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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation


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big decorating dreams. tiny little budget. don't be a wallflower! jump on over to the discussion boards and get decorating help.
other recent LOUNGE articles:
o Make it Mosaic!
Estate Sales 
Open House 
Hammock Heaven 
Makeshift Vases 
o Newlyweds' Nest 
o Variations on a Theme 
o Hanging by a Wire
travel decorating on the cheap 
what goes where?  
furniture arranging 101 
o Easy Corner Shelves
Stain Rx
o Hang-up Help
Cluttered place/ Spartan Space
Make a Duvet Cover
Roommates from Hell
o Build a Bookcase
o Fix-up a $1 Lamp

copyright 1999-2000

painting 101 
part II:
get painting
by Diana Goodman |
1 2 3 4 

Last time in our painting odyssey, we made the important decision to break with that ever-popular stark white asylum look and do some paintin'. (For info on color strategies and types of paint, check out the last article....we'll wait here.)

With sample card in hand, it's time to prep!

Because there's soooooo much prep work involved in painting, and it's soooooo tempting to rush the job by painting first, then paying for it later in hours of cleaning and endless touch-ups, I strongly advise that you don't actually, physically buy the paint until 100 percent of the prepping is done. It's just too tempting to skip those important, albeit highly tedious, first steps.

1. Protect your furniture
First, move all your furniture far, far out of your way. Cover it all with sheets...just in case.

2. Spackle away
No, spackle isn't a popular Pennsylvania pork dish. No, it's not a crispy Hershey's product. Spackle, for the truly fix-it-impaired, is a putty for repairing walls. It's usually near other repair odds and ends at a hardware store, in between nails and sandpaper. Spackling is easy, cheap, and makes you feel tough and industrial. Use a putty knife, tiny trowel, or very, very old butter knife to smooth on a tiny bit of spackle. Wait until it's dry (under an hour), then sand the area flat. If it doesn't work out, spackle some more. Spackle over all nail holes, dents, and that spot where Andy kicked in the wall during that one party. For bigger holes, there are patch kits involving spackle and fiberglass mesh.

3. Prep the surface
Next up, check for grease, weak paint and stains. Your paint job is only as good as what's under it; if the old paint's peeling, your new layer will come right off with it. If there are grease smudges, the paint won't adhere properly. The standard test for peeling paint is the fingernail scratch test. No mark = OK. Comes off in a giant sheet = uh oh. (Although, paint coming off in giant chunks can actually be a blessing in disguise -- it means you can complain to the landlord and possibly strike a deal...you paint, they pay.)

For paint with surface grease, marks, or mildew, give it a scrub with 1 part bleach to 1 part water, rinse well and let dry. For peeling paint, scrape everything loose and spackle VERY lightly over the ragged edge.

keep moseying this way ...

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