How-To - Painting

How to: Throw a painting party

Your guide to throwing a painting party that gets the job done!

While you may have been able to get past the overwhelming bad taste long enough to see the potential in your new house, now that you've moved in and are calling it home, the appalling wall colours have got to go. Why not invite your pals over for a painting party to help turn your new home into the haven you've always dreamed of?

Design guru and paint pro Debbie Travis shares some of her expert advice and wisdom for throwing a successful painting party.

Don't leave the boring prep work for the day of your party.
Your friends are there to help you paint; they aren't there to help you take all your pictures off the wall, to fill and sand holes or to cover your furniture. Debbie says all of these jobs should be done before your guests arrive. She does, however, recommend leaving taping until you're ready to paint so that it doesn't unstick before the party.

If necessary, prime the walls prior to your party date
According to Debbie, you only need to prime if:
a) you're covering plaster (you may not even need to do the whole wall, just places where there were hooks and holes filled)
b) you're painting a lighter colour over a darker one
c) you're painting over alkyd paint or don't know what base the original paint is. "If you've got alkyd paint on there, you must prime with a special primer that will put latex over the top. If you don't, your paint will scrape off," she says.
Travis tip: When painting your walls a dark colour, tint your primer with it -- you'll need fewer coats of paint.

Make sure you have plenty of tools and brushes for everyone
Your guests are there to help paint, not to stand around, so make sure you have enough equipment for everyone to keep busy.
Travis tip: "Remember when you start to make sure your rollers are a bit moist with water. Otherwise, you'll get fluff all over the walls."

Be prepared to fuel your helpers
Make sure you have enough beverages and snacks on hand to quench your guests' thirst and beat the munchies. It's also nice to offer your guests at least one meal for their trouble, whether it's breakfast when they arrive, lunch as a midday break or dinner to celebrate a job well done.

Think carefully about your guest list
Debbie recommends having four people max painting a room. She also says it's wise to choose guests who like each other and can get along. Painting ability and reliability are also considerations.


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