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Painting is one of the best ways to spruce up a room when staging a home. All you have to do is invest in paint and supplies and devote a few days to some hard work, and you can give a space a whole new look.

Of course, if you do decide to paint a room as part of your home staging, you want to do it well. A bad paint job is worse than not painting at all, but by following these tips, potential buyers will likely think your home was painted by a pro.

Do your prep work. Applying paint to a wall with a brush or roller is actually kind of fun, but the all-important work you do before actually painting is kind of tedious. Start by dusting the walls and ceiling, and prepare all surfaces by patching holes and filling cracks, scraping, and sanding so that everything is smooth.

It’s time to prime. New drywall is always primed before painting, but priming is also a good idea for all paint jobs. By sealing the surface, priming makes it easier for your wall to accept paint, and you may need to apply just one coat of paint after priming. Another tip is to tint the primer with some of the color you’re applying to the walls.

Go for the tape. Buy new tape because old tape can be difficult to remove, and be sure to use blue painter’s tape, not standard masking tape. Run a putty knife over tape that’s on wooden window sills and molding so that the tape is smooth and covering the surface effectively. Then wait at least 24 hours before removing the tape to make sure the paint is completely dry.

Use canvas drops. A lot of people opt for plastic drop clothes because they’re less costly, but there are lots of advantages to investing in canvas drop cloths. They’re more durable, easier to lay down on the floor, safer and they absorb paint better than plastic. They’re also easier to pick up and lay down and they’re better for the environment because plastic drop cloths are typically used once, then sent to landfills.

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