Prepping Your Home for Sale:Â Do-It-Yourself Interior Painting
Â Â Â Â Okay, so you might have heard that painting is one of the least expensive ways to update and customize your home.Â Itâ€™s trueâ€”that bright red kitchen wall, for instance, was chosen exactly to match your Coke bottle collection, and the lime green bathroom was a great way to add a little bit of fun to your childâ€™s bath time.Â
Â Â Â Â Hereâ€™s the conundrum:Â the very thing that may have made your home reflect you and your personality may be exactly the thing that keeps a buyer away.Â
Â Â Â Â â€œCâ€™monâ€”itâ€™s just a coat of paint,â€ you might be thinking.Â â€œWhen people look at a home, theyâ€™re looking at room size, layout, condition and great architectural details.â€Â
Â Â Â Â Oh contraire, mon frÃ¨re.Â Thatâ€™s what they SHOULD be looking for.Â Instead, their attention is being captured by the stripes in the dining room, the faux finish in the master bath and that what-were-you-thinking? olive green bedroom.Â Â So before you list your home or put up that FSBO sign, itâ€™s time to consider getting some rollers, brushes and pans and paint samples.Â
Â Here are 4 must-follow rules to help you in your efforts:
Â 1.Â Â Â Â Â Â White isnâ€™t a color.Â At least, itâ€™s not the ONLY color. Â Check out any home improvement, letâ€™s-sell-your-house kind of show, and youâ€™ll notice that itâ€™s pretty rare that they revert to all-white walls.Â Most designers instead look for ways to neutralize spaces without making them look cold or sterile.Â Light tans, soft yellows, sky blues and quiet greens can make spaces appear larger, cleaner and more modern.Â And because they are familiar tones, buyers can probably envision how their own furniture will look in the space.Â Plus, these light tones are a fantastic base for those architectural details you love about your house, whether those details are lighter or darker than the wall color. Â One idea?Â Check out catalogs from well-known retailers and see how they stage rooms for photos; you might get some great ideas about how to set the stage in your home.Â Â
Â 2.Â Â Â Â Â Â Quality matters.Â There are just some times in life when youâ€™re gonna get what you pay for.Â Paint is one of them.Â A $15 gallon of paint is unlikely to give you the same level of coverage that a $40 gallon of paint will.Â Â This is particularly important when youâ€™re looking at covering dark or patterned walls.Â And donâ€™t try to get away from a good quality primer, either.Â Â Youâ€™ll spend more time and use far more paint if you donâ€™t prime before you paint. Â Finally, invest in good quality brushes and rollersâ€”they last longer and wonâ€™t leave hairs or fuzz on your freshly-painted surfaces.
Â 3.Â Â Â Â Â Â Whatâ€™s your type?Â Itâ€™s not just deciding between oil-based and latex paintâ€”itâ€™s also about deciding on a finish.Â Because they naturally reflect light, high-gloss paints can make a room look bigger, but they also highlight imperfections.Â For this reason, they should only be used on trims, cabinet doors and small areas.Â Â Â Semi-gloss is an optimal choice for kitchens and bathrooms, satin/eggshell is great for hallways and bedrooms, and flat (which best hides flaws but is harder to clean) is best suited for rooms or areas that are used infrequently.
4.Â Â Â Â Â Â Washing, spackling and other prep work.Â Before paint touches the wall, make sure to scrub them thoroughly (especially in the kitchen) and repair any holes, nicks or dings with a light spackling compound.Â Â Remove the plates around light switches and electrical outlets.Â Â And yes, you do need to tape around trim, hardware and other areasâ€”with a good quality painters tape (no 99 cent masking tape)â€”before you begin.Â The time you take spend up front prepping will save you hours in tedious cleanup.