Teach Your Teenager How to Paint Their Room

When your teenager wants to update their bedroom, why not use it as an opportunity to teach them an important life skill?

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When your teenager wants to update their bedroom, why not use it as an opportunity to teach them an important life skill? How to paint a room! We break down the basics so your teenager can make their own decisions, do the work and even clean up. You won’t have to lift a finger, unless you want to.

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How Much Paint to Buy

Have your novice painter measure the height and width of their walls to determine the total square feet they need to cover. Divide the square feet by 350 (the estimated square feet covered per gallon) to figure out how many gallons of paint they need. Also, keep in mind that if they’re going from a dark color to a light one, they’ll probably need at least two coats. Before they start, be sure they have the tools they’ll need: paint roller, brush, painter’s masking tape, stir sticks, paint, primer, joint compound, putty knife, sand paper, paper towel or rags and a drop cloth.

Preparation

Just like the SATs, Your teenagers success with their painting project will be determined by preparation. Before they open the can of paint, have them prepare the room. Have them move everything out of the room, if possible, or at least move everything to the center, so they have easy access to the perimeter. Lay down a drop cloth to protect the floor and cover anything in the middle of the room with a drop cloth or old sheets to protect it from paint splatter.

Here’s more on how to paint a room without making a mess.

Then, if the walls are in bad shape (lots of dents and unwanted holes), here’s how to fix them. Next, clean the wall surface to remove all dust and debris to ensure your paint will adhere well. And finally, tape around the wood trim and the ceiling. Although it’s a tedious task, it will help them keep paint from going where it shouldn’t. We don’t recommend letting them paint wood trim as a first DIY project, but if they want to give it a try, have them read this guide to painting wood trim. And then have them read this guide to painting wood trim.

Painting

Now it’s time for the fun part! Have your newbie painter read this comprehensive guide to roller painting for everything they need to know to do a good job. They should use a “medium nap” roller to paint large surface areas and a trim brush when painting edges and corners. Ideally, allow the paint 4 hours to dry between coats.

Clean up

This is certainly the least glamorous but also a crucial part of the job. Have them clean brushes and rollers. Carefully remove the tape. Shake out and fold up the drop cloth and put everything paint-related stuff away. Now your teenager can stand back and admire their first successful DIY project. A+!