No matter how much you clean and organize your home, it’ll never look its best with marks on the walls or chipped paint. In fact, a fresh coat of paint is one of the best things you can do to prepare your house for sale. A fresh coat of paint does wonders for a home’s appearance, but just touching up paint on walls with minor marks or chips can make a big difference.
One of the most exciting DIY projects I’ve completed was repainting my porch and deck. I’ve touched up paint around the interior of my home on numerous occasions and also repainted trim. Recently, I repainted some walls.
I didn’t follow any set instructions for repainting the walls. I didn’t cover large surface areas. I started out wanting to paint over some marks, then decided that there were so many marks that I may as well paint the wall.
I started out as a total amateur, and I’m just a bit above that level now. I’m writing this post from the amateur or just-above-amateur point of view, because it seems like the professionals leave out a lot of crucial information. These are the things I wish I’d known before I started touching up paint or repainting walls. My tips don’t assume you know anything about painting or what you need to start painting around your house.
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I’ve included a video below with instructions for painting a wall, but almost all videos I’ve seen leave out an important tip. Let’s say you want to touch up the paint in a room or repaint over a wall using the same color. You might not have any paint on hand that’s the exact color of your walls.
Fortunately, home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes offer a paint matching service that’s absolutely amazing. You need to use a razor knife to cut a small square of paint – around 3 inches – from an inconspicuous place. Don’t worry – you’ll paint over it later using the paint you buy. I usually choose a place that’s hidden behind a piece of furniture or that’s in an out-of-the-way corner.
Place your paint swatch in a zippered sandwich bag and head over to your local home improvement store. Go up to the paint counter and ask for a paint match. I generally go to Home Depot and buy their house brand of paint, Behr.
They’ll want to know the sheen of the paint you want to buy. I have no idea what sheen of paint was used in my house, so I always buy satin, and it works. The person working at the paint counter might be able to tell the sheen by looking at your paint sample.
If you’re touching up paint, you’ll probably want to buy the smallest container they’ll sell you. Paint seems to go a long way. It doesn’t last forever, but I’ve been using the same touch-up paint for my walls for several years.
Make sure you get a wooden paint stir when you buy your paint. Some places give them away for free, but they’re really cheap even if you have to pay for one. You’ll need to thoroughly stir the paint every time you’re going to use it.
One thing I wish someone had told me is that the paint in the can won’t look like your walls. You’ll probably think it’s not a good match.
Try painting over that area where you took the swatch using a razor knife, let it dry, and you’ll see what I mean. Paint in the can looks totally different than paint on the walls.
Touching up paint is extremely easy. I watched a handyman do it one time and decided there was no reason to pay someone for that task.
Before touching up paint, I try to remove marks with cleaner or a Magic Eraser. Then, I mix the paint really well, put a little paint on a painting sponge, put a newspaper under it, and take it to where I need to touch-up paint. Then, I gently brush over the chips or marks.
I don’t like to carry a can of paint around for fear of dribbling, spilling or splattering it. When I’m finished, I usually discard the paint sponges since they really don’t wash well and are generally good for only one use.
If you’re painting a larger surface such as trim, a wall or a porch, you’ll use rollers and brushes, which need to be rinsed thoroughly immediately after usage to make sure the paint comes out. Make sure you wear old clothing that you don’t mind getting paint stains on, and have some old, wet rags handy for cleaning up drips.
You’ll also need to make use of painter’s tape to protect the surrounding area that you aren’t painting. It helps you get sharp edges without getting paint where you don’t want to get paint.
Here’s a list of some items you’ll need before you start painting, besides paint. If you’re just touching up paint, you’ll only need the paint sponges and Magic Eraser.
- Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
- Swiffer mop with dry and wet pads, for cleaning walls before painting.
- Painter’s tape for protecting the edges of areas you’re not painting.
- Wall patch kit to fill in cracks, holes and dents prior to painting.
- Paint brushes.
- Paint sponges.
- Drop cloth.
- Paint roller kit with tray.
- Long-arm extension pole for paint rollers.
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