Most people I talk to dislike painting rooms. I have always liked it. While painting, I like the time I get to spend listening to podcasts, music or ebooks. I love watching the color change, covering the old and giving the room a fresh look. With that said, there are parts I find tedious but I still do them because it makes the final result that much better.
For my craft room transformation, I painted the trim, ceiling, ceiling fan blades and walls.
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Painting: Ceiling Fan Blades
Before I started painting, I removed the ceiling fan blades from the ceiling fan so I could clean them and paint them. They started as a dark wood vinyl-coated press-board. I wanted to lighten them up and chose a bright white satin finish latex paint.
To prepare for removing the ceiling fan blades, I numbered the blades.
I do not know if it is still true today but I have had ceiling fans in the past with blades that were not well balanced. I remember having to either rearrange the blades or tape weights to them to help balance them. Not wanting to take any chances with their positioning, I number the blades as I take them off so I put them back on in the same positions.
Each ceiling fan will be a little different. If your ceiling fan blades have screws that are impossible to reach with a straight screw driver, you may need an angled driver like the one in the picture.
Clean the Blades
As I took off each blade, I cleaned it with Simple Green to remove the built-up dust and the cigarette smoke tar that the sellers did not clean off so well. It’s not clean until *I* say it’s clean. If your blades have some sort of grommet or washer, remove those prior to painting.
Paint the Blades
Each blade got two coats of primer and two coats of white satin latex paint. Because of my concern about balance in the blades, I was very particular about making sure each coat of paint was as consistent as I could possibly make them.
After painting was complete, I put the ceiling fan blades back onto the ceiling fan in the same order they had been originally.
Painting: Primer Coat
This room got a couple of coats of primer throughout. I used Zinsser primer for this project. I have used other brands in the past and for most routine interior paint projects, any brand of primer will do the job for you.
The trim needed primer because I was painting over the wood. The walls and ceiling needed primer because of how dry and “thirsty” the current paint was. I also wanted to help cover the occasional odor of cigarette smoke from the previous owners I could smell on warm humid days.
In my previous post, I showed how I masked off the carpeting and around the window trim in preparation for painting the trim. Masking carpeting can be a challenge if you have especially plush carpeting. My preference would have been to remove the carpeting, paint the trim, then replace the carpeting with a different floor covering. It just wasn’t in the current budget.
The masking around the windows was only on the window side (not the wall side).
I painted two coats of primer on the trim followed by two coats of high gloss white latex paint. The bright white of the high gloss paint will be a nice complement to the light blue that I chose for the walls.
Once I was done painting the trim, I used an X-Acto knife to cut through the paint at the edge of the tape. When I only do a single coat of paint, I do not need to do this. But, this painting was two coats of primer and two heavy coats of high gloss latex paint. Peeling off the tape has the potential of pulling paint off of my trim. I made that mistake… once.
I keep mentioning how “thirsty” these walls are but the ceiling was worse than the walls. Before I got started, I thought I could get by with only one coat of paint on the ceiling. But that too required two coats. The color that was on there was a typical white ceiling paint. I bought the brightest white ceiling paint to help make sure I get as much brightness in the room as possible but also wanted to be able to tell where I had already painted. I decided to try ceiling paint that goes on purple and dries white. It wasn’t a dark purple but it was enough of a contrast that I could tell where I missed spots.
I bought the ceiling paint at Lowe’s. It is Valspar color-changing ceiling paint. (This is not an affiliate link.)
To paint the ceiling, I did not tape off the walls because they were going to get painted anyway. I taped off the ceiling fan mount and the smoke detector. Using a 2-inch angled brush, I “cut in” the ceiling. For those who are unfamiliar with the term “cut in,” that means going around the edge of the wall, or in this case, around the ceiling with a hand brush. A roller will not get all the way into the corner so you have to get in there with a brush. Cutting in takes longer than rolling. Again, this is a good time for listening to whatever keeps you calm, relaxed, energized, or entertained. My favorite is tech podcasts (I work in IT so I keep up with technology news via podcasts). For my ceiling it took about two hours to cut in. Rolling took about 45 minutes.
When rolling the ceiling, it’s a good idea to wear protective eye wear. As you roll, tiny specks of paint come off the roller and fall down. You can get these into your eyes.
After the second coat, I was ready for the walls!
Painting the walls is my favorite part of painting. Working on trim is tedious but I do it. Painting the ceiling is uncomfortable because of having to look up. But, doing the walls is exciting! There is magic in the color change that is happening between the old color and the new color.
When painting the walls, I first had to cut in at the ceiling, around all the door and window openings, along the baseboards, and and spaces where a roller would not fit. After all had dried, I cut in a second coat because I could see some of my brush strokes.
When painting the walls, I did not tape off anything. I know some people tape the ceiling and all their trim. The method I use to cut in “sneaks up” on the edge and I do not need to have a tape barrier. Here is a short video I took of my cutting in.
Next up was rolling. Again, rolling goes so fast. I was able to roll the entire room in about an hour. I let the first coat on the walls dry overnight and rolled the second coat the next day.
Painting: Time to Enjoy!
When the painting is complete, the first thing to do is step back and smile. If you are so inclined, jump up and down and be giddy like a child for a minute. You did this! You took the next step to improving your room.
Once you have finished patting yourself on the back, do your clean-up.
- Get that brush cleaned first so it will last for years.
- If the paint can is empty, leave the lid off of it and set it aside to dry before disposing of it.
- If the paint can still has paint, put the lid back on and make sure it is well-sealed. Consider pouring it into a repurposed glass container to use for touch-ups. I suggest glass because it is easy to tell the color. You could also use a plastic container and brush some paint onto the outside of the container.
- Some people discard the rollers and some people clean and reuse them. If you discard the roller, let it dry completely before disposing.
- Paint trays can be discarded but, again, let the paint dry completely. If you do not use tray inserts, make sure you clean your tray completely. The next time you use it, there is the chance that old paint speckles can come off and end up in your new paint.
- Fold up the drop cloth and put it away for the next paint project. There is no need to clean the drop cloth.
- Remove any tape you used for masking off items.
- Reattach all the switch and outlet covers
Brushes: If you plan to step away from painting long enough that paint on your brush will start to dry but not long enough to clean your brush and let it dry, place your brush into a plastic bag. Make sure the wet bristles are all touching the plastic, to keep air from getting to the paint.
Rollers: The plastic bag trick also works for your roller. Those roller sleeves are pretty cheap. It is easy enough to just throw it away and put on a new one, but why add more trash to the landfills when it is not necessary. I put the roller in a bag, while it is still on the handle, and roll it up.
Drop cloths: I don’t use plastic drop cloths. If you drip paint on them, they stay wet and you can step in those drops and track them to other parts of the house. You can go out and buy a big canvas drop cloth. They are big and bulky but they are great for the job for the professionals who have to get the job done quickly so they can move on to the next job. Because I take my time, I do not have pain flying everywhere. I use old bed sheets as drop cloths and move them around the room as I go. This is intentional. It makes me put down the brush or roller and move my body in a different way for a minute instead of just continuing the repetitive painting motions. I do it for my health.
Cleaning up is part of the painting process. I buy good brushes because I get better results with them. I clean them well. It can be difficult to get the paint off the bristles if you have been painting for a couple of hours. I use a vegetable brush and stroke it along the paint brush bristles, only stroking from the metal ferrule to the ends of the bristles. My paint brushes last for years and I don’t end up with bristles flaring out.
Mistakes happen. I keep a roll of paper towels close at hand when painting and some water. Most minor mistakes can be cleaned up with a wet or dry paper towel.
Thank you for reading along as I continue on my Craft Room Transformation project. It is my hope that walking you through some of these steps helps you in your next project.
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