Painting Your Home

Once you’ve set your sights on selling your home, you wish to do everything to make it appealing to potential buyers. Painting the interior is a great way to impress anybody who walks in. By refreshing the rooms with a new coat of paint, you’ll definitely increase the chances of closing the deal at a fair price.

Which rooms should you paint?

Identify the priorities and paint them first. It would be best to start with the rooms where the walls are damaged or the paint is chipped. The next in line should be high-traffic rooms, like the kitchen, bathroom and living room. Painting the foyer is essential as it is the starting point for a prospective owner’s tour of the house.

The choice of colours

If you are painting to sell, the market should be your guide. Ask yourself who your potential buyers are. A family with young children will appreciate washable walls, while an elderly couple will love simplicity and classic colours. Remember that a new paintjob doesn’t need to match your own taste, but make the home as universally attractive as possible. By depersonalizing your home, you will make it seem like anyone can live there. According to real estate agents, light warm colours like beige and taupe are considered a safe card for creating an inviting indoor atmosphere.

How much paint should you buy?

After you have settled for a couple of colours, the next step is estimating how much paint you need to buy. Professionals advise to multiply the length of each surface by its height and add another 30% on top. One gallon of paint should be enough for 350 to 400 square feet. One way or another, always buy a bit more so you can use it for touch-ups.

Preparing the rooms

Either remove the furniture from the room or place it at the centre and cover it with canvas or plastic drop cloths. Additionally, place drop cloths on the floor and remove the fixtures like window coverings, switch plates and outlet covers. Protect windowsills, baseboards, door hinges and the ceiling perimeter with a painter’s tape. You can use it on everything else you need to protect. Before you start with painting, make sure all the surfaces are repaired and cleaned properly, as paint won’t adhere well to dirty or uneven areas.

Safety tip: If your home was built before 1978, the chances are that it was decorated with lead-based paints. There are lead-paint testing kits available. Avoid scraping and sanding lead-based paint as it poses a serious health hazard, especially to children and pregnant women.

Priming and painting

Applying a coat of primer isn’t always necessary, but it will make the paint adhere better and last longer. However, if your walls are stained or you are applying a light-coloured paint over dry walls, you should use primer. Use a brush or a roller and apply primer in 6-ft square sections, using a zigzag pattern or overlapping ‘W’ strokes. After the primer has dried, pour your paint in the tray and start applying it in the same way as the primer. Adding premium paint thinner will help the paint apply to surfaces more evenly, and you will prevent bumps from occurring in the painted surfaces.

Safety tip: Open the windows when priming and painting to ensure your working area is well-ventilated.

Metal surfaces

When it comes to metal surfaces (as wrought iron fence, for instance), using quality rust converter or rust protection paint can significantly improve their appearance. As decorative coatings, these solutions help hide unsightly dents, joints and scratches, and can make any imperfect metal surface look brand new.

Cleaning up the mess

When the job is done, fold up the drop cloths and close your paint cans. Dispose of empty paint or thinner cans in a proper way. If warm soapy water isn’t enough for cleaning the brushes and rollers, use turpentine. After your painting tools are clean, make sure they are dried completely before storing them away. Remove painter’s tape at a 45-degree angle to avoid stripping any fresh paint. The longer the tape stays on, harder it becomes to remove.

Following this guide, you will be able to paint your home for sale in a matter of days. Your chances to sell will increase dramatically and in the meantime, you will enjoy a freshly decorated interior.