Painting An Apartment? 10 Things You Need To know first!

Painting An Apartment?  10 Things You Need To know first!

January 3, 2017

   Are you thinking of Painting An Apartment?  10 Things You Need To know first!


   This past weekend, I ended up finishing a paint job my daughter had begun in her rental apartment.   She was moving forty-five minutes away, working, packing, and there is never enough time, is there?

   Her dad, her boyfriend, and I helped her pack and put the remaining furniture on a U-Haul and cart it to her new home.

   One of the last chores the next day was painting over the brown paint she had chosen to use to cover a wall in her bedroom.  I admit the dark wall did look nice with her off-white tufted headboard and bedding.

 There are 10 things you should know

before painting a wall in your apartment!

#1  Don’t paint a wall or room in a rented apartment, especially a dark color!  Apartments are temporary!  You will move and one of the last things you want to be doing is painting over that wall or room in order to save your security deposit at the same time you are trying to move into another place!


#2  A better option is to use fabric!  Fabric saturated in liquid fabric softener will adhere to the wall nicely.  (Check out this post from April where I used this technique to cover insets in the dining room.)  This technique can be used for the entire wall.

   Ready to pack up and leave?  Just catch a corner and pull.  It easily peels off the wall!  


#3  If you didn’t pay attention to #1 and you have to repaint the wall to the original color, especially if that wall is a dark color, use a paint that has a built-in primer.  It still took 3 coats of the paint she bought and because of her technique, some places took 4 coats, like the dark areas you can see in the picture below!


 #4  Technique. Knowing that some painters now roll the entire wall and then cut in the edges around the trim, ceiling, and walls, I just can’t bring myself to do that.  Call me ‘old school’.  I don’t care.  If you cut in with an angled paintbrush as you go, (unlike the picture above,) and roll into that strip along the edge before it dries, you will have a nice edge and won’t get the ‘ribboning effect’ around the edges either. 


#5  Paintbrush.  Use an angled paintbrush for cutting in the edges!  Buy a good quality paintbrush, too.   It does make a huge difference in the paint application!  No one wants to struggle pulling bristles out of an entire paint job and the paint goes on better, too.  (Keep the paint on the lower half of the bristles not all the way to the ferrule, or the metal part of the brush.)


#6  Paint Roller.  To paint a wall, don’t buy a 6″ foam roller!  It looks so cute and how about that little tray?  That tool has other good uses, but not for a whole wall!  Buy a regular 9″ Roller Cover made for Walls and Ceilings!   Aside from being larger, more paint is held on the roller with the 3/8″ nap, thereby, covering more space more quickly.
   Don’t buy a cheap one of these either!  The cheap rollers will begin to break down and leave pieces in the paint you just applied!  Yuk!

#7  Remove the faceplates!  Yes, there is one or sometimes two screws holding those to the wall!  Take a screwdriver and remove them!  Paint around the opening, allow the paint to dry and put them back.
   Even though my father died when I was thirteen, I can still hear my father saying, “Any job worth doing is worth doing right the first time!”

    Yes, this is actually what I found and yes, I did remove it and painted around it correctly.  As I was shaking my head and doing this, I turned around and noticed this faceplate on the opposite wall.  Clearly, someone else needs to read this post.


#8  Not so confident cutting in with a paintbrush?  Use blue painter’s tape around any trim to make it faster and easier to paint a sharp line or edge.  Rub the tape firmly to adhere to the surface and cut down on any bleeding under the tape. Remove the tape before the paint is completely dry to keep it from peeling.

#9  Rolling Technique.  Don’t paint up and down in a straight line all the way across the wall.  This causes striping and when you are covering a dark paint, like say this brown for instance, some areas left dark will require extra coats!
   The better way to paint is with a ‘V or W’ motion, overlapping what you have just painted.  The coverage is better and there is no striping!  Another thing people do is ‘OVER ROLL’ causing the paint applied to result in a thinner coat.  This, in turn, requires more coats of paint.


#10  Start at the top of the wall!  In my daughter’s defense, she didn’t have a ladder.  (We are height impaired.)  However, she could have gotten one before starting this!  Preparation is key.  When you start at the top of the wall and dribble paint, you can see it more easily and roll over it.  (If you start at the bottom, you have to roll back into areas that you have already painted.)

  The whole process flows better from top to bottom.  Work in about three-foot square sections as you paint, top to bottom, left to right, or right to left.


   Using the tools, which she had left for me the next day and four hours later, while my daughter was working, I finished the wall, my phone died, and I didn’t get a picture of the finished project.  However, she sent me a text after she made it back to the apartment, “Thanks, Mom, that really helped.”

    My daughter apparently never watched me paint in all the years she lived with us.  Hopefully, these tips help you.  Are you Painting An Apartment?  Here are 10 Things You Need To know first!



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