I Had Every Room of My House Painted in Two Days—Here's What I'd Do Differently Next Time (2024)

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When my husband and I moved into our first house last year, I imagined sitcomlike weekends spent painting the rooms together, complete with boom box and cute overalls. Then I got pregnant unexpectedly. All bets were off. I could barely stand to eat a meal let alone hard labor (because if you’ve ever painted something, you know it’s work). I just wanted the task checked off so I could go back to bed-rotting in peace. In an act of desperation, I used Thumbtack to hire a crew of local painters and got in touch with cult-favorite Backdrop to figure out colors. (Full transparency: Backdrop gifted me some, but I also bought $500 worth on my own and would do it again.) The plan was to get the whole house done in one go and I’d never have to think about it again. Of course, things never go entirely as planned—see: surprise pregnancy. Here are four things I didn’t consider that you probably should, plus one decision I’m still benefiting from today.

You’ll Go Overboard on Samples No Matter What

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You’d probably expect more from a design editor; however, I went into this without a clear direction. I wanted to browse a bunch of paint shades, see what called to me, then build a complementary palette from my favorites. One appeal of Backdrop is its curated 82 hues, which you can filter by color and sort light to dark on its site; I figured I’d be able to narrow down my choices pretty easily. Well, reader, I ended up ordering 20 swatches. But imagine if I was faced with the thousands of shades available at the hardware store! Luckily, Backdrop does stickers. Rather than a heavy box of sample pots, I received a slim envelope, plus there were no drips or brush cleaning to worry about.

One Swatch Is Never Enough

My ultimate cast of colors: a taupe-y neutral in the living room and hallways, a soft blue in the dining room, vibrant green in the sunroom, and Backdrop’s purest white on the majority of the molding and ceilings. (Not shown in this story but equally lovely: moody teal in the powder room, a soothing sage green in our bedroom, a more saturated version on the wainscoting in our single full bath, and a cool gray in the guest room.)

After a full day of checking in at various times to see how the sample stickers looked in different light, I had a couple top contenders for each space. The hard part was choosing a winner from there—I craved the ability to see how the colors would look on every wall at once, or against the white trim and in the center of a windowless stretch. Turns out, all that was required was a pair of scissors. I simply cut each swatch into quarters and scattered them around the room. Highly recommend!

Check in With Your Painters

After I walked the painters through how I wanted each color applied—green everywhere (even the ceiling!) in the sunroom, turquoise on just the trim in the dining room, etc.—I was so confident that I left the house only to return when they were finished the following day (pregnancy and paint fumes aren’t a good mix). I texted back and forth with the painters a few times from my parents’ place, but I honestly never thought to ask for progress pics. If I had, I would’ve caught simple misunderstandings over things like matching the dining room door to the now-blue molding. They were easy fixes, but noticing those issues so late required the painters to come back a third day for a few hours.

There’s a Right and a Wrong Paint Finish for Bathrooms

Although a bathroom is indeed an interior space, standard interior paint isn’t going to cut it. I learned this the hard way, when the ceiling above our shower started peeling a few months in. Backdrop rightly recommends its semigloss finish for bathrooms, which better stands up to constant moisture and humidity…I just didn’t read the fine print. Blame it on pregnancy brain.

What I Got Right: Saving Leftover Paint

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I followed the sage advice to keep any extra paint in case we needed to make touch-ups down the road. But I’ve found the leftovers more helpful for on-a-whim DIY projects, from zhuzhing up a thrift store picture frame to updating a Facebook Marketplace desk (just make sure you use a water-based sealer on top). I’m saving the couple bucks I’d have to spend on a sample pot, plus I only need to venture down to the basem*nt versus driving to the hardware store. A full year after our big paint project, the same Backdrop colors are still in rotation. I just shake the cans to remix and they’re good as new.

I Had Every Room of My House Painted in Two Days—Here's What I'd Do Differently Next Time (2024)


Can I paint every room a different color? ›

Every room of your home can be done in a different style and color palette if you want to. But if you're feeling like your home is a mess or too hectic or you just want to make more peace, you might consider creating more cohesion with each room.

Can you paint a room over multiple days? ›

For instance, using a dark shade on the walls and painting the ceiling and trim will take longer than just doing the walls in a neutral color. While some spaces can be done in a few hours, others may take several days.

Can you paint a house in 2 days? ›

Paint needs to be applied carefully for it to look good and last a long time. Nevertheless, if there is a skilled house painter working under normal circ*mstances, a house shouldn't take more than 2 or 3 days to paint. Finally, there will be a little bit of time to clean up painting supplies, remove tape, and so on.

How long does it take for paint to dry to true color? ›

If you mix the paint properly, it should look the same as the color you picked out once it dries. It can take paint up to eight hours to fully dry, so wait at least that long to be sure the paint has taken on its final appearance.

How do you transition paint colors between rooms? ›

The corners where two walls meet are the best places to transition from one color to another. The far wall usually works well for the accent wall color. Accent color also looks nice on kitchen backsplashes, on the backs of open cabinets, and if you're up to it, on a piece of furniture.

What is the 60 30 10 rule? ›

This decorating rule suggests that you should cover your room with 60% of a dominant color, 30% of a secondary color, and 10% of an accent shade. It is all about maintaining the perfect balance of tones. Pick colors that mingle well with each other to create a subtle combo.

Can you sleep in a room 2 days after painting? ›

These groups are more susceptible to the effects of paint fumes. Don't risk it—let the painted room air out for a good two or three days before allowing your children, pets, or older family members to sleep there.

How long should you air out your house after painting? ›

Try to schedule painting for dry periods in the fall or spring, when windows are more easily left open for ventilation. Keep windows wide-open, as weather permits, for about 2 to 3 days after painting to avoid unwanted exposure to paint vapors (and to return to acceptable indoor air quality).

When should you not paint your house? ›

The air and surface temperatures should not exceed 90°F. Don't paint in direct sunlight – start in the shade or use a covering. Avoid days with too much wind.

Will a second coat of paint darken the color? ›

Yes, applying a second coat of paint will usually make the colour appear darker and more saturated. This is because the second coat adds more pigment to the surface, reducing the amount of light that passes through the paint film.

How do you know when paint is fully dry? ›

For a paint to be considered dry, enough solvents must evaporate so it feels dry to the touch. This means that the paint also has to cure. Paint doesn't cure, or reach maximum hardness, until days after the paint is dry.

Does painting rooms different color decrease value? ›

Painting rooms with different colors can impact a property's value depending on factors like design cohesion and buyer preferences. Well-executed color schemes can enhance aesthetics and highlight architectural features, potentially appealing to a broader range of buyers.

Is it still popular to paint one wall a different color? ›

Whether you're a trendsetter or prefer a timeless design, you always want your home to be in style. So, if you've been asking yourself, "Are accent walls out of style?" we assure you that they're definitely on-trend, and we don't see that changing anytime soon.

Do I need to paint all walls the same color? ›

The decision to paint your entire room in one color depends on your personal preferences and the desired atmosphere. Using a single color can create a cohesive and calming look, making the space feel unified. However, incorporating different shades, accents, or complementary colors can add visual interest and depth.

What are the rules for painting walls different colors? ›

Typically its best to follow the 60-30-10 rule which states that 60% of the room should be the dominant color, 30% should be the secondary color, and 10% should be an accent color. So when choosing a color you'll want something that's different from the 60% and 30% colors to make it pop.

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