Take your home from dreary to cheery with a fresh coat of paint

(ARA) – Spring is upon us and so is the time for spring cleaning and sprucing up the house. What’s a quick and easy way to make a room look instantly cleaner and brighter? Add a fresh coat of paint. But don’t think this project will be a long and laborious one – with a little planning and the right products, it’s as easy as one-two-three.

Ensure the success of your next project by following these five easy, fundamental steps:

1. A little prep and planning goes a long way

Painting is one of the easiest do-it-yourself projects – it doesn’t require any special training or skill … if you use the right tools. When you’re planning, be sure to add high-quality paint brushes and roller covers to your arsenal of tools. They’ll come in handy for this project and for years to come. It’s always best to read the label closely when choosing a roller cover to determine if it’s the right type for the specific project. To save time and take the guesswork out of the process, try a microfiber roller cover, like the new Ultra Finish option from Purdy. Not only does it provide superior performance and coverage with all types of paint, the high-quality microfiber holds more paint, allowing you to finish your project faster.

Not so fast … before you pick up that roller or open a paint can, the next task on your list is to prepare the surface. Clear the walls of any artwork or decor and then fill nail holes with a small dab of patching compound. If you have larger holes, dents or cracks, it’s best to use a putty knife to repair them and then gently sand the surface. Be sure your walls are clean before you start painting – grease, dust, residue or cobwebs will negatively affect the look of your finished project.

2. Pick the perfect paint

Spring is a great time to lighten things up. Crisp, light neutrals can make a room feel larger and instantly brighter. Plus, utilizing a neutral color on the wall allows you to quickly change up your space whenever the mood strikes, with new pillows, throws or decorative accents. For a more modern neutral, try “greige” – a gray-beige mix – that’s versatile and comfortable in nearly any space. Once you choose the right shade, concentrate on using the right formula and sheen of paint. Think about the type of space you’re painting, the final look and the level of durability you want to achieve.

3. Concentrate on the edges

After prepping the walls, don’t forget to cover the floors and any furniture with drop cloths or plastic. If you’re a novice and you’re looking to achieve clean paint lines around the space, painter’s tape along the trim, doors, windows and moulding will provide an extra level of protection. Then, take your time and slowly cut in around the edges with your high-quality, angled brush. Although it can seem tedious, a little bit of patience is key when painting and can really make a room look like it was done by a professional.

4. Roll it out

Now that the walls and your room are prepped and the edges are complete, you’re finally ready to start painting the rest of the wall. Start in a corner of the wall and apply paint as close to the edge as possible. Then, paint a large “W” or “M” on the wall, filling in and overlapping the areas while the paint is wet. This way, you’ll get even coverage and avoid roller marks and lines.

If paint splatters off the roller, it can mean one of two things: you either have too much paint on the cover or you’re rolling too fast. So when it’s time to reload, roll the cover back and forth on the upper half of the paint tray to remove excess paint and equally distribute the color. Make slow, even passes to get splatters under control.

5. Clean it up

The paint’s on the wall, the tape’s removed and you’re almost ready to sit back, relax and enjoy your newly spruced up space. But first, be sure to clean your tools so they stay in tip-top shape for your next project. If you used latex paint, simply wash brushes and roller covers with soap and water until the water runs clear. A great way to remove excess paint or water is by running the curved edge of a painter’s tool along the roller. Once the water runs clear again, dry the roller or brush by spinning it between your palms quickly inside a garbage bin or deep sink.

Painting a room is something that can be accomplished in a weekend – or even a day – so you can easily breathe some freshness into your decor this spring with a little bit of seasonal inspiration.