The thought of tackling a painting project doesn't always fill us with excitement. In fact, a lot of us dread these "weekend-killers." Many of us don't get all warm and fuzzy over the thought of spending tons of time painting. At least I know I don't.
Oh, the painting isn't really the problem--that part's relatively fun. It's the washing of the walls, the patching of the nail holes, the taping. It's the PREP WORK that I really hate. And I hate it because it adds so much time to my project.
But there's a simple fix for this: Do the Prep Work Early!
- PATCH THOSE NAIL HOLES: If you're going to try to roll paint on your living room walls on a Saturday morning, then take 15 minutes on a Monday night and go around the room filling all the nail holes with a good spackling compound. We recommend White Lightning Lightweight Spackle or Crawford's Spackling. Go around the entire room and fill ALL the nailholes and then quit for the night.
- SAND THE SPACKLING: The night after you spackled all your nail holes, take another 15 minutes and go around the room doing a quick sanding of those spots. By this point, (if you've truly waited 24 hours) the spackling will be bone dry and will powder nicely as you sand it. This stage of the project should only take you 15 quick minutes as you work your way around that room.
- WASH THE WALLS: Every paint job should start with a good wall washing using TSP (TriSodium Phosphate). However, washing the walls down on the day you want to paint can really slow you down--it'll take a good 30 minutes to an hour to wash the walls and then another 15 minutes or so for them to dry. Avoid all of this by washing the walls down early. Just as we mentioned with the spackling and the sanding, take a night in the week BEFORE you plan to start painting and go around the room, washing the walls down. Doing this will save you all that time on the day of your project.
- ROLL OUT THAT MASKING TAPE: Finally, the night before you plan to do your work, apply your masking tape to all your trim and around your doors and ceilings, etc. Of course, if you're going to do this, you'll want to use either 3M's Blue Painter's Masking Tape or 3M's Blue (Orange Core) Safe Release Painter's Tape. Both of these tapes will still cleanly remove after being applied early!
If you tackle these prep work steps early, you'll have more nights of work--but, each night will be relatively short AND, best of all, when the weekend arrives, all the boring work will be out of the way. All you'll need to do is pop the top on your gallon of paint and start rolling your new color on your walls.
Accomplishing this work early is a great way to minimize the frustration of a paint project. Give it a try--you'll like the results!