Lowe's expert Q&A: Paint edition
Painting a room is a process that's easier said than done. We asked common questions people have when painting a room and had an expert chime in.
At some point in time, you're going to want to spruce up a room in your home, and a great way to do that is by repainting it. Adding a fresh coat of paint and changing the color of the walls can take a room from drab to fab.
Make your home office pop by adding a teal accent wall, paint your master bedroom gray to give it a calm, romantic vibe or simply repaint a room with the same color to give it a fresh, clean look. We spoke with a Lowe's paint expert and asked him some common questions in regard to sprucing up a room.
SheKnows: What is primer? And is it always necessary to prime before painting?
Paint expert: Primer is a sealant that allows the paint to grasp and stick onto the surface better than, say, an unprimed wall or piece of wood. It's not always necessary to prime before painting. For example, if the room has already been painted and you're just repainting it, you can skip the primer but will want to do two coats of paint.
SK: On average, how much does it cost to paint a room, assuming you have no supplies?
Paint expert: About $80 to $90, but this can vary depending on the size of room, brand of paint you buy and if you need to buy a ladder, etc.
SK: Speaking of supplies, what is absolutely necessary for painting a room?
Paint expert: Two gallons of paint (depending on room size), a brush, a roller, a handle for the roller, a tarp and painting tape. You can buy a kit for $25 that has everything except the paint.
SK: And what are some tools that may not be necessary but would make the job easier?
Paint expert: A five-gallon bucket with a paint grid in the bucket. Most people work out of a paint tray, which can be messy and slow. By putting the paint in a five-gallon bucket, you're able to work more efficiently and put less stress on your body. Another tool would be an extension pole. This allows you to paint the higher parts of the wall much quicker than if you needed to climb up and down a ladder.
FYI: An extension pole won't eliminate the need for a ladder. A ladder will still be needed when cutting in where the wall meets the ceiling.
SK: About how long does it take a beginner to paint a basic room, say 10 feet by 10 feet?
Paint expert: To do two coats just on the walls would take a beginner about five or six hours, including dry time between the coats.
SK: What's the first step in painting a room?
Paint expert: Prep:
- Cover your floor with a tarp or sheet.
- Remove faceplates from the wall and cover them with tape to protect them.
- Fill any holes or blemishes in the wall with drywall mud.
- Remove blinds and anything else you do not want accidentally painted.
- Tape off baseboards and door trim. This provides a barrier between what you want painted and what you don't.
SK: And finally, share with us a secret that will make the room look like a professional painted it.
Paint expert: Use a caulk gun and quality masking tape. This gives you extremely straight lines even if you're not a great painter. Painting by hand can be tricky, and more often than not the lines are crooked. Straight, crisp lines will make the room look like it was professionally painted.
How to use a caulk gun and quality masking tape:
- Tape a clean line between the ceiling and wall or ceiling and baseboard/door trim.
- Apply a very thin bead of caulking where the tape meets the wall.
- Use your finger to spread out the caulking and remove excess from the wall.
- Using a brush, apply paint to the wall while caulking is still wet (within three to five minutes).
- Once one section is done (a 10-foot section works best), carefully remove the tape from the painted area.