Your significant other just decided that the dining room’s dark red walls are so out and is leaning towards a soft yellow color instead. You start to panic. How are you supposed to cover up that crazy red? Should you hire a painter? I have good news: repainting doesn’t have to be a pain. All you have to do is follow these simple steps for a professional looking space.

1. Clean up your act.

The first step in repainting is to wipe down the walls. You don’t want any dirt or stains showing through your new color or creating uneven walls. These imperfections can also act as a barrier and can affect how well the paint adheres, which can lead to future flaking. In some cases, clean up might just mean dusting and wiping down with water and gentle soap. However, if you are tackling a bathroom or kitchen, it’s wise to clean more thoroughly since these areas are more likely to have spills and stains. Be wary of which soaps/solutions you use: you don’t want to damage the wall.

2. Don’t flake out.

Check the wall for any cracked areas or flaked paint. Simply scrape them away or give them a light sanding to make sure the surface is smooth and ready for paint. You don’t want the flakey texture to show through your new paint job. Additionally, use plaster to fill in any nail holes or other imperfections. In the case of particularly old paint jobs, it might be necessary to give the entire wall a light sanding.

3. To prime or not to prime?

While you can get away without using a primer, especially if you are using a color only a few shades off, priming is always a good idea. Not only will it ensure that your new color is vibrant and seamless but it will also cover up any other discolorations. Using a primer is absolutely necessary if you are planning on making a dramatic color change. I recommend using an oil-based primer for particularly discolored or flawed walls. One coat of primer should do it, but if you are attempting to cover a dark color, two might be necessary.

Note: Nowadays, they are selling paint with “built in” primer. These will not be enough for extreme color changes. A separate primer is still needed. They should work nicely, however, if you are staying in the same color family.

4. Tape up and cut in.

Use painters tape to keep your lines clean and prevent any paint bleeding where you don’t want it. Then, start by cutting in on the corners/along the trim with an angled brush. You don’t want to miss any spots that your roller can’t get into!

5. Keep on rollin’.

Start by making sure your roller is well-covered with paint (not too much, you don’t want drips!) and painting in a “W” shape onto the wall. If you paint straight up and down, you risk missing areas or creating seams.

6. I got you covered.

After the first coat of paint is dry, check out the coverage in natural light and note the areas that need a little extra attention. Be as precise as possible on your second coat to avoid touch ups and to have your final coat look as smooth as possible. Most of the time, especially if you use a primer, only two coats will be necessary.

7. Make yourself a drink and admire your handiwork.

With a little patience and the proper prep work, you can successfully and skillfully repaint any room you want. Plus, you can save some extra money by not hiring painters. So, grab your roller and get to work!

Whether you’re in the market for some new furniture or just love to collect antiques, Because It’s Awesome’s guide to finding vintage furniture on Craigslist is something you definitely need to check out: How to Repaint an Already Painted Wall

Featured photo credit: m.gifford via Flickr

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