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A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Sell a Home Without Using A Real Estate Agent

Painting Advice

As discussed in Step 3: Prepare the Home, “For Sale By Owner” (FBSO) sellers should consider repainting all walls, doors, trim, and other surfaces that need to be touched up or that prospective buyers might find distracting to the overall appearance of the home.  Nestseller suggests painting with fresh, neutral colors such as tan, beige, or gray that are potentially less offensive and have more universal appeal.  Painting is an activity that can be more difficult than anticipated; accordingly, Nestseller has outlined ten tips to facilitate a professional-looking painting project (as summarized from a recent article in Family Handyman):

  1. Avoid uneven stripes.  In order to avoid stripes caused by uneven layers of paint buildup, painters should ensure that each roller stroke overlaps the previous stroke before the previously rolled paint brings to dry.  To maintain a wet edge, start near a corner and run the roller up and down the full height of the wall, moving over slightly with each stroke.  Move backward where necessary to even out thick spots or runs, but don’t let the roller become nearly dry; reload it often so that it’s always at least half loaded.  Keep the open side of the roller frame facing the area that’s already painted.  That puts less pressure on the open side of the roller, so you’re less likely to leave paint ridges.

  3. Combine cans of the same paint color.  Paint color may vary slightly from one can to the next.  Mixing cans of the same paint color together eliminates the problem.  When paint coverage is difficult to estimate or with larger paint jobs, mix paint together in a large bucket and use the bucket and a roller screen rather than a roller tray.  It’s much faster to load your roller with the screen than to use a roller pan.  Simply dunk the roller into the paint bucket, then roll it along the screen until it stops dripping.

  5. Proper removal of paint tape.  To avoid tearing pieces of dried paint off the wall, wait for paint to dry completely before removing tape.  Once dry, use a sharp utility knife or box cutter knife to slice through the tape and paint film that may be stuck to the tape.  Start in an inconspicuous area to make sure the paint is hard enough to slice cleanly and slowly pull the tape at a 45-degree angle away from the painted surface.

  7. Paint trim first.  Consider painting the trim prior to walls and ceilings, as it often is easier and faster to apply paint tape to the trim (and remove it afterwards).  Don’t worry if the trim paint gets onto the walls, as this can be covered later when painting the walls or ceiling.  Once the trim is completely painted and dry, tape it off and then paint the ceiling and walls.

  9. Prime and texture wall patches.  Freshly painted walls can look blotchy when painting over holes and cracks patched with a filler or drywall compound.  A quick coat of primer is all it takes to eliminate flashing and texture differences.  Primer seals the patch so paint won’t sink in and look dull. To match texture, prime with a roller, feathering out the edges.  Then choose a nap thickness to match the surrounding wall texture.

  11. Clean walls before painting.  When painting over dirty or oily surfaces, the paint will easily chip or peel off.  So before painting, clean grimy areas with a deglosser or heavy-duty cleaner intended for prepaint cleaning.  Wipe on the cleaner in a circular motion using a lint-free cloth or abrasive pad.  Start at the bottom and work up.  After the surface is clean, fill in any nicks and holes, then sand them smooth before painting.  The cleaners are available at paint stores and home centers.  Be sure to wear rubber gloves and eye protection.

  13. Roll brushed-on paint near edges.  Corners and areas next to trim that are painted only with a brush can have a different texture than the surrounding paint. To ensure the finished texture will be consistent in these areas, brush on the paint, then immediately roll it out before the paint dries.  Use a roller with a nap that is close to the same thickness as the roller used for the rest of the wall, and roll as close as possible without bumping the opposite wall or slopping paint onto the trim.

  15. Use cotton drop cloths.  A thick canvas drop cloth stays in place easier than plastic drop cloths, which can be slippery often do not stay in place.  Paint spills on plastic also stay wet, and they can end up on your shoes and get tracked through the house.  Canvas is slippery on hard floors, so rosin paper is better over vinyl, tile, and hardwood floors.  Simply tape the sheets together and to the floor to provide a nonslip surface.

  17. Feather paint with a dry roller in large areas.  For areas that can’t be covered in single continuous strokes, the best way to keep paint even is to feather out the paint along the edges that can’t be kept wet.  To keep paint from building and becoming uneven, roll the nearly dry roller in different directions along the dry edge to feather out the paint.  After completing the entire length of the wall or ceiling, move to the next section and paint over the feathered edges.  For the second coat, apply the paint in the opposite direction. This criss-crossing paint application sharply reduces the uneven application of paint.

  19. Sand trim for a smooth finish.  One coat of paint usually will not hide the underlying color and sheen on trim.  For a smooth finish, sand the trim before applying each coat of paint.  To do so, sand the trim with a fine-grit sanding sponge.  Then apply the first coat of paint, let it dry, lightly sand it again for a completely smooth surface, and apply the next coat of paint.  After each sanding, vacuum the trim or wipe it down with a cloth to remove any lingering dust.