YOUR PERSONAL 10-POINT CHECKLIST TO TAKE TO THE PAINT STORE by Guest Editor Deborah Zimmerman for the Paint Quality Institute
It’s easy to forget something when you go to your local paint store or decorating center to buy the items you need for interior painting. To help save you a second trip to the store, take this list with you and check off the items as you go. And, be sure to read the first item on the checklist even before you leave home!
• Dimensions of the room or space you’ll be painting. This is something you should remember to take with you to the store. A gallon of paint typically covers 400 square feet of wall space. If your paint is different, or if you need help computing either your square footage or the amount of paint you’ll need, ask the counterperson for help.
• Top quality paint. For the best paint performance, be sure to select a top quality 100% acrylic latex paint. These paints go on more easily and create a smoother finish. They are more durable and long-lasting than ordinary paints. And today’s best quality 100% acrylic latex paints “hide” better, so they often require fewer coats. While these paints may cost a few dollars more per gallon, you’ll find they’re worth it when you calculate the money and time you’ll save not having to apply that second coat.
• Good quality brushes. A well-balanced, 3”-wide angled brush is useful for “cutting in” corners on walls and ceilings. Choose one with synthetic bristles, especially if you’ll be working with latex water-based paint.
• Roller cover(s). As with brushes, you should use synthetic roller covers when applying latex paint. Make sure there are no obvious seams. Short-nap roller covers (1/16” to 1/4” deep) are best for smooth surfaces.
• Roller frame. U-shape frames, which tend to be firmer, apply paint more evenly. Be sure the one you buy is sealed on the ends.
• Roller tray. Make sure the tray you buy is the same width as your roller. Disposable plastic liners make clean-up easier.
• Painter’s tape. This special tape can be used to tape the edges of walls to make your work go faster and help you get a neater, more professional-looking paint job. The adhesive will not damage your walls as long as you remove the tape right after the paint dries.
• Dropcloth. Take your cue from the name and choose a canvas or cloth dropcloth, rather than a plastic product. Cloth quickly absorbs paint droplets and reduces the chance that you will “track” paint where it doesn’t belong.
• Paint can opener. A screwdriver, chisel, or even a coin often works as well, but these items can bend the paint can lid and allow leftover paint to dry out over time. This special tool prevents that from happening.
• Paint stirrers. Most paint retailers will mix the paint for you so that you can get right to work. But you’ll need a stirrer if you put off your painting, or when you go to do touchups in the future. For convenience sake, pick up one or two stirrers on your way out of the store.
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About the Paint Quality Institute (SM). The Paint Quality Institute (SM) was formed by Rohm and Haas Company (now a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”)) in 1989 to educate people on the advantages of using quality interior and exterior paints and coatings. The Paint Quality Institute’s goal is to provide information on the virtues of quality paint as well as color trends and decorating with paint through a variety of vehicles, including television appearances, newspaper and magazine articles, and instructional literature. Please be sure to visit the Paint Quality Institute at