How to Update Your Family Room for the Holidays Using Paint

How to Update Your Family Room for the Holidays Using Paint

Level: Experienced

You and your guests will probably spend a lot of time in your family room during the holidays. Take a weekend before the festivities begin to update your family room with some new paint colors. It’s a simple do-it-yourself project that can wow your guests and help them feel more at home.

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Project Steps
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    • Step 1: Prepare for Painting

      Prepare the family room for painting. Place drop cloths or tarps on the floor and remove window coverings, switch plates and outlet covers. Remove furniture or place it in the center of the room and cover with drop cloths. Use painter’s tape to protect windowsills, baseboards, door hinges and the ceiling perimeter, or anything else you don’t want paint on. Use a sponge or cloth to wipe down your family room walls with mild detergent and water to remove dust and grime, and allow the surface to dry completely. If your walls have cracks, holes or other damage, apply spackling compound with a putty knife. Sand with fine-grit sandpaper once the repair spots have set. Clean off the dust after you have sanded.

    • Step 2: Prime the Walls

      Apply a coat of True Value® EasyCare® Ultra Premium Interior Primer/Sealer before you paint so the paint adheres better and lasts longer. Additionally, priming is necessary if your walls are stained, if you wish to use light-colored paint over dark walls, or when you’re painting a bright color such as yellow or red. Apply primer with a roller, widthwise in 6-ft.-square sections, using a zigzag pattern of overlapping “W” strokes. Move from one side to the other and then again in the opposite direction, spreading evenly with horizontal strokes.

      Safety Alert!

      Open windows to make sure you’re painting in a well-ventilated area. Use a box fan placed in windows or doorways to help with ventilation.

    • Step 3: Paint the Walls

      Pour True Value EasyCare® Ultra Premium Interior Paint into a paint tray. Using a brush, apply paint to the upper perimeter of the wall and to any areas you can’t reach with a roller. Use an angled sash brush to cut in at the edges where the walls and ceiling meet and lay on the paint about 1/4" from the edge of the surface. Only cut in as much as you can cover in about a 20-minute span. Use your paint roller to roll back into these areas before it dries. This will help blend the brushed and rolled area and give a smoother finish.

      Helpful Tip

      When you’re cutting in, look just ahead of the brush to ensure a straight line and give the paint a clean edge.

      Coat a roller by rolling it in your paint tray and then paint widthwise in 6-ft.-square sections, using a zigzag pattern of overlapping “W” strokes. Move from one side to the other and then again in the opposite direction, spreading evenly with horizontal strokes. Do not overspread the paint.

      Helpful Tips

      One gallon of paint usually covers 300 to 400 square feet. Use our Paint Calculator for the exact amount of paint you need. Don’t forget to double your measurements for two coats.

      Slide the roller cover a little bit off the frame to get closer to doors, ceilings and windows.

      Touch up any missed spots when the paint is still wet to ensure an even sheen.

      Before you begin painting a new wall, make sure you have enough paint left in the can to finish the entire wall. The same paint color can vary slightly from one can to another, so try not to use two different cans on one wall. If you are using more than one gallon of paint, it is recommended that you intermix the gallons.

      If necessary, apply a second coat of paint using the same technique as the first. Allow the first coat to dry for four hours before applying a second coat.

    • Step 4: Paint the Ceiling

      Don’t forget to paint the ceiling. Mask the perimeter of the ceiling with painter's tape where it meets the walls. As you did when painting the walls, it's helpful to cut in with a small, angled paintbrush before painting the whole ceiling. Begin by priming the ceiling first with EasyCare® Ultra Premium Interior Primer/Sealer. After the primer has dried, paint with True Value EasyCare® Ultra Premium Ceiling Paint.

      First dip the roller in primer or paint, in the deep section of the tray. Roll it back and forth in the shallow end to get rid of excess primer/paint. When the roller is evenly covered, begin rolling out 6-ft.-square sections on the ceiling. Use a series of overlapping “W” strokes from right to left, then back from left to right using horizontal strokes. Make sure to feather the edges of the squares, using less pressure when you get to the edges. This prevents creating a line when the paint overlaps from another square. Keep working with the 6-ft. squares until the entire ceiling is painted. The ceiling should dry in a few hours.

      Helpful Tips

      You can use a ladder or scaffolding to paint your ceiling (and will most likely need one when doing brushwork), but for most of the job, you can simply use a roller and a long extension pole to reach the ceiling.

      If painting a textured ceiling, be sure to use a thick-nap roller to ensure full coverage over bumps on the surface.

    • Step 5: Clean Up

      You’re done painting. Now it’s time to clean up your workspace. Pick up your drop cloths or tarps and close your paint cans. Dispose of empty paint cans appropriately. Cleaning paintbrushes and other tools can be made easy with warm and soapy water. Thoroughly rinse your roller covers and brushes in water until the water runs clear, and then place them in a brush/roller spinner, if you have one, to remove excess liquid. Store in their protective sleeves or hang them on nails or hooks. Pick up drop cloths carefully, making sure you don’t spread around any paint that may have gotten on them. Next, remove painter’s tape at a 45-degree angle to avoid removing any fresh paint. Remember that the longer it stays on, the harder it is to remove.

    • Step 6: Don’t Forget Festive Decorations

      The final touch to your new holiday-ready family room is to garnish it with delightfully festive decorations. Repurpose old ornaments, planters or light fixtures, or create a custom holiday centerpiece using spray paint. Use strategic holiday lighting choices to make your fireplace mantel a focal point or light up your molding, trim and other features. Your own imagination and creativity are your only limits to create a welcoming holiday feel in your family room.

      Good job! Your family room has been updated to welcome your holiday guests.

  • Here’s what you’ll need to complete this project successfully.

    Before you begin, use the shopping list below to uncheck the tools you already have to complete this project.

    Then, print or save your updated list and bring it to your local True Value hardware store, where an expert Hardwarian will give you the remaining tools and expert advice you need to complete this project.

    You can also shop online for these project items at and receive FREE shipping to a participating store.

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