Tips for Painting Your Home


paintby Connie Oliver

It’s well known that painting is the most affordable way to update your decor but if you don’t have a lot of experience with painting the task may seem daunting.

Luckily, paint suppliers are here to help. CIL paint has introduced a new service to answer consumer paint questions.

From the comfort of home or on the go, users simply enter their questions and submit photos of their rooms to

Questions are filtered to the appropriate CIL paint expert, depending on the topic. The team of CIL paint experts includes decor and colour specialists, product and technical professionals and experienced painters.

“We’re encouraging people to pay closer attention to the needs of their walls and giving them the tools to address them,” said Alison Goldman, brand manager for CIL paint. “Feedback from our dealers across the country shows that while many people recognize their walls need a lift, the idea of a paint project can feel overwhelming.”

The message Goldman has for paint consumers is refreshing. “We are listening to you and we’re here for you,” said Goldman. From choosing paint colour, to determining how much or what kind of paint is needed for a room, to surface preparation and other technical queries, CIL paint experts will provide an answer within one to two business days.”

“CIL paint is all about making the painting process simpler for people, and our new online help service is one more way we’re doing that,” Goldman said. She added that users can also access the extensive online bank of painting advice from CIL paint experts, from how to create a kitchen colour scheme to basic application techniques, by typing questions into the site’s search tool.

According to CIL paint, some of the most common questions asked by consumers include:

Q: What colours are best for small spaces?

ANSWER: Cool colours, such as soft blues, creams, purples and greens help make small areas feel airy. Using different shades of colours from the same colour family also has the same effect. To make a room look deeper and wider, paint horizontal stripes on the walls. If the room is narrow or short, paint thin vertical stripes in two tone-on-tone shades. To make walls appear taller, paint the bottom half of a wall in a darker colour than the top.

Q: How do I paint a hallway?

A: Long and narrow hallways can feel more compressed by painting the long walls a lighter colour and the far, short wall a darker colour. To make a narrow hallway look larger, paint the ceiling a very light colour and any door frames, window frames, moldings and trim the same shade as the walls. A crisp white ceiling will add height to a closed-in space.

Q: What finishes work for which rooms?

A: The most common sheens are flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss and gloss. Semi-gloss and gloss are recommended for kitchens, bathrooms, doors, baseboards and banisters. Satin, the most versatile finish, works well in higher-traffic areas, such as kids’ rooms, kitchens and bathrooms. Eggshell is commonly used in hallways, family rooms and bedrooms, and flat finishes are suitable for ceilings, living rooms and dining rooms.

Q: How much paint do I need?

A: On average, one gallon of paint will cover 300 to 400 square feet. To calculate how much paint you need, measure the perimeter of the room and multiply by the wall height. Then subtract the square footage of each door and window in the room, and divide the remaining number by the spreading rate of your paint (shown on the label). In general, the trim of a room will require about one-quarter of the amount of paint needed for the walls.

Q: What is the best order in which to paint a room?

A: For best results, always begin with the ceiling, followed by the walls, and then the doors, windows and trim. For the ceiling, start by painting a 2-inch to 3-inch strip around the top of your room where the ceiling meets the wall (called a cut-in), using a small brush. Then use a roller with an extension handle for the rest, moving from right to left if you’re right-handed and left to right if you’re left-handed.

Here are some tips from my personal experience: To get a rich colour finish, two to three coats may be necessary depending on the colour you choose. Allow paint to dry properly between coats. You may be in a hurry to see the final results but rushing the process isn’t a good idea.

Wrap paint-coated paintbrushes and/or paint rollers in plastic wrap to keep them fresh for the next coat. I’ve kept brushes like this for up to a week before they start to dry out. At the end of your job you can rinse them well and let them air dry for future use.

Line your paint tray with a plastic bag taped down to keep it from moving. This will make for easy clean up when you’re finished painting. Simply peel off the plastic bag and toss it in the garbage.

Use a proper paint can opener versus a screwdriver to open paint cans. It’s worth a few bucks to purchase this specific tool.

Use a hammer and medium-sized nail to punch holes in the ‘trough’ of the paint lip so paint will drip back into the can.

Painting takes a bit of practice so start with a small room and go from there. The more practice you get the better your technique will become.

News Edge Acquire Media