Painting Dos and Don'ts

Follow these helpful hints for your next painting project.

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DON'T rush. You'll achieve the best results if you practice a little patience. Plan on making it a full-day affair and you won't get frustrated.

DON'T pour the paint from the can until you notch holes into the paint can rim. Simply hammer holes around the metal rim with a nail to create holes for the paint to drip back down into the can.

DON'T paint out of order — start with the ceiling, then walls, doors and woodwork and finish with the floor (Image 1).

DON'T apply latex on an oil finish and vice versa without first sanding the walls (remember to wear a mask) and wiping away the dust particles with a tack cloth. Apply a primer of the same composition (oil or latex) of the intended topcoat (Image 2).

DON'T paint directly over wallpaper. If possible, remove it all with a steamer or paper-removing solution and prime. If it's old and not coming off, remove the loose pieces (repair with joint compound to smooth out the surface), sand and wipe with a tack cloth, then prime (Image 3).

DON'T close off the room. Keep doors and windows open to allow for proper ventilation.

DON'T underestimate how long it'll take you to get the job done. Allow at least 24 hours to dry before bringing everything back into the room. Allow two weeks to 30 days to cure before washing or wiping.

DON'T put off cleaning your brush and rollers if you plan to use them again (Image 1).

DON'T dispose of paint irresponsibly. Check your area for local hazardous waste recycling centers.

DON'T reattach the lid without cleaning the rim of the can. Also, to further prevent inadvertent splatters, place a paper towel or rag on top of the lid, then hammer to secure.

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