People paint rooms for many reasons, whether to match the walls with the new furniture, as a replacement for wallpaper, or just to change things up.
Painting a room is doable either solo or with a friend or family member.
Painting a Room
Painting a room can be as quick as a weekend afternoon project, depending on the size of your project. Clean the surface which will be painted at least day in advance so that it has time to dry thoroughly.
- Paint pan
- Paint brushes (including trim brushes)
- Paint roller
- Roller extension pole (if required)
- Painter’s tape
- Drop cloths
- Putty knife
- Shop vacuum
- Ladder (if required)
Prepare The Room for Painting
- Remove light switch, outlet, and vent covers.
- Push furniture away from the walls to give yourself space to work. If possible, gather all furniture into the center corridor of the room. Place drop cloths over furniture (and anything else you don’t want to get paint on).
- Use painter’s tape to cover any surfaces you don’t want painted (window frames, baseboards, doorframes, etc,.).
- Clean the surface you will be painting. Use a damp sponge or wash cloths and mild dishwashing detergent, taking careful note of any grease spots. Cleaning your wall will help ensure a smooth application of paint. Rinse your wall with water to remove any residue.
- Let your surface dry before you begin painting. Open the windows if possible, or use a fan to help speed along the drying process.
- If you are painting both walls and ceiling, start with the ceiling first. Choose a corner to begin painting. Use a 2-inch trim brush to apply a 3 – 4” strip of paint where the wall and ceiling meet. This is called ‘cutting in’, and this technique is used in areas which are too tight or require too much precision for roller brushes.
- You will want to ‘cut in’ section by section. Alternate between rolling and cutting in so that you can blend the wet paint together for a seamless appearance.
- Work your way from ceiling to walls to baseboards, saving trim and molding for last.
- Remove your painter’s tape from the trim and place it on the wall where the trim and wall meet. Repeat for baseboards. Alternately, remove your baseboards and paint them separately. Paint trim and baseboards using a 2.5” brush.
- Repeat as needed until you achieve the desired appearance.
- Let your walls and ceiling dry before removing drop cloths and putting furniture back in its place in case of any paint drips.
- Once dry, put your outlet and vent covers back on.
- Remove the painter’s tape.
- Put your furniture back in place.
- Clean your brushes and other materials thoroughly in water and dish soap. Use turpentine for especially stubborn residue. If you have one, a hose may be your best bet!
Store Your Paint
- You never know when you are going to need extra paint for touchups, especially custom colors. Store your leftover paint properly for future emergencies.
- Keep any leftover paint in a place which is consistently cool. Extreme heat or cold can change the consistency of the paint and make it unusable no matter how much you stir it.
- If you do not plan to store your paint, then dispose of it by contacting your local recycling center. They will either be able to dispose of it or point you in the right direction.
- For ceilings, paint along the width of the ceiling, not the length.
- For walls, try painting in a 3×3’ ‘W’ shape before filling in with the roller.
- Maintain steady pressure on your brush or roller for an even application of paint.
- If you are painting both a ceiling and wall, work from the ceiling down. This way, you won’t have to go back over paint drips, stains, or splatters.
- Paint your trim starting from the top down.
- To help prevent muscle strains, paint in a motion which goes across your body, not along it.
- Make sure that the room you are working in is well ventilated to prevent illness.