Renovations
Jul 10, 2008

How to: Throw a painting party

By: Sarah Rogers

How to: Throw a painting party Author: Style At Home

Renovations
Jul 10, 2008

How to: Throw a painting party

By: Sarah Rogers

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.

GETTING READY
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.

ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, PAINT!
Get an early start
"People have got a lot more energy in the morning," says Debbie. "Get people round for breakfast, and then get them working. Then wrap up before lunch because if not, people tend to run out of steam."

Tape off your trim and any remaining fixtures
Once the taping is done, Debbie advises starting painting by doing what she calls "cutting in," which means you paint around the baseboards, edges, trim and ceiling -- basically anywhere that is not easy to reach with a roller.

Paint in teams to cover more ground
You should have four people painting a room. "Have two of you working on one wall and two on another, so that when you move on to the other walls the first two are drying," Debbie says.

Make the party fun
Keep guests entertained as they work by playing energetic music or making a friendly competition out of the work. Debbie suggests offering up a prize to the person who paints the neatest or has the best attitude.

If you're serving alcohol do it once the painting is completed
Debbie says this is her number one rule for a successful painting party. "You can say that the first beer will be served when the first coat is on, while we wait for that (to dry). And that's one beer." Any more than that, she says, and you may not get any painting done at all.

Now that you have all the expert advice you need, all that's left to do is get the word out that you need a painting squad. But party hosts beware: once you throw a painting party, your friends will catch on fast and soon you'll be getting calls to return the favour!

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Renovations

How to: Throw a painting party