In case you haven’t been following along in Instagram, this past week I painted our entire PMQ back to white in a day. You read that correctly. In one day. The plan had been for 48hrs, but when it came down to it all I had was 24hrs. So today I’m sharing all about how to paint a house in a day!
*Behr sponsored this post, but all thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make PMQ for two possible.
How to paint a house in a day
Now, this may seem like a crazy quest, and a silly idea when it comes down to it. But, as someone who paints a LOT, I’ve gotten good at it, and can feasibly paint a house in a day. The good news is, you can too! You need the right tools, the right paint, and some basic techniques that will make batch work that much easier.
Proper ventilation, prep work, and ideal drying conditions also make a huge difference — so don’t do this on a really humid day when you can’t have the house emptied of people.
You need the right tools
I’m an old fashioned girl and like to use a roller and a brush, but if you have a paint sprayer things will go infinitely faster.
You’ll need these tools to paint a house in a day (or any space):
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- Angled short brushes: They’re easier to grip, allow you to cut in on corners and trim with more control, and won’t get loaded full of paint and drip.
- The right rollers: ask your Home Depot paint people which ones they recommend based on the type of finish, and paint you’re using. I use purples ones that come in a bag of 3, they’re perfect for latex interiors with an eggshell finish.
- Tape: The ONLY tape that I trust to not bleed, pull up clean, and general do it’s job is this 3M x Scotch stuff. I have had horribe experiences with no-name, and other brands, so this is tried and true. The Scotch stuff makes the difference in adhesion and barrier.
- Drop Cloth: I don’t tape or tarp at this point (because I’m that good), but if you’re not, you should absolutely get some. I like drop cloths because they won’t rip (like the plastic ones) and can be washed.
- Paint Sprayers: I’ve used them, but never in my own home. They’re lovely, and really speed things up. You need to do A LOT of prep work to make them efficient though, and when speed is a concern it’s a choice you have to make.
- A Handy Paint Cup: aka the bucket of paint you can hold for when you’re doing trim work, instead of trying to balance a tray in your hand.
You need the right brand of paint
I’ve been painting rooms and PMQs for YEARS now. I only ever use one brand of paint – Behr. I prefer the Marquee line of paints because of their one coat guarantee, and because it’s like spreading soft butter over hot toast. It’s the Cadillac of paints, and worth every dollar.
Because you’re not likely trying to paint your house in one colour only, you’ll need several different cans and finishes. If you are painting a larger series of spaces in one colour though, I recommend going for the bigger buckets. You get the economy of scale, and the assurance of having enough for the job.
If you’re painting a space white (like I had to), I do not recommend just using the un-tinted pure white. The one coat guarantee is not applicable to un-tinted paint, and you won’t get the same quality of coverage. Thankfully Behr has a large collection of slightly tinted whites to chose from. For our PMQ re-set I went with Cameo White MQ3-32.
Preparing to paint your house in a day
Prep work is worth every single minute you put into it. Whether it’s moving everything into the center of the room and throwing a tarp of it, or taping all the baseboards and ceilings, or even tarping the floors.
One thing I always suggest you do is just remove the light switch covers, and the electrical covers. Don’t bother tapping around, just take ’em off and be done with it.
Make sure your walls are clean and free of dirt or grease (it will effect your paint application), and that your space is properly ventilated.
Painting in your house in stages
So, you’re not going to paint one room at a time like a crazy person. That’s just nonsense. Instead, you’re going to break the task down into stages and work that way.
Make sure you have a paint tray, roller, and angled short brush for each paint colour you’re using.
I recommend doing it this way: Using a brush,
- Paint all your corners and wall seams. These are hard to get with a roller, and often causes issues.
- Paint around all your light switches and electrical outlets.
- Paint all your ceiling contour.
- Paint all your baseboards.
- Paint all your window contours.
Once you’ve done this throughout the house, you’ve left yourself the easy part! Rolling on the paint. I find it much easier to do all this minutia beforehand, otherwise I get tempted into it with my roller and make mistakes. e.g. paint on the ceiling.
Next, go room to room and roller the walls. With your brush jobs, you’ve made it easier to cover a wall in one go. The detail stuff may take an hour or two, but the rollers will fly by.
The plus side to painting an entire house in a day, is that by the time you’re done doing the last room, the first one is dry enough for a second coat! I recommend starting the process all over again if needed. You may have missed a spot, or just want that second coat for extra coverage to be sure.
The day after painting your entire house
DO NOT remove the tape until the next day. The same goes for replacing electrical covers and switch plates. You need to give your spaces about 24hrs (12 at the least) to dry.
You can apply a second coat once it’s dry to the touch, but it will continue to cure and dry for up to a week after, so it’s important to not hang art immediately, otherwise you may find it sticks to the frame and pulls up when you move it.
If you’ve done your job well, you should have a completely painted house in a day. Obviously this is easier said than done, but it can be done. I recommend some good podcasts or music, and a lot of water!