This is a popular suggestion because it works every time (as long as you pick the right color). As room refreshers go, a new paint job can brighten your walls, cover those dings and scratches, and give you a great opportunity to use color to your best advantage. The right wall paint can coordinate your room décor and even showcase special elements like a fireplace when you incorporate two or more paint colors in a single room. Taking advantage of color psychology in your choices can also help encourage a mellow, cheerful or energetic mood. You don't have to be a perfectionist to paint well, but it does take some prep:
- Vacuum the ceiling, walls, baseboards and floors before you begin.
- Repair cracks, nail holes, dings and dents. Usually you can do this in a couple of hours with a tub of spackle, a putty knife and a couple of sheets of sandpaper.
- Use painter's tape (the blue stuff) to tape off windows, doors, built-ins and any fixtures you can't remove.
- Cover your furnishings and flooring with tarps (old sheets work, too).
- Provide good ventilation, either by opening the windows or using a fan to vent paint fumes from a windowless room.
- If you're applying paint to a spot that hasn't been painted before, use a primer first or purchase a paint-and-primer-in-one product.
- Follow the recommendations on the paint can. If the manufacturer suggests painting in three-foot sections with up and down strokes, do it. It's important.
- Leave plenty of time between coats -- overnight may seem like overkill, but it will give you the best results.