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It’s June! The air is clear, the birds are chirping and, suddenly, as you fling open the window shades and let in the bright sunlight, you realize how dull and dingy your bedroom/den/playroom looks. With its long days, and the endorphin-giving sunlight, the summer is the best time to freshen up a room.

There are millions of ways to modernize a room, from decluttering, to removing carpet and changing window shades. In this article, let’s talk about one of the easiest and cheapest ways to transform an entire room: painting!

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If done properly, painting a room can be done in just a few hours with minimal cleanup. The key is, of course, preparation.

Step one: Clean the walls with a mild cleanser. Your goal is not to remove stains, but to remove any clumps of dirt or dust which will show up in the new paint.

Step two: Cover all the surfaces well. It’s surprising how far paint can travel. The best part about covering all the surfaces, especially the floors, is the easy cleanup afterwards. You can buy cheap tarp at any home improvement stores. This is much better than using newspapers and disposable plastic tablecloths, because a tarp won’t move when you walk on it. If not, you will spend as much time cleaning the floor from the spilled paint as you did painting the room. Trust me, I’ve learned the hard way.

Step three: Spackle and prime the walls. Purchase an easy-to-spread spackle and thick primer. Look over your walls carefully and spread a thin layer of spackle over any noticable cracks. Smooth chipped areas with a little sandpaper. Then, paint the walls with primer to cover up any small imperfections on the walls as well as to ensure better adhesion of the new paint cover.

Step four: Prepare your team! The larger your team of painters is, the faster the job will get done. Of course, the first recourse is adult labor, but, very often, child labor can be useful as well. If nothing else, kids will make the job more entertaining and you’ll cultivate a knowledge of painting that could be put to good use as they get older. Everyone needs to change into old clothing, and pull her hair back, as the last thing you want to do is paint someone’s hair into the wall and only realize after the paint has dried. Prepare some fun music or a fascinating shiur. Don’t forget a big pitcher of something yummy to drink and a relaxing treat to look forward to after the big event.

Step five: Paint the walls. There are literally a million options when you are deciding how to go about painting your walls. There is the basic method of painting the entire room one color, moldings and all; the classic method of contrasting ceilings and molding to wall color, or the more adventurous methods of contrasting walls. A new trend is to contrast the ceiling color, known as the room’s 5th wall, as well. However, if this is your first time painting, I would stick with the simplest methods to avoid running into problems. Once you have your painting legs under you, you can try more difficult patterns using stencils and the like.

In a home with little children, I personally recommend using semi-gloss paint as opposed to the more popular satin or eggshell. Semi-gloss paint is much easier to clean and there is no need reason to regulate it to the bathroom/kitchen areas.

After your first coat of paint, don’t forget a second coat. If you get tired, take a break and resume painting at your next opportunity. Just don’t forget that second coat!

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