16 Ways to Make Painting Less Painful

It’s one of the easiest ways to transform a room, but painting can be tough! HGTV Magazine shares tips to ease the sting.

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Dan Zettwoch

Look at your clothes for color inspiration
Not sure which paint hue will make you happiest? Go through your wardrobe. If you wear mostly neutrals, opt for tan or gray. If you go for cooler hues, like blues and greens, stick with those. If you have a lot of warmer shades, try red or orange.

Get samples
Once you've found hues you like, buy sample pots to test at home. Paint two coats on poster board-the bigger the swatch, the better-or try a SureSwatch ($1, The Home Depot stores), a clear, paintable decal. Move the swatch to see how the color looks in different light and next to curtains and rugs.

Do the math
You've probably heard that one gallon of paint covers 350 square feet-but that doesn't mean much if you don't know your room's size. To figure out how much paint to buy, measure each wall's width and height, then put the numbers in a paint calculator (try paintquality.com). If the room has nooks or built-ins, add a gallon to be safe.

Clear your schedule
Painting may take longer than you think-figure you'll need eight hours to paint the walls of an average-size living room (with two coats). Add another hour or two to move furniture, put down drop cloths, tape off trim, and clean up when the job's done.

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