Painting a rental may be something you think you absolutely can’t do. But with your landlord’s permission and a few tricks from Apartment Therapy, you’ll be transforming your apartment from blah to “ahhh” in no time!
The first step, of course, is to ask your landlord. If they don’t seem enthusiastic about the idea, ask them to pick from several color options. Another option is to tell the landlord you will repaint with their choice of color when your lease is up.
Once you’ve gotten permission, it’s time to prep the walls. You need to dust the walls and carefully wash them with a solution of baking soda, vinegar and warm water if they are particularly dirty. If there are signs of cracking and peeling in the current paint, you need to spackle and sand. If you aren’t sure if you need to sand your walls, put a piece of tape on the wall and then pull it off. If there’s paint on the tape, you definitely need to sand.
Painter’s Tape is your best friend, unless you’re an old pro with a steady hand and perhaps even if you are an old pro. Painter’s tape will keep your edges straight and prevent paint from getting where you don’t want it. After you’re done painting, remove the tape before the paint is completely dry to prevent peeling off the actual paint with it.
Next, it’s time to prime the walls, if necessary. You’ll need primer if your walls are uneven, have been patched, or are already painted a color other than white or light grey. Primer helps paint roll on evenly and will prevent the original color from peeking through. You can get tinted primer if you are using an especially saturated color.
You’re probably ready to get down to business with a roller at this point, right? But wait, unless you want to wind up with a mess on your hands, you need to “cut in” first. This involves using a brush to paint the corners and edges of the wall. After cutting in, you’re ready to paint with a roller. Use a “W” pattern to make sure the paint is applied evenly.
That’s it! Now stand back and admire your handy work and a transformed room!