2 months ago I was naive.
“What’s not to love about painting, right? This will be great! I get to paint our entire (read: ENTIRE) house!”
Haha Haha Ha . . .
That’s when I realized painting a house interior is not for the faint of heart and there’s a reason why the pros charge $$$$$ for it. I want to make this post as helpful as possible in case there are some of you out there in the midst of painting or looking ahead to it.
I had done a bit of reading/research before tackling painting about 2,000 square feet of interior house but there were some things I wished I would have known and also some things I’m so glad I did.
Honest Disclosure: I had the amazing opportunity to work with Clare Paint for this post. In exchange for the creation of content they sent me the paint for our office as well as their painting kit. All opinions are 100% my own!
If the before pictures of our house doesn’t communicate it, believe me when I say the color on the walls was bad. Really bad. It was tan that had yellowed with age and had essentially been scooped and smeared onto the walls years ago.
To start with, we knew wanted the whole house painted white. Let’s just get it down to a classic, neutral and decide what (if any color) later on. Within the color family of white there are either cooler or warmer undertones. Typically basic white (painter’s white) has blue undertones and is likely the color on apartment walls, office walls, etc.
Many many much more skilled painters have created handy guide on Pinterest about color families, but I found the color quiz on the Clare website actually super helpful when I came down to picking out color swatches.
My husband always gets the best Instagram ads. Like the ones for the really cool subscription companies or home companies. He sent me an ad about this new-to-us online paint company called Clare. I tucked the info into a spreadsheet of house products and pulled it out when our closing date was official.
The first thing you notice on their website is color, attention to detail, the word “simplified”. All good points when looking for paint.
I took their Color Genius quiz right away and got matched with a couple different colors – one of which is on the walls of our new house!
For a minimal fee – like $5 I think – they’ll send you up to five different color swatches that arrive as an 8″x8″ sticker (essentially) that you can move around your room or your house multiple times.
This allows you to see the color of the paint in different lights and different room placements but without the hassle of having to actually paint swatches on the walls while you decide.
My top choice was the color Whipped, a warmer, creamy white that gives our house a clean and cozy feel.
I’ve specifically document the makeover of the office but we actually purchased enough paint to paint our entire house this color!
In the world of interior paint, there’s not just different colors but also different textures to choose from. The Clare interior paint is eggshell, pretty standard with a touch of sheen and perfect for walls that have some imperfections.
It did take some work to figure out how much paint we needed. My mom and I calculated the square footage of each room at least twice, but thankfully Clare.com has a really handy paint calculator that let’s you input the length, height, doors, and windows of each room and give you a VERY accurate calculation of the paint needed for that room.
For our office it took two coats of primer and two coats of paint to fully cover up the yellow/tan. And at the end of the day I wouldn’t take back the time or money spent on doing the job the right way.
A Few Essential Painting Items
* Good roller brushes – 97% of our house I used a roller brush to get an even coverage. Bristle brushes just didn’t work very well for me.
* Quality primer – I used the Clare primer for our office and the two gallon of generic primer for the rest of the house – the Clare gallons required much less effort to apply and provided a fuller coverage.
* Tape – I didn’t realize there were different types of painter’s tape but I found the blue rolls got a little sticky and had a harder time coming off
* Drop cloths – they’re annoying but oh so necessary!
A Few Important Lessons
* Don’t rush the process.
* Do it right the first time
* Tape everything off right away
* Use a quality paint
* Get swatches and test them in different light
* If you’re covering up prominent colors expect to do several coats of primer
* Use primer
* Don’t be afraid of white
* Take the Clare color genus quiz to find your perfect color
* Take accurate measurements of the rooms to find square footage
* Purchase a bit more paint than expected so you have an extra can for touch ups
* Don’t leave paint outside in the hot Carolina summer