When it comes to home renovations, there are some that any DIY-warrior can tackle and other where it is best to trust a professional.

If you’re looking to make a change without launching into a full-on reno, changing the paint in your home is a great place to start.

So, you’ve decided you want to mix it up and are ready for the first step.

First, pre-paint, you’ll want to turn on all the lights in the space. Take a peek at the wall up close to find any dents, bumps, holes, etc. You’ll want to mark those minor flaws as you find them.

The easiest way we’ve found, is to just tear a small piece of tape and leave it by the area. We’d recommend avoiding marking the flaws with pen, pencil or marker as that can bleed through the paint.

Once you’ve found the flaws, you’ll be able to repair each spot with spackle or a joint compound. Let that dry, following the instructions on the product you buy. As a final prep-step, lightly sand over the spot to make sure there aren’t any bumps in the new layer.

We find it best to fill, refill and fill again.

Say you have a few small holes. Grab a putty knife and the spackle of your choice. Fill the holes with spackle. Once dry, lightly sand and apply two more coats. If it shrinks, you didn’t mess up. Think of it like a sponge, which is smaller when dry compared to expanded when wet. The same goes for spackle or joint compound.

Say you have a larger hole in the wall that’s more than 1/8 of an inch, still follow the above steps, but a joint compound might work best.

Ok, so you have a giant hole, maybe from the doorknob hitting or maybe it is something your kid accidentally did, what now. You’ll want to pick up an aluminum patch and trim it to the size of hole plus an extra inch on each side. Once you have it trimmed, apply it to the wall and work on at least two, if not three coats of drywall compound.

As a tip, anytime you apply joint compound pre-paint, you’ll want to make sure you use primer. It tends to absorb the paint, which can obviously leave you with a physical spot on the wall.

If you’re applying paint to a fresh, newly drywalled surface, seal the exposed drywall with a stain-blocking primer. Once the primer dries, you can sand the edges of the drywall. Then layer on the joint compound as needed and sand it smooth once it dries.

While you’d never discourage a child’s creativity, let’s just say you’re planning to cover a wall that has crayon or marker stuck on. You’ve tried to clan it off with water and soap, but it’s still there. You tried a magic eraser dry, but no dice. You tried a magic eraser dipped in warm water, but it’s still there.

Now you’re ready to just move on and roll onto the next step. You’ll need to use a special stain blocking primer because a regular primer likely won’t cut it. KILZ or B-I-N are both good at covering marks. As a tip, be sure to roll on the primer so you’re sticking with the same wall texture as the rest of the wall.

Once you’ve done all the above to prep your walls, you’re ready to roll on the paint color of your choosing! This is where the fun really begins.

If you pop into one of our stores, check out the Voice of Color machine or flip through the paint chips. Let’s say that overwhelms you. We suggest, using this approach to pick your color:

  • Warm or cool shade?
  • Neutral or bright?
  • Are you complimenting your old furniture?
  • Are you matching a key piece of art?

Once you’ve thought about the above, pick a few chips and tape them to the wall or get samples and think on them for a bit. Look at the wall with lights on / lights off and in the morning / midday / night to be sure you like the choice before you’re hours into completing the paint job.

Bring in the chip, color sample or item you want the color matched to and someone on our team will mix up your paint.

A general game plan is one gallon per 400 square feet of wall, assuming two coats of paint. If you’re planning to cover a dark gray wall with a light white color, you’ll likely need more paint. When in doubt, ask a team member and they’ll make some suggestions.

So now you’ve prepped the wall and bought the paint. Cover moldings, baseboards, door and window casings, etc. with painters’ tape. Make sure it well-stuck to avoid leaks. Remove all outlet and light switch covers and apply tape over the outlets and switches to protect them from drips.

Now you’re almost ready to paint. Stir the paint and pour it into whatever tray you’re using. Pick the wall you want to start on and go for it!

Use a brush to cut in / paint the corners, near trim, etc.

Use a roller to cover the wall, starting from the top and working your way down in long strokes. Painters recommend a “W” pattern which helps you cover more and avoid roller marks.

Once you can touch the wall without having any paint on your finger, it’s ready for a second or third coat.

A few parting notes on prepping your space. As a safety measure, be sure your space is well-ventilated. Open windows, use fans, etc.

Once you’ve put on the final coats and they’re dry to the touch, remove all painters tape. Wash your brushes with soap and water. For rollers, we recommend using a 5-in-1 painters’ tool along the roller under water to clean it.

Whether you’re just picking a new shade for an accent wall or completely changing your décor, we’ve got the paint and sundries to help you get the job done. Stop in and talk with one of our Paint experts to have them mix up the perfect color for your home.

We’d love to see your projects and share them on our socials, so be sure to tag us @MeeksWestern!