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Last week we had dinner with a friend who is a professional painter. He allowed us to pick his brain and borrow some tools. We’ve also been quizzing my parents who are quite seasoned at home improvement projects including painting. They lent us a lot of tools too!

Sitting at the bar, waiting for our spouses, our friend started giving me tips about taping and asked if we were planning to paint the trim. I informed him that we have to! When he brought this question up in a phone conversation earlier I looked around and realized the trim around the front door is the same color as the walls, the trim around the bedroom is white, and the trim around the bathroom is natural wood. Immediately upon telling him this another gentleman at the bar apologetically chimed in to say,

Thank you! What you just described makes me cringe. Please make the trim all one color.

I thanked him for his input. We have lived in our home for years and the multicolored trim never struck me. In fact the original reason I was going to paint it was because of my mom’s influence.

She has beautifully painted walls all over her house and she showed me that painting the walls, trim, and doors all the same color help open the room and make it feel more congruent.

Picture of a bathroom door that gets lost in what appears to be a large slab of marble.

Not to mention make doors disappear! This conversation actually led to most of the lessons we have learned…

Lesson 1: Paint the walls, trim, and doors all one color.

Lesson 2: Latex doesn’t adhere to oil based paint. If the paint on the trim is shiny then it’s oil based and needs to be primed first, the same goes for wood.

Lesson 3: Splurge on the expensive tools!! The tape is stickier, the brushes are stronger, and the paint will apply more smoothly with fewer coats.

Lesson 4: When taping push down the edge of the tape with your nail or a spackle knife to secure it firmly in place.

Lesson 5: If you can leave about 1/16″ of the top of your wall the same color as the ceiling you can easily get a beautiful straight seam between the two colors.

Lesson 6: Taping is key. Take all the time you need to tape everything very carefully. How well you tape can make or break the entire project.

Lesson 7: Designate one specific area for pouring paint (NOT on absorbent tile). The less moving around of paint buckets, the less likely you will destroy the floor.

Lesson 8: Paint in socks. Socks are absorbent. If you step in paint they will soak up most of it while shoes will just spread it everywhere.

Lesson 9: Cover everything with plastic, even if you are not painting the ceiling.

Lesson 10: Take before and after pictures!

Lesson nine was unfortunately demonstrated to us over dinner. Our friend found a small splatter of paint on his leather jacket shortly after teaching us the importance of covering everything in plastic, even items in the middle of the room that are not close to the paint.

In following lesson 10 I will leave you with my before pictures. Now I need to get back to packing everything away!

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