Checklist for Hosting a Painting Party

Want to enlist spare sets of hands to help transform your place? Follow these steps.

  1. Check Send an invite.

    Make it as appealing as possible. While some friends might be willing to pitch in out of the goodness of their hearts, others may need incentive before they’ll roll up their sleeves. Sending an e-mail promising pizza and beer is perfectly acceptable, but you could up the ante by promising a gourmet barbecue or pasta spread. Morning hours tend to be the most productive so consider asking folks to arrive by 10:00 or 11:00 A.M. Also, keep in mind that multiple paint coats require drying time, so you may want to schedule a shift change.

  2. Check Remove pictures and other decorations from the walls.

  3. Check Fill nail-holes.

  4. Check Purchase the proper quantities of paint and other supplies.

    You’ll need one standard or trim brush and/or roller per person.

  5. Check Tape walls with painters’ tape.

  6. Check Lay drop cloths.

  7. Check Purchase refreshments.

    It’s a good idea to set out a station loaded with soda, ice, bottled water, cups, and snacks like pretzels and M&Ms. That way, everyone will feel free to help themselves throughout the day.

  8. Check Make a playlist.

    Before the party, download some manual-labor-driven tunes like “It’s a Hard-Knock Life.” Or opt for the egalitarian approach and let your pals take turns plugging in their iPods.

  9. Check When guests arrive, delegate the work—nicely, of course.

    Assign two people max per wall or ceiling, with one “cutting in”—using brushes to apply paint in all the corners, where the rollers won’t reach—and the other half using rollers.

  10. Check Once the primer or first coat is on, take a break.

    Four hours between latex-based coats and 24 hours between oil-based coats are recommended. Consider serving a meal now, or say your goodbyes and welcome a new crew for round two.

  11. Check When the room is painted, clear out en masse.

    Let the fumes subside while you celebrate elsewhere.