3 Tips for Painting a Living Room

Tarek El MoussaBlog, DIY, Flipping Houses, Rehabbing, Staging and Design0 Comments

Title image for "3 Tips for Painting a Living Room". Vertical bands of different-colored paints on a white wall.

Sometimes there are things you can do yourself to save money. These tips for painting a living room will help you save time and energy.If you’ve watched our show on HGTV or you’ve been following our blog, then you know that Christina does pretty much all of the design work on our flip houses. You also know that we don’t do most of our construction and rehab work ourselves. The way we look at it, our strengths are finding great deals, working with quality people, and selling flip houses. They’re not wiring, plumbing, or construction, so we leave those jobs to the pros so that we can keep moving forward instead of wasting time trying to reinvent the wheel.

That said, sometimes it just makes sense to do something yourself. We had one beautiful flip house that we’d spent our whole life savings on, and it just kept going more and more over budget. To save some cash without cutting corners, we refinished the floors ourselves instead of buying new flooring or having our contractors do it. And we’ve definitely both picked up a paintbrush or two along our road to financial freedom.

So, whether you’re a big DIYer or you’re working on a flip house with a tight budget and looking for places to save money, it can really pay to know a few things about painting a living room.

Don’t Skimp on Prep Work

This is one that Christina had to beat into me because I really like to move fast and get things done. If you have that attitude when it comes to painting a room in a distressed house, you’re probably going to end up wasting a lot of time painting and repainting. So, before you get your paint buckets out, make sure that you:

• Fill all holes and dents.
• Sand down any spackle or rough spots.
• Scrape away peeling paint and smooth it over.
• Clean and dry dirty walls.
• Caulk any gaps you see between trim and walls (and use paintable caulk, or you’ll be in trouble).

After you get done with these tasks, then you can start painting, but don’t dive right into the bucket. Pay attention to these tips for a great paint job.

Don’t Paint Straight From the Can

Now, you might be tempted to just dip a brush in and throw a few patches up to see how the paint looks. Or you might want to start going to town on the edges. Either way, don’t paint straight from the can. If you do, you’re likely to get uneven tones because the paint has settled and at least partially separated.

Instead, always stir your paint and then pour some into a paint tray. That way you can use rollers if you’re working on larger areas, and you’ll be sure to get even paint that won’t need several coats to look right.

Don’t Trust Your Hand

Finally, always mask off trim and any place where you don’t want paint. You could have the steadiest hand in the world, and you’ll still manage to get paint onto the molding or on the window trim. Trust me, I’ve had to fix a lot of painting errors over the years, and it’s just a lot more efficient to do it right the first time so that you don’t have to figure out how to strip some of the paint off of a piece of trim without stripping all of it, forcing you to repaint the whole thing.

Follow these tips next time you want to save some money and paint a living room—or any room—in a flip house. You’ll save time and energy and avoid frustration, and you’ll help your budget out, too.

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