With dark winter mornings just around the corner, I wanted to brighten my bedroom. But I didn't have a large budget to work with. I decided to focus on turning dark surfaces into light ones. By painting my walls, ceiling, closet doors, and window frame I changed my bedroom completely, giving it a brighter, larger feel while spending less than $100. Though the project was relatively easy, I did face some challenges.
First problem: Minimizing the mess
I decided to keep the furniture in the room during the project rather than move it to another room, but I wanted to make sure it was protected. To save money, I bought an economy-sized roll of painter's tarp. Though it was thin and flimsy, for $12 I had enough nylon covers to protect my furniture, floor, doors, and windows.
Conversely, I chose the more expensive painter's tape (FrogTape). A large roll cost me $8 instead of $4 for the competitor's brand. But the FrogTape (lime green) was super sturdy, easy to apply, and more importantly super easy to peel off even after it was painted over.
After painting my bedroom, I simply piled all the nylon covers and tape into a huge ball and stuffed it in a bag. In five minutes, my cleanup was done.
Second problem: Painting a light color on a dark wall
My walls were faux painted in dark rusty tones. I first painted a section of wall with a light, sandy color to see if the previous dark wall would show through. It did. I had to paint three more coats before the orange hues finally disappeared.
Instead of buying three times the amount of paint, however, and spending $75, I bought a bucket of water-based primer, which cost only $20. The primer looked like thick white paint. I painted the walls and ceilings and let the primer dry for half an hour. There was no sign of the dark wall once this was done.
Third problem: Modernizing dark closet doors
After painting the bedroom in a sandy hue, I completely transformed its atmosphere. The room looked bigger and far brighter. But the closets and window casing were still stained in dark mahogany. I decided to paint them white to give the room a more modern feel.
This time I had to prime the mahogany surface twice before it disappeared from sight. Then I painted the bi-fold closet doors and window casing in glossy white latex paint, which matched the base molding and doors in the room.
When I had to stop painting for the night, I didn't trouble with cleaning my paintbrush. Instead, I placed it in a sealed zip-close bag, which kept the brush moist and ready for use the next day.
To paint the bi-fold doors, I first used foam brushes, thinking that they would allow me to get in the crevices better. In fact, the foam brush caused paint to collect and drip long after I finished a section. I used an ordinary paintbrush instead and applied two coats of paint.
Though I didn't take my closet doors off and spray paint, I did disconnect the top outer side, which allowed the door to swing open. This made it easy to reach the back side of the door and paint it with a brush.