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Everything You Need To Know Before You Paint A Room

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Hands painting the wall with a roller brush
Hands painting the wall with a roller brush

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Credit: Shutterstock

Alright, so you've got a color in mind and found a few brushes in your closet. You're like a modern-day Michelangelo and you're about to Sistine Chapel the crap out of your house. But if you've never painted before, here are a few things you need to know to get from point A to point Z without totally botching it.

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Credit: Flickr/Peas

Test paint samples on the wall first
A small swatch of paint will give you an idea of what color you want, but that color might be totally different once it's up on your wall, like the interior design equivalent of Harvey Dent. So pick out a few samples to try and pay attention to how the color looks throughout the day in different lighting. You'll prime over them later, so feel free to go wild.

Decide if you want a matte or gloss finish
For interior walls, you'll almost always want to go with a matte. Gloss is super reflective and is primarily used on doors, cabinets, furniture, and the lips of women.

Figure out how much paint you'll need
This is easier than running for president. Benjamin Moore has a great calculator that'll help you figure out just how much paint you'll need. It won't be exact, but like Donald Trump's resemblance to a shaggy guinea pig, it'll be pretty damn close.

Get the right accessories
Aside from your paint, brushes, paint jug, and sixer of BL Limes, you'll need some add-ons to help you get this job done right. The most common accessories are roller extenders, a step ladder, different-sized brushes for different areas, a drop cloth (or two) for your floor and to cover your furniture), and any Bruce Springsteen album that is called Nebraska.

Clear the room
The next thing you'll want to do is deflate your inflatable couch, chair, and bed, and... wait... you have actual furniture? Oh... yeah, me too. Okay, so the next thing to do is move whatever furniture you can out of the room. Anything that's too big, cover with a drop cloth.

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