Wanting to add a bit of personality into your apartment? Looking at four white walls and wondering where to start? Painting a feature wall or even your whole apartment can be a great way to make your house feel like a home. It is a way of differentiating your space and making the space feel like yours. Once you have picked the perfect colour and style, it’s time to hit the local hardware shop and start painting.
Step 1 – Prep your Apartment: Remove furniture and carefully lay drop sheets throughout your room. Cloth is better than plastic on the floor, while plastic is best for benches. Wash surfaces with sugar soap and a sponge, and rinse with clean water. Fill defects with joint compound and tape up surfaces you don’t want to get paint on. Lightly sand the area (and clean up afterwards) and spot prime filler or bare areas.
Step 3 – Perfect your Edges: Don’t get your rollers out just yet. Before you can start with the paint roller, you need to cut in the edges with a paint brush. ‘Cutting in’ just means using a paint brush to carefully paint areas that are too tight for rollers (such as at the ceiling line, corners, and along baseboards and trim). Cut in the wall starting from the top, then cut in the bottom. Load the tips – roughly the bottom quarter – of your brush with paint. Brush about 10mm either below or to the side of the area you’re cutting in. The first brush-out helps the next one slide along easier. Load up the brush again, slightly press it so it forms a nice edge and cut in sharp along the desired corner.
Step 4 – Start Rolling: Roll the wall starting in the corner and progress to the other corner. Never start in the middle. It doesn’t matter if you work left to right, or right to left, just keep the same pattern throughout the whole job. With your roller full, start in the middle of the section – between top and bottom – and roll to spread from top to bottom. Complete for three roller fills. Next, use a dry roller to lay off the area you painted. Lay off in a downwards direction, lightly keeping the roller on the surface and not pressing too heavily.
Step 5 – Trim and terrific: Work to a plan when painting your trim. If you’re painting a door frame, paint one side, the top, then the other side. Use long strokes when laying off, and work away from corners in the trim.
Step 6 – Double it up: Two coats are fine in most areas. Consider adding a third if the surface is bare, or if a particular colour requires more opacity.
Step 7 – Bless this mess: Your walls will thank you for keeping your workspace pristine. Wash equipment thoroughly and store your brush and rollers in a dry place, ready for your next masterpiece.