I remember the first time that I picked up a paint roller. I didn’t know hot to paint a room, so a friend came over to help. My confidence grew with each brush stroke as I rolled the soft, lavender paint over my then two-year-old little girl’s new bedroom.
That was over eighteen years ago.
Since then, I’ve painted lots of rooms and learned some tricks along the way. I want to pay it forward so to speak and pass that experience on to you in case you’re refreshing your space or settling into a new home.
How to Paint a Room
How to Paint a Room: Preparation is Key
I’m all about popping open the paint can, so I don’t enjoy this stage. But, if you want your work to look professional and the process to go smoothly, then take the time to prep the room.
- Wipe down the walls with a damp cloth to remove dust, cobwebs and the like. This step is important.
2. Next, patch all of the nail holes, nicks and scrapes with spackling. Try to find one that will not shrink when it dries and that is paintable. Some spackling goes on one color and then turns another color when dry, letting you know it’s time to paint.
3. You will need to remove any outlet plates and switch covers in the room. You might want to bag each cover with its screws for safekeeping. No one likes looking for lost screws.
4. Lay down a painters cloth to protect your floors. If you don’t have painters cloth, you can use old sheets. I’ve even used plastic garbage sacks. You may want to move furniture to the center of the room, or even out of the room if possible. If furniture is left in the room you are painting, cover it with a cloth, too.
5.. Tape off the edges of the wall with painters tape. Start at one end, lining the tape up against the edge of the ceiling or baseboards and gradually work across the room.
6. Gather your paint and supplies. Open the can with a can opener provided for free at the paint store. If you forget to pick one up, a flat head screwdriver will work just as well.
Get Your Paint On
1. Give the paint a good stir, especially if it’s been a few days since you brought it home. Stir sticks are also free at the paint counter. I’ve used a ruler in a pinch.
2. Pour some paint in a small pail with a handle, and clip it to your ladder with an S hook or clip. Dip an angled paint brush in the paint, and cut in around the ceiling, corners and baseboards.
3. Now, pour some paint in the deep end of the paint tray and roll the roller cover in the paint, removing the excess on the textured end of the tray. Use your roller to scroll a W or M on the wall in about a 3 foot by 3 foot section, then fill it in. Paint the wall from top to bottom. You can use an extension pole to reach the upper part of the wall.
Pro Tip: Normally, my paint supplies are scattered all over the room, getting paint on the tarp that I then step in and track everywhere. So, I tried this simple tip for mess free painting from Family Handyman, and corralled my supplies in the cardboard tray from a bottled water case.
It worked like a charm! I didn’t have to wander the room looking for things. And even better, I didn’t spill or step in paint.
4. Check the walls for coverage. If needed, go back over the walls with a second coat of paint.
The Clean Up
Pro Tip: Now, this next tip is super handy! If you have to walk away from your paint project for a while, you can simply wrap your roller cover or paint brush in plastic wrap until you’re ready to paint again. The plastic wrap keeps rollers and brushes from drying out. If you’ll be on an extended break, put the plastic wrapped supplies in the refrigerator.
Wash out your paint brushes, paint tray and roller cover, and store them for your next paint job.
And, that’s it!
Whether you do it yourself or hire a painter, giving a room a fresh coat of paint is a great way to update the look and feel of the room. Having a space that settles your souls, reflects who you are, and makes room for you to live well is well worth it.
See you in class,