RIY Purchasing Paint Supplies

Welcome to “Clutterholic’s Guide to Purchasing Paint Supplies!”  I’m the queen of DIY Ruin-it-Yourself, but I want to paint this bare, boring room and turn it into something fabulous.  I’ve never successfully done anything like that, but there’s gotta be a first time for everything.

I want to have at least one room in my house that looks like grown ups live here. Oddly enough, it's going to be our nursery.

I knew that, obviously, I’d first have to measure my room so I’d know how much paint to buy. So . . .

STEP 1)  Measure your room.

Well, it made sense to ME.

I tried using the above method to measure the wall, but the tape measure kept slipping off the door frame.  Then I remembered when we replaced the carpet in our last house, the man measured everything on the floor.  I tried it, and it actually worked!

Much easier.

STEP 2)  Write is all down so you don’t forget.  Armed with my room measurements, I drew a diagram.  My theory was that I could just hand someone at the store my diagram and they would load my cart down with what I need.

For a 6th grade project, I made a house out of jellybeans and toothpicks and wrote a poem to go with it. I still remember the words. This picture totally looks like one of the rooms.

Then I realized I live in a country that uses the metric system, so I needed a new diagram that wasn’t in feet.  I messed up a few times trying to redraw the room, but eventually succeeded.  I have a handy iPhone app that does the conversions for me.  THIS IS MY STEP 3, but most people reading this can omit it.  Proceed on and skip this step, but take a second to admire my wrinkly and wonky tablecloth.

#&$! metric system.

STEP 4)  Using your room measurements, determine how much paint you need.  Since I know absolutely nothing about that sort of stuff, I had to consult my best friend.  I like to call him Mr. G.

Dummies! That's me!

This guide broke it down Barney-style and I learned that you need 1 gallon for every 350 square feet.

But it also started talking about things like primer and different kinds of paint.  What?  Painting is much harder than I thought.  I consulted Mr. G again to see if I could skip that whole priming thing.

Evidently not.

Knowing that I not only needed to buy PAINT, but also PRIMER, I set out to educate myself on how much primer I would need.  This is when it occurred to me that I might need more than one of coat of each, and I debated just scribbling on the walls with crayons and calling it art.

Danny Lipford’s blog was really helpful about explaining the difference between the different kinds of primer and how many coats I’d need of everything.  I determined that I would need to do one coat of primer, and two coats of paint per wall.  Neat.  Here’s my calculations:

I'm a visual person. I have to write it ALL out and see it, or else I won't get it. That's why college was so hard for me . . . my eyes were closed for most of it.

You’ll notice I also had to convert it all to metric-ness.  Thank you, iPhone, for simplifying everything in my life that requires brain cells.

Since I know I'm capable of doing the real math, I have no problem admitting I took the lazy way. Work smarter, not harder, folks!

STEP 423 5) Now that you know how much paint you need, you need to figure out what KIND of paint.  I kept it simple and Googled “difference between latex and acrylic paint” and learned here that latex paint is cheaper, but doesn’t last as long.  That works for me, because we’re moving in a year anyway.  Latex paint it is!

But back to Mr. Lipford’s thorough explanation.  Apparently there can be issues if you mix and match paints and primers, and it matters what kind of paint is already on the wall.  I honestly have no idea what’s already there, but DoItYourself.com told me that if your paint looks streaky (yes) and you can easily scratch it with your fingernail (YES!), then it’s latex.  Phew!  Since I already have latex paint, I won’t have any issues slapping on some latex paint and primer.

STEP 6)  Make a shopping list of the tools you will need.  I read about a billion websites and came up with a list of items that I needed:  painter’s tape, drop cloth, angled brush for corners, paint tray and liners, rollers, roller cover, and a roller pole.  After rooting through boxes in our shed and figuring out what I could borrow, I was able to narrow down my list significantly.

Lines through items on a list are so fulfilling.

The handy-dandy tutorial ends here, but keep reading to hear the rest of my Clutterholic paint shopping adventure.

I knew I wanted two colors: a darkish blue, and a lighter blue.  I figured I could waddle myself into the store and ooh and ah over paint chips until I found some that jumped out at me.  But apparently in Japan, the paint comes pre-colored and you don’t really have a lot of options.

Pre-mixed colors? Interesting.

Whatever.  Nit-picking over colors isn’t really my thing anyway.  “Dark blue” and “light blue” was about as specific as I really wanted to be anyway.

You’ll notice that these paints aren’t in English.  Is it latex?  Is it outdoor paint?  Is it lead based and horrible for the environment?  Who knows . . . not me.

It all looks the same to me.

No one offered to help me, but I don’t speak Japanese so someone offering to help wouldn’t have really helped that much anyway.  I decided to go with the cheapest paint that had a picture of a house on it.  I couldn’t tell what was primer and what was paint, so let’s hope I guessed correctly.

Also,  I only had one choice for dark blue and two choices for light blue.

The Clutterprints are next to the paint colors.

I went with the ones below.  I actually needed 1.9 liters of light paint, but that was including painting where there’s actually a window so I’m hoping this 1.6 liter can is enough.  I have more than enough dark paint.

The square paint can is kind of neat.

Stuff is expensive here.

If it's pink, it stinks.

I paid roughly $102.30 for 1.8 gallons of dark paint, and $40.52 for less than half a gallon of the light paint.  Neat.  Good thing the rest of the house is boring and white, and I’m fine with that.  The Clutterbaby room is going to be the only one with any sort of decorations, and that’s okay, too!  I just hope this doesn’t look awful.  That’s a whole lot of money for me to Clutter this up too bad.

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2 Comments

Filed under Ruin-it-Yourself Projects

2 responses to “RIY Purchasing Paint Supplies

  1. Uggh, I can totally relate with the metric system challenge. At least in Germany I can sort of figure out some of the words.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I just listed a new posting on my ‘dorm room’ – would love for you to check it out. It’s plain-jane!
    Michelle 🙂

  2. Thanks for stopping by! I enjoy your blog, especially since we might be headed to Germany when we leave Japan! Keep us updated on your European adventures!

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