint) and remove painter’s tape
This project actually took more than 4 days. I would say 6 days because 1 day of running to Home Depot to get supplies and looking at paint colors and 1 day of just cleaning up the bathroom after everything was done. But 4 days of actual painting labor.
I love the result! More painting projects!
Thanks for stopping by : )