It is a well-know fact that nothing adds value and freshness to old, stale decor than the new carpet you have to buy after you spill paint on the old carpet when you were trying to add value and freshness to your old stale decor by repainting a room. So, while you angrily bask in that new carpet smell, let’s revisit some valuable tips you should have learned before your room remodeling budget ballooned.
Just Do What She Says and No One Will Get Hurt
[pullquote type=”right”]The first step in updating any room with a fresh, new paint color is deciding what your sex and marital status is.[/pullquote]The first step in updating any room with a fresh, new paint color is deciding what your sex and marital status is. If you are a married male, be advised that no matter what color decision you make, it will most likely be wrong, as the Tasteful Color Sensor organ in most males is hidden behind the “I Just Want To Get This Done Because the Cubs Come On At 3” organ. So, if you are wise, you will let your wife decide whether “Pale Pre-Cambrian Aruba Sunset Allure” or “Post-War Parisian Festooned Mango Melt” will be the color you have to stare at in the bathroom for the next 5 years while you try to read your Sports Illustrated. If you are a single male, go back to watching that rerun of “The Rat Patrol” you’ve seen 6 times already; what are you doing here? If you are a female: yes, dear.
Crushed Twilight Plum: Choosing Colors
But before you can choose a color you will need a requisite visit to your local Home Improvement Establishment, where miles of color swatches await you, conveniently arrayed in helpful rainbow rows, from dull, dusty dirt colors to super-fashionable-retina-burning-latest-style hues. Most home decor magazines, afraid of being “boring” and “gauche” and “not selling magazines”, will challenge you to make a “bold” statement by choosing “aggressive” color palettes you’ll have to “repaint” in 2 years because your neighbor who you thought was your “friend” made an offhand yet still somehow catty comment about how “Vermillion Tahiti Salsa” was no longer the best red to choose for dining nooks and recommends “Crushed Twilight Plum”, which was the color Angelina Jolie used in her $100,000 kitchen remodel she just saw on “Good Morning America” last Tuesday when you were probably sleeping. So be prepared for a weekend painting a color you most likely will need to apply while wearing sunglasses. The alternative route suggests a more soothing palette of subtle grays or tans, which, while decidedly boring, will complement any decor, and will be much easier to apply, because it is the color you already have on your walls.
Lap Marks and Sticky Gunk: Preparation
As any professional painter knows, preparation is the key to success, but, since you are most likely not a professional painter, you should prepare for something less. Here’s how:
- Remove all outlet plates, making sure you accidentally touch the live, exposed plug to remind you that electricity, while yet invisible, can still make you curse.
- Use only quality, expensive, hard-to-find green masking tape specially designed for taping off areas you don’t want paint to get on, such as door trim or the dog. Do not be tempted to use that old roll of dried up masking tape you found in a box of 1970’s magazines from your dad, even if it is free. You may use duct tape if you enjoy extending weekend projects into repeated visits to emergency psych wards.
- Completely remove all of the sticky gunk your daughter used for her One Direction posters from the walls, while making sure to conveniently lose those posters in next Monday’s trash pickup.
- Fill the door knob hole in the wall left when your son shoved it in anger because you took away his Zombie Bikini Apocalypse 4 game because he drew mustaches on his sister’s One Direction posters, even though they are pretty annoying (the posters, not the children). Use as many tubes of caulk as necessary.
- “Lap marks” are caused by rolling wet paint on an area of paint that is too dry. To avoid these, only paint walls that are 18 inches wide.
- Paint the room in this order: trim, ceiling, dog, carpet, angry wife, your best pants, antique dresser you forgot to cover, dog again, and walls.
- Use cotton drops cloths, not plastic. This way, you can see reminders of your past mistakes the next time you paint.
And, as with any home improvement project, always leave room to pause and enjoy the results of your hard work and dedication. So take a break, step back, and realize you just put your foot in the paint tray.
[feature_headline type=”left” level=”h6″ looks_like=”h6″ icon=”book”]This column is featured in the book Home Improvement Survival Guide for Men[/feature_headline]