painting a bedroom

The ABCs of Painting a Room

When you paint an inhabited house, with furniture and others, it is better to work by sectors, room by room. In this way, you focus on a single sector, so that it can be occupied immediately when the work is finished, or at least when the paint has dried and allows its occupation.

Paint is incredibly versatile: it offers thousands of colors, different finishes and, to top it off, unbeatable immediacy. With a little practice, anyone who sets their mind to it can achieve the impact they desire. Is that why paint has so often been called “the decorator’s best friend”?

Now in each sector or environment, you must also follow an order to avoid accidental stains or spills. Do the work in a practical way, and recover the environment as soon as possible.

Walls dominate the atmosphere of a home-like almost no other aspect. When making a choice, the key to getting it right is to invest enough time in evaluating the options before getting down to work.

After a correct preparation of the surfaces, the next step to successfully face the task of painting a house is none other than the right choice of color, the basis of any atmosphere, and all kinds of effects: from enlarging or reducing spaces to rectifying proportions, providing warmth or refreshing environments. In the paint shops, there are color charts that allow us to identify quite precisely the tone we are looking for. 

It must be said that brightness, intensity, reflection, texture, and tone are factors that can radically change the way we perceive a certain color. Therefore, it is essential that we carefully observe the different natural light inputs and artificial light sources in each environment.

What is the correct order to paint a room?

First, the ceiling, then the walls, then the door and window frames. Finally, the moldings and baseboards should be painted.

Painted walls can be cleaned with a damp cloth, as long as the paint is washable and of good quality, and only three weeks after the paint has been applied.

In a room of difficult proportions, the decision to use the same color on the walls, ceiling and even floors will help to blur the boundaries of the space.

HOW MUCH PAINT TO BUY?

Everything will depend on the type of material to be used and the current color of walls and openings: painting a red wall white is not the same as painting a white wall red. 

The type of surface must also be taken into account: a new plaster wall, which takes about 5 weeks to dry, absorbs much more paint than an old plaster wall, and also needs a first coat of sealing paint or primer.

Another crucial factor is to calculate the square meters: for that you multiply the height by the length of the walls, while, for the ceiling, you measure the length and width of the floor, since they have the same surface.

Speaking of approximate yields (the maximum value represents paint with thinner; the minimum, without thinner), water-based paints yield between 9 and 15 m2 per liter; oil-based paints and varnishes, from 12 to 17m2 per liter; primer paints, from 15 to 18m2 per liter and textured paints, from 1 to 2 m2 per kg.

PRACTICAL ADVICE

  • Oil paints (enamels) tend to raise the color tone. It is important to remember this if the same shade is used for latex on the walls and enamel on the frames.
  • Furniture and flooring absorb about 60 percent of the light in a room. Therefore, if they are dark, it is advisable to choose a light color for the walls.
  • East orientation makes colors harder, so it is better to paint those rooms in soft tones. To the West, on the other hand, colors become warmer, so it may be better to choose cool tones.
  • Before painting, it is essential to cover all furniture and floors with some plastic material, as well as to remove pictures, mirrors and curtains. Never use newspapers for this purpose, since printing ink tends to leave stains. In case of splashes, these should be cleaned immediately with a cloth dampened with clean water.

If ceilings are too high, they can cause a cold or unprotected feeling. In such cases, one possibility is to paint them in the same color as the wall. To create an interesting effect, we can cut that continuity by choosing white for the moldings, if there are any.

CONSIDER THE TIME FRAME

As a reference, we can indicate that painting an apartment of approximately 100m2, with furniture and inhabited, can take about four weeks, time that includes the work on the carpenters and contemplates the delays caused by the movement that there is in the house. Of course, at the same time, factors such as climate and available manpower influence the calculation. An uninhabited house of 200m2, including exteriors, usually requires about 6 weeks of work.