The Power of Paint

Decorate your house with paint using its amazing power to make the rooms sparkle and shine. It's no surprise that painting is the most popular do-it-yourself project. Use the handy material calculator to know how much paint to buy for the job.

By Gene And Katie Hamilton

The process of painting a room

Preparation is the key to a good paint job - that translates to patching any holes and cracks in the wall with spackling compound and washing off dirt and grease. The sequence of painting a room begins at the top and works down so ceilings are painted first, followed by the walls, and then the woodwork around windows, doors and moldings. This project goes faster if there are two painters: an outliner who cuts in or paints a 2-inch band of paint on the ceiling around its perimeter, and a roller who follows applying paint with a roller covering the ceiling. The same process works on walls cutting in a band of paint at the ceiling, down the wall at corners, then around any windows and doors and along the baseboard. Then the roller does the walls.

Painting is a good project for a handy homeowner who has the time and energy to tackle the job, learn the skills and invest in the tools and gear. It's best left to a professional when there's more than one room and a lot of woodwork and trim. A team of painters can make short work of painting several rooms compared to one homeowner. So if getting the job done is a priority, a pro is the way to go. Definitely hire a contractor to paint a stairway with high ceilings where professional scaffolding is required.

To get an accurate bid from a painting pro, know the approximate size of rooms and surfaces you want painted. Measure the areas and note the number of windows, door and any built-in cabinets. The pro, who always uses a quality paint, can advise you about the best type of paint and finish for your project.

If you don't have the time or desire to paint, you can find a painting contractor who has the skills and tools to do it right. Click Home Advisor, a free referral service that matches homeowners with local qualified contractors.

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