You don’t want to damage your favorite sofa or that heirloom Grandma gave you, so empty the room of all the furniture. If you don’t have enough space, push everything to the center. Cover the pieces with a drop cloth or lightweight plastic sheeting and do the same with the floor.Don’t skip the drop cloth, paint will splatter, we promise.

Grab a roll of painter’s tape—the cousins recommend FrogTape—and firmly apply it to the edges of the room’s corners, base and crown moldings, and door and window casings, using a putty knife to seal if needed. “Getting a good seal so paint doesn’t get under the tape is everything, plus it will pull away clean after everything is dry,” they say. If you dare (or have an artist’s steady hand), you can skip taping entirely. Remove outlet and light switch covers and apply painters tape to protect outlets and switches from paint drips.

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