The quickest way to change the looks of your house? Paint it. In your eagerness, though, make sure you do the job right.

  1. Prepare the wall or ceiling properly.
  2. Scrape off flaking paint and smooth the edges with wallpaper. Check for moisture problems – the signal is paint that flakes off in under two years. In this case, you may need a carpenter or roofer to fix the problem.
  3. Wash the surface – with a hose, power washer, or elbow grease. A solution of TSP (trisodium phosphate) and water will remove grease that keeps paint from adhering. (Use rubber gloves).
  4. Fill the nail holes, cracks, and other imperfections. Use the right spackle or putty – exterior for exterior walls, interior for interior walls. Wet the putty knife before putting it in the putty.
  5. After the puttied areas have dried, sand and paint them with a primer coat. Also sand and prime all surfaces covered with slick paint like enamel. Wear a mask while you do it. Dust woodwork with tack cloth.
  6. Caulk window and woodwork joints.
  7. Cover stains, particularly mildew, with a special sealer. If people smoke in your house, prime the ceiling with a stain killer.
  8. Move the furniture out of the room, or group it in the center and cover it with a drop cloth.
  9. Take off striker plats, doorknobs, and other objects you do not want painted.

Now you can start painting:

  1. Prime the surfaces, usually with primer paint. Otherwise you may have to paint the surface an extra time.
  2. Use the right-sized brush-you need three for most jobs: 1-inch to 1 1/2-inch trim brush, 2-inch to 21/2-inch sash brush, and a 4-inch wall brush. Do not use natural bristle paintbrushes with latex or water-based paint; use one with synthetic bristles instead. If you use a roller, buy a cover with the right nap for the job-the smoother the surface, the shorter the nap.
  3. Paint a room in this order: ceiling, walls, trim, doors, windows. Paint the exterior of a house one side at a time.
  4. Do not use too much paint on your brush or roller. Dip brushes only about one-third the length of the bristles into the paint, and do not fill the paint pan for roller painting more than inch inch deep.
  5. Be neat. Take your time. Every spill and drip is more trouble than the time you saved by being sloppy.
  6. With a roller, go over the area already painted with up and down strokes.
  7. Paint safely. Make sure you have a secure ladder. Do not lean over too far-it's better to move the ladder than break your head.

Article originally published at Source by Kiya Sama