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A quick, easy update with paint

2 local pros give advice about the job.

Home improvement projects don’t have to stop just because you’re cooped up indoors. Painting is a simple, inexpensive way to update your home.

The prep work is easy. John Downing suggests patching nail holes with a lightweight spackling, which will dry quicker. He owns Downing’s Do It Best Hardware, located at 2982 Derr Road in Springfield. When the spackling dries, sand up and down in the direction of your wall.

“It’s not hard to paint,” Downing said. “You can get it pretty reasonable. All you really need is a couple rollers, roller pans and some masking tape.”

The current trend is to select a base color for three walls and use an accent color for the fourth wall.

“Don’t be afraid to use colors,” Downing said. “Curtains are very inexpensive and you can use those to accent your walls, too.”

It is important to consider durability and washability when choosing paint sheen. The options are flat mat, flat enamel, egg shell, satin, semi gloss and high gloss.

Home Depot, located at 5860 Wilmington Pike in Centerville, has charts explaining the different sheens. The store also offers free clinics 10 to 11 a.m. Saturdays.

Home Depot pro paint associate Kati Denton says that brushes and rollers are important.

“I would suggest more quality applicators as far as the paint brushes and roller covers go,” she said. “You will have better finishes. If you’re doing a wall and you want it to look great, you need to invest in your applicators.”

Paint brushes cost $6 to $15. Roller covers typically cost around $6.

If a wall hasn’t been painted in a few years, a primer may be needed.

“The primer keeps the paint from absorbing into the wall, and makes the paint go further,” Denton said.

Downing suggests using stain block primer on spots that may have water damage, because regular paint primer will not work.

Drop cloths will protect furniture, floors or carpet. They run from $2 to $18. Old sheets, comforters or plastic can also be used.

“Satins and semi glosses are latex, which are water based,” Downing said. “When they dry it becomes an enamel. You want to clean up any problems before it dries. A lot of people are afraid to paint because of spills. It is water based, so keep adding water to clean it up.”

A 12- by 14-foot bedroom will cost about $50 to $60 to redo, depending on the paint choice.

“Take your time. A good paint is not done in a few hours,” Denton said. “The darker the color, the longer you need to let it dry. The tint will need time to cure. Patience is the key.”

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