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How to Paint a Room

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Painting interior walls is the easiest way to freshen up your place. But this project can quickly turn into a nightmare if you’re not careful. Follow these six tips the next time you paint and you’ll get great-looking walls while keeping your sanity.

Interior painting is by far the most popular do-it-yourself home improvement activity, and it’s easy to see why. There’s no better, more affordable way to freshen up rooms than with a new coat of paint. Plus, painting isn’t terribly difficult and doesn’t require specialized training. Any able-bodied homeowner can paint rooms—all you need is a little patience, practice, and some helpful advice.

These painting tips can help even novice DIYers achieve professional-quality results. Follow these suggestions and you’ll not only paint better, you’ll work faster and neater, too.

1 Prep the Surface

A successful paint job starts with properly preparing the surface you’re going to paint. That means you must scrape, sand, patch, and fill every hole, crack, dent, and surface imperfection. This isn’t the fun part of painting a room, but it is the most important part. No paint, regardless of its cost, color, thickness, or manufacturer’s claims, will hide a pockmarked or cracked surface.

2 Tint the Primer

Priming walls and ceilings is mandatory whenever you’re painting new drywall or painting over a dark color. But it’s smart to prime any time you paint. Primer serves three main functions. First, it blocks stains from bleeding through. Second, it allows one-coat coverage for the paint. Third, and most important, it improves paint adhesion, which greatly reduces blisters and peeling.

Professional painters will often tint the primer toward the finished color by mixing a small amount of topcoat paint into the primer. This trick greatly enhances the ability of the topcoat to completely hide the primed surface.

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