Monday, October 15, 2012

31 Days {Day 15} A Mom's Guide to Painting

One of the biggest changes you can make in a room is painting the walls.  We are renters, but in the four houses we have rented, 2 landlords let us paint and 2 didn't.  In our current house, I can paint, and I love it!

In the past year, I have painted our pantry, living room, dining room, mud room, side porch and back porch.  Nothing makes a bigger impact in a room than nice clean painted walls.

I'm not a great painter, but I do know a thing or to about painting with kids.  Today, I'd like to bring you.....

1. Timing is Everything

Choose the right time to paint when your kids are sleeping, when they first wake up, when they are napping, or when they are watching their favorite show.  Kids can sense when you are distracted, and that's when they choose to get in the most trouble.

2. Have Reasonable Expectations

Remember you are not on normal time, you are on Mommy Time, and Mommy time works much slower. When I start painting a room, I know I won't get it all done in a day.  Each day I paint, I always set my goal to get just one wall done.

When I painted our dining room that was covered in paneling, it took me six weeks, and I still have one piece of trim and a door left to do.  I would paint a couple of hours a day for a few days a week.  It took a while, but now the job is (pretty much) done.  Just take the job in little bites. It took me six weeks to paint the paneling in my dining room, but I took my time and kept my sanity, and now I love the look.

3. Use Satin not Flat

Most paints in a flat finish are not very wipe able. A satin finish is not too shiny and it is WiPe AbLe! I worked hard to get the room painted, but I don't want to have a coronary if....when my boys wipe their dirty hands on the wall. Using a satin finish allows me to keep my cool, wipe off the dirty little prints, and love the two little boys who left them there.

4.  Tape, Tape, Tape

It's annoying, it's time consuming, but tape.  I know you read on Pinterest that you can edge without taping, but Mom's have too many distractions to have a steady hand.  If this is the first room you have painted...tape, tape, tape.  

Also, don't go cheap on painter's tape.  Cheap painter's tape will only make you mad.  I use Scotch edge lock tape, and have had no trouble with it.

5. Have a Pair of Paint Clothes

I picked out a pair of clothes that I didn't mind ruining and designated them as my paint clothes.  If I get paint on my hands, I don't have to stop painting, and try not to get paint all over my house as I get a paper towel.  Since I'm wearing my paint clothes, I just wipe the paint off on them.  After several projects, I'm very proud of my paint pants and every new paint color I add to them.

6.  Sherwin Williams

I really like Sherwin Williams paint. When I painted my dining room, I was very impressed with their Super Paint.  The staff in the store is very helpful and can give great advice and help.  If you are a "preferred customer" they keep all your colors on file, and that is one less thing for me to remember. However, if you are curious I've used mindful grey in my living room, and repose grey in my dining room. I also used Glidden's pebble grey in my pantry and mud room (I like grey. Can you tell?)

 Sherwin Williams is definitely more expensive than other stores, but I signed up for their e-mails.  In the past month, they have had a 40% sale, 30% sale, and 25% sale.  All that in one month! I wait around for a 40% sale, and get good paint for a good deal.

7.  Brown Paper Rolls

When I looked for something to protect my floors as I painted, I wanted to buy the cheap plastic drop cloths because I'm cheap. Then I worried about the boys and having basically a giant plastic bag in the floor.  That's when I found the roll of brown paper that is also in the painters section.  When I start painting on a wall, I roll the paper out.  I don't tape it to the baseboards because it lays flat and stays close enough to the base board for me.  When I'm done for the day, I can just roll it up and reuse it for tomorrow.  Plus, I use the brown paper for gift wrap (I told you I was cheap).

8. Accidents Happen

 One of the shelves in my pantry has tiny baby footsteps on it because Collin walked through as they were drying in the kitchen.  I went to paint over them, but I decided to keep them there.  I knew I would like to see those feet again someday.

When I stained my porch, Collin struck again.  This time I had to paint over the tiny feet, but not until I took a picture.

No matter how you time it or how well you plan it, accidents are going to happen.  When I painted the dining room, Collin had a big streak of paint right down his face for a few days, but it was okay.  I would rather try and risk a little mess than stay unhappy with my house.

Here is the impact a little paint can make.  Here is a wall in my dining room before I painted.

Here is the after.  It's a bad shot I took this morning.  Notice, all I've done is paint the walls.  

Here's another angle.

After! Just ignore the blue tape.  That's the piece of trim I need to paint. Oh! And ignore the two giant dressers.  I just snapped this picture this morning, and I have two pieces in my dining room that I'm working on for a friend.

Do you see the power of paint? It's definitely worth the mess and effort!

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