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Give your new home a clean and personal appearance with a fresh coat of paint.

Moving in: Painting your new place

Are you planning to move, and looking for ways to give your new space a personal touch? One of the quickest ways to customize interior design and brighten your space is with a fresh coat of paint. You don't need to be a professional, either, to create a polished appearance. Follow these steps to create your own interior masterpiece:

Picking out supplies

Before you get started, plan a quick trip to your local home improvement or hardware store to pick up the necessary supplies. For a professional-level finished product, gather the following: a canvas floor covering, masking tape, plaster of Paris, sanding paper, primer, a roller and pan, an angled brush, and - of course - paint. Also, be sure to pick up enough paint for one coat of primer and two coats of your final color. Steer away from plastic tarps, which can be slippery, especially when coated in paint droplets.

If this list sounds like a bit of a financial investment, it will actually probably cost less than you think. The experts at This Old House estimate about $150 to purchase all supplies for painting the first room, and costs decrease for future rooms as some materials are reusable. Still seem steep? Keep in mind that an investment in high-quality materials now is intended to reduce the amount of upkeep that your paint job will require. Likewise, applying a bit more time to the project can lengthen the period until you have to redo the job.

Priming for painting

After you've accumulated your supplies, it's time to examine your space. Before doing any work on the actual walls, be sure to move or properly cover furniture that could be marred by paint stains and droplets. Popular Mechanics offered some pointers for preparing the walls, including scraping off any protruding paint or drywall. If there are nail holes or dents in the wall, fill them in with spackle and allow them to dry completely before sanding down the area. Fill in gaps between the moulding and walls with caulk, and tape the top of borders that you don't want covered in the new shade of paint. Your finished wall space should be smooth and even in texture.

To create a blank canvas for your color, begin with a white primer, which will help increase adhesion and give a polished finish. To blend the primer more evenly with the final color, the source recommends mixing in a bit of the main color with the white coat. Pour some primer into your paint tray and dip the roller along the surface, then begin covering the walls. The primer should create a seamless, uniform coat. In corners and along trim, use the angled brush for greater definition.

Adding a main coat

Primers need an average of six to eight hours to dry completely and give the most flawless surface for your final color, so practice some patience even if you're impatient to see the finished product. After the primer is completely dry, follow a process similar to that of priming to apply the first coat of your main shade. Keep a damp cloth on hand to wipe up any drips or mistakes that you make along the way. Maintain a steady, even hand when using the roller, and look into a handle extension if the walls are particularly high. Again, the angle brush is your best bet for painting along edges, trim and corners. Let the first coat dry completely before moving onto a second, then take a vacuum to any excess dust and wipe up dripped paint. Lastly, step back and appreciate your handiwork.