8 Pro Tips for a Picture-Perfect Paint Party
Does your home’s paint look dated and faded? Don’t despair—there’s another way to give your house a makeover without the drudgery of taping and rolling: Make your friends do it!
A paint party is an easy way to freshen your color scheme and socialize with a few friends. And if you’re thrifty (and who isn’t?), you’ll save some serious coin.
“Gone are the days of boring cocktail parties where people are forced to stand around,” says Jamie Novak, professional organizer and author of “Keep This Toss That.” Instead, some folks are happier at a get-together based on an activity.
“Gathering as a group and getting your paint on is both fun and rewarding,” Novak says.
But beware: Hosting this type of party involves more than buying buckets of paint, pouring bottles of wine, and going to town on your walls with your friends.
“There’s a bit of prep work involved before you even start—and assigning specific tasks to each painter helps keep things organized so people don’t get in each other’s way,” says Karen Gray-Plaisted of Design Solutions KGP.
Ready to pop the corks with a new pop of color? Here are eight tips for hosting a home paint party.
1. Create invitations
Sure, you could text or email your gang, but why not set the tone (pun intended) right from the start?
“Paint chip invitations are a cute way to get the ball rolling,” Novak says.
You might be able to score some free ones at the hardware store, or look around the house to see if these colorful strips—or an old paint wheel—are languishing in a junk drawer.
Pro tip: Take “before” and “after” photos of your space as a keepsake for yourself—and for those who help you out, Novak suggests.
2. Stock up on the proper supplies
Don’t be caught without enough brushes, painter’s tape, pans, and rollers.
“You’ll need separate buckets or trays so everyone can have his own paint supply,” Gray-Plaisted advises.
Dropcloths are critical (drape everything in sight!), and encourage your painters to wear their oldest, shabbiest clothes. You could also offer aprons if you have enough on hand.
3. Clear the room
Painting with friends isn’t all that different from painting on your own. The same rules still apply.
“Put away breakables, including lamps and dishes that are on display, and take artwork off the walls,” Novak says.
But the good news is you get help with the heavy lifting. Ask your team to empty the room of furniture and roll up the rugs (store everything in the garage or, if the weather is good, on the lawn).
4. Prep ahead of time
A good painting party is primarily fun. So don’t make your guests/free laborers sit around and do the dirty work—or wait while you do it.
“Make sure all the surfaces are clean, and fill and sand any visible cracks,” Gray-Plaisted recommends.
If your walls need a coat of primer, this step needs to be taken care of before the party to allow for drying time. And make sure to tape up edges, fixtures, and trim that you don’t want to expose to the new paint.
5. Stash the kids—and dog
Sorry, but a painting party is one of the least kid-friendly events you can host. If possible, hire a sitter to take your tots out for the day or drop them off at your parents’ house. And pets also need a special arrangement. Deliver your pooch to a dog spa or the kennel before you start painting.
6. Make it all fun and games
Create teams by pairing your pals—and split up married couples (there might be less bickering; plus it’s more fun painting with someone new).
“Four people to a room is plenty, because otherwise you’ll be tripping over each other and there may not be enough work to keep people involved,” Novak says.
“Give specific jobs to each painter, with one person tackling the ceiling, another on the trim, and someone else cutting in and doing a few walls,” Gray-Plaisted adds.
You could also announce a contest—with a prize—for the neatest painters. Whee! Or set a timer and see which team can paint their room or wall the fastest, Novak says.
7. Feed your crew
Alcohol and painting don’t really mix (sorry!), but food is a must. If you do plan to serve adult beverages, time it right.
“Let everyone know the first round of beers will be offered while the initial coat is drying,” Novak says.
A better (and safer) bet: Set your party time for breakfast or brunch, when people usually have more enthusiasm and energy.
“Handheld food and snacks are easier than big plates and silverware,” she adds. “And starting early is key, so you don’t find yourself painting in the dark.”
8. Accept a few flaws
Face it, a paint job done by your friends isn’t going to be 100% perfect. Keep in mind that you can always go back the next day and redo spots or touch up anything that was overlooked.