How to Paint a Room

Painting a room isn’t so hard as long as you have the right tools and plan of attack. Today Michael shows how to paint a room by going step by step through every tip to get the job done well he’s accumulated over the years.

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Tools

Materials

The first thing to do is remove all the  screws and nails from the wall. Next, I removed the outlet covers and carefully set them aside to ensure I didn’t misplace any of the hardware. 

Next, I removed the shades from the windows, including the hardware that was holding them up along with the heating vent cover. 

To knock down any paint that was left from the settling of the house, I dry scraped holes and a couple of cracks on the walls. 

Then, I applied the first coat of mud, or joint compound, to all the holes to ensure I had a nice smooth wall to paint on top of. For areas like a larger crack, it’s important to feather the joint compound so that it blends with the existing wall. 

To repair the larger window frame cracks, I applied a thin bead of caulk. For a smooth finish, I wiped it down with a wet wag followed by a dry cloth. I also used this caulking to repair a crack around the heating vent, which allows more elasticity and more give before the crack reforms. 

I let all of this sit overnight to harden up. 

The next day I used a 150-grit sanding sponge to sand spots with mud on them, feathering in the edges as well as the surrounding area to knock down any bumps.

To prevent dust from getting stuck in my paint brush when completing the trim, I used a dry rag to clean up the dust that had fallen to the ground.

Then, I covered the floor using a plastic tarp and taped the edges to ensure that it wouldn’t slide as I walked around. I also wrapped a piece of furniture with the tarp to protect it from splattering when I painted the ceiling. 

For the ceiling I am choosing a paint that is tinted to a light pink. As it dries it will turn white so I can differentiate what areas are already painted and what still needs to be painted. Another tip when choosing a ceiling paint is to go for a flat paint because it hides imperfections and isn’t an area that takes a lot of wear and tear. 

First, I used a two-inch sash brush to cut in the ceiling, which includes going around the exterior of the ceiling or wall with a brush to paint the areas you will not be able to reach with the roller. 

Once that was all set I began to roll the ceiling using long strokes. 

Then, I cut in the walls using the wall color on a sash brush. 

For a bedroom, I usually use an eggshell finish. For an area with a higher moisture level, such as a bathroom, I would use a semi-gloss. 

I transferred a small amount of the wall paint into a secondary container. Then, I loaded my brush by dipping the brush into the container. As I pulled the brush out, I scraped one side against the container, so the paint was only on one side of the brush. 

I started painting the wall by putting the loaded side of the brush towards the wall. Then, I reverse the direction so the dry side would pull the fresh paint up where it needed to be without making a mess and needing to use painter’s tape. 

I started from the top and worked my way down, all around the room and along the ceiling, down the edge of the wall, until everything was cut in. 

Next, to prevent a second coat of rolling as well as splotching, I lightly brushed over the areas where there had been fresh mud applied because the mud absorbs the first coat of paint.

Next up, I painted above the baseboard and around the outlets to give myself an adequate amount of girth when I came back with the roller to prevent rolling over the outlets. I also painted the radiator cover. 

To prepare for rolling the walls, I first lined a paint tray. To allow room for my roller without causing splashing, I only filled a third of the tray with paint. 

Then, I put a fresh roller on the roller handle and lightly rolled it into the paint until it was saturated. 

Using a paint pole extension, I applied the paint to the wall. I started halfway up on the wall and rolled in an upward direction about ¾ of the way up, then down to the floor and then back up. I dipped more paint onto the roller as needed. 

To have a consistent look, use long vertical strokes. To ensure I went over the same area multiple times, I moved the roller over about two inches at a time. 

For tight areas, I removed the roller handle from the extension pole so I could fit into the area. Using my hand, I tried to mimic the motion of the pole. 

I’m using a gloss paint on the trim because it is easier to clean and can withstand being kicked or bumped. Using a two-inch sash brush and the same techniques used when cutting in the walls, I slowly painted my way around the room. 

Next, I went around with the ceiling paint to touch-up areas that got bumped by the roller or the brush while cutting in. Then, I repeated this process with the wall paint for the areas that I bumped with the trim paint. 

Using a window scraper, I scraped the extra paint off the glass. Lastly, I replaced all the wall outlet covers. 

Painting a room takes patience and attention to detail, but it’s very doable to get high quality finished results with these tips.

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