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Paint Your Co-op Like a Professional

When it's time to switch wall colors, do you grab a can and a brush and get started or do you tape, drape and sand?

painting cedarwood wall orange

When a room has not been properly prepared before painting, it's usually quite obvious: paint tearing from the wall; drip marks on the floor; a ceiling with spots of different colors; and light switch plates edged with paint. Paint should not distract from the beauty of your home, it should add to it.

Professional painters spend more time preparing to paint a room than they actually do painting it. They also carefully select the right equipment for the job at hand. This ensures a great looking room that will bring joy to the home owner for years to come. It can also add value to the home itself. Peeling paint never looks good to potential buyers!

So, we need to think, act and prepare like a professional when it comes to painting our co-op homes. Follow these 7 tips and you'll be painting like a pro in no time!


1. Prepare The Walls

A careful examination of the surface of the entire wall will greatly help in the long run. Loose paint must be scraped away. Old drips need to be sanded down. High gloss paint is too smooth for the next coat of paint to adhere to so it also needs a quick sanding. After sanding and scraping, your wall needs a good washing with soapy water, then rinsed with clean water and allowed to air dry for at least a couple of hours. Also, remove all switch plates, vent covers and nails.

2. Cover All Things You Don't Want Painted

It does not matter if the couch is in the middle of the room or not. Paint splatters and it never fails that the one piece of furniture you do not cover will be the one that gets splattered. This is the time when being proactive can save you thousands of dollars in future replacements.

yellow couch at cedarwood

3. Lay Drop Cloth to Protect Your Floor

For the same reason as above, covering the floor will save you tons of headache as well as clean up. In some cases, you may not be able to get the paint out of your floor no matter what cleaner or solvent you use. Carpet is one of those challenging mediums that tends to hold on to paint like a magnet. If you don't expect to use a drop cloth more than once, plastic sheets work just as well and will save you some cash.

4. Tape Using High Quality Painters Tape

High quality painters tape ensures a clean, crisp line where one paint color meets the other. Without it, the edges of a room tend to have a slight wavy appearance and paint can end up on places you didn't intend to paint.

Taping the edges of a room can also preserve natural wood frames such as windows, door and baseboards. Yes it's time consuming, especially when we're so excited to see our new color up on the walls, but this step is crucial to your project's success!

5. Purchase Quality Paint Brushes and Rollers

Skimp money on the plastic drop cloth, not the brushes. A cheap brush will drop hairs onto your wall, leave an undesired texture from the stiff bristles and will never keep well in storage. For a few dollars more, a quality paint brush can make painting a breeze.

**bonus tip** If you don't finish the job in one session, tightly wrap your paint brush with plastic wrap and set in the fridge until you are ready to tackle the job again. This preserves the brush with the paint on it so you don't have to clean up twice!

painting wall white at cedarwood cooperative

6. Prime Before Painting

Many paints come with the primer already mixed into the paint, but not all walls should use this combination paint/primer blend. If it has been more than 3 years since you last painted or your wall has a large amount of texture, applying a layer of primer before you paint can help conceal imperfections and assist the final paint color in adhering to the wall.

7. Paint With A Purpose

Painting sporadically will show once dried. On the other hand, painting using a system, will allow for an even coat, even drying time and a great look. (don't do like this guy below:) )

painting cedarwood wall green

After you have "cut" in all of your edges with the paintbrush, dip your roller and begin at the top. Paint systematically from left to right and top to bottom to apply an even coat that dries smoothly.

Starting at the top also prevents paint drips. If you drip while painting the top of the wall, you will naturally correct your drip when you pass over it mid-wall. This way, by the time your done, all drips have been re-rolled and blended in. No one will ever notice!

painting supplies at cedarwood coop

That's it! Of course there are more tips like which finish to choose for which room you wish to paint or even how to reduce the humidity in the air before painting. But for now, this is a great list to help make the painting process much smoother.

Ask your local paint supplier to discuss the different finishes and brands of paint. The more you know, the better your room will look!

Cedarwood Members

As a member of our Cedarwood Housing Cooperative, you have the freedom to paint your home as you want. We do encourage neutral tones for ease of re-painting and reselling, but the choice is ultimately yours.

To ensure great looking walls for years to come, we strongly recommend taking your time to properly prepare before you dig in. If you have any other questions on best painting practices, do not hesitate to call the office. I'm sure our maintenance men would love to discuss this with you! Happy painting!

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