I am painting my way around my living room. Each day I do a patch--prime, then paint the first coat, and then paint the second coat. It's hard for my family to have things out of place so this way I only have to move part of the room at a time. I'm hand brushing the walls because they're small sections and this lets pick up my painting quickly and set it down when my kids need me. I'm also doing this because there are three large sets of curtains in the room and Only have room for 1 to hand dry at a time in our basement. Which brings me to some random tricks I've figured out this time around to make this job doable.
1) HE washing machines wash drapes well on the delicate cycle. I use Woolite. They haven't shrunk. I have never checked how much it costs to take drapes to a dry cleaners, but I'm sure it's quite expensive. I've been very pleased with how my washing machine has done. I do make sure to take all of the metal drapery hooks out before I wash the curtains.
2) I have to take back what I said about Valspar. It is now a THICK paint! I painted with Valspar 5 years ago and it was quite a thin paint. I talked to another friend who painted with it around the same time. She agreed. The Valspar I bought last week is a completely different paint. I bought the lower of the Valspar paints. (1 gallon of Eggshell was $26.97) The next level up cost about $5 more per gallon.
They (Lowe's) also now carry an allergy/asthma paint that is about $43/gallon. The Lowe's employee told me that they say it has no smell, but it actually does have a slight ammonia smell. If your house struggles with mold and mildew, then you'd want a paint like this which will resist it. Home Depot does not have a similar paint. Instead, they will add a small bottle of mildewcide to a gallon of paint to add the mold and mildew resistant properties to their BEHR paint. The gal at Lowe's told me that if someone is sensitive to the smell of paint (I am learning that many people are), then the premium Olympic paint is actually better to use than the Valspar Asthma and Allergy paint. Both do have 0-VOC and are supposed to not have any smell, but the Valspar has a slight ammonia smell. The Olympic is going to be a thinner paint though, so you just have to be careful of splattering and not putting too much on your brush at one time.
3) I can't wait to paint the bathrooms! Finally-- flat walls. Textured walls really are harder to paint! It takes a lot more time to make sure you get paint in all the nooks and crannies. The bathrooms and kitchen are the only rooms in this house with flat walls. (The den has paneling which was also easier to paint than the textured walls.) So, if your walls are all flat--lucky you! I had no idea what a blessing this was at our other houses! (Sometimes I think it's good to be thankful that a room is easier to paint than it could be ;) ).
4) I paint in a flurry. I find that it's hard to get motivated once I stop. Somehow starting a painting project can seem very daunting, but once I've started, it's much easier to press on. So, I'm going to paint the living room and then press on to the bathrooms. I will then go on to the basement, hopefully--which reminds me of one last financial tip I discovered!
5) Sherwin-Williams carries waterproofing UGL drylock (brand) paint for $40/gallon (with no price break on the 5 gallon). They also carry their own waterproofing paint for a little less. But, I was at Lowe's the other day buying paint and realized that they have two different UGL drylock paints--one is $23/gallon and the other is $27/gallon (the Extreme one). Both are priced much lower than at Sherwin Williams. I'm going to need some of this paint in the near future, so that was why I was comparing the prices. You can't paint masonry walls that haven't been sealed with regular primer. You need to paint them with a masonry paint--preferably one that is a waterproofing paint if the walls are basement walls or if the area is humid at all.
I'll post a picture when the painting is all done in the living room and a few of my work in progress so my painting approach will make more sense. I'm sure it sounds pretty crazy the way I've described it!