Everyone knows what Do-It-Yourself or D-I-Y means.  If you’ve decided to try painting a room by yourself here are some of my highly sought after tips.

Let’s assume you want to paint your bedroom.  For this exercise we will use a typical bedroom measurement.  I’m sure you own a tape measure.  All my tape measures are 25’ and larger but if all you own is a 10’ tape measure that will do nicely.  Taking measurements is not rocket science but if you can’t multiply numbers in your head or on paper a small calculator works wonders.  Hint* If you are measuring a wall that is longer than your 10 foot tape measure use a piece of masking or scotch tape to mark a spot at 10 feet and then measure the rest.   Now, grab a note pad and pen or pencil and we’re ready to start measuring.

SURVEY ROOM:  Does it have vaulted ceilings?  Do you have a light fixture on the ceiling, walls?   Are you painting inside the closets?  Are you changing the color on the walls from light to dark or dark to light?  Do you want one wall an accent color that you want different from the other walls?  Are your ceilings textured with what’s known as popcorn or acoustic type material?  Jot all of this information on your note pad because you will need it when you visit the nearest paint store to get your materials.

THE MEASUREMENTS: Start with the smallest wall in your bedroom (preferably one that isn’t vaulted) and measure from the floor to the ceiling. Hint* Most houses the measurement from floor to ceiling is 8’ – this is known as the height.  The formula for square footage is height times the width.  Now go ahead and measure the width of the wall. I measured mine and we’ll use a figure of 17’.  Now we have the two figures to calculate the square footage of that wall.  Using your calculator multiply 8 times 17.  You should come up with 136.  So we have our first wall calculated at 136 sq ft (square feet)  Go ahead and measure the other walls.  If you have two walls that are the same you won’t have to measure it just use the Sq. Ft. for the previously measured wall.  Let’s assume you have a typical bedroom with 2 walls the same 8′ by 17′ and the other two walls are 8’ by 10’.  So now we have it, two walls at 136 each and the other 2 walls at 80 each (136+136+80+80 added together equals 432 sq ft).  Now we have the wall sq. footage measurements but stay with me here because we still have to calculate the ceiling.  You don’t have to do any more measuring because we have the measurement of the width of the largest wall and the width of the smallest wall.  Just multiply the two number together which comes to 170 sq ft (remember the width is always the second number in the calculation so for the 8 by 17wall you’d use the 17 and the 8 by 10 wall you’d use the 10…. So 17 X 10 equals 170 sq ft.)  Now take the 432 (for the walls) and add 136 (for the ceiling), 432 + 136 equals 558 sq ft.  Pretty easy isn’t it?

THE PAINT COLOR:  Hopefully you’ve got all these measurements down on your notepad.  You probably already know the color of paint you want so let’s talk about the amount you need.  Paint from a paint store comes in one gallon paint containers and also in 5 gallon paint containers.  Depending on how big your room is (we used an easy one like a bedroom) you will have to do a little reading at the store.  Remember when you get to the paint store to select your colors make sure you look at the side of the can and read how much square footage each gallon will cover.  Hint* If the directions says 1 gallon covers approx. 150 sq feet (coverage varies with paint)  you’d divide 558 by the 150 for a total of 3.72 gallons.  Now round it up to 4 gallons (Hint* You don’t need a 5 gallon paint container so think single gallons) and you’re ready to purchase your paint.

THE PAINT STORE:  Many different paint stores out there are just waiting to help. The do-it-yourself places or a professional paint stores have everything you need.  Any Paint store will help you decide on the type of paint, hue, durability, coverage amount and which is the best paint for your job.  With all of your notes you’ll be able to find the materials you need.  The sales person will load you up with paint, rollers, trays, brushes, masking tape, paper, drop cloths, cleaning supplies and they will give you the overall confidence that you can do the job yourself.

At this point I have to tell you that this is why I have chosen this profession.  I can do all the calculations with the latest technology (like laser tape measures), I help you chose the paint you need,  I have all the tools to perform a one time painting project.

So… after purchasing everything you need, got it all home, got the room ready to paint, popped the top on the paint can, poured it into your paint tray (hopefully you’ve put on clothes you can throw out when you’re done painting) and have your first dip of paint on your roller – you look at the wall you are about to begin with and say to yourself…

OMG – why didn’t I call Charles Whitmore Custom Painting?”  Here’s my number 1.805.291.6969.