We love a fresh coat of paint. Painting a room is one of the easiest ways to give it a whole new look. If you’ve never painted a room before, however, it can be a daunting task. We’ve broken the process into eight steps to help it seem more manageable.
This step can be overwhelming if you don’t already have what you want in mind. Paint is sold in every color you can imagine, usually in both matte and gloss. To help you choose, most paint merchants offer patch swatches at no cost, so you can see at least a bit of the color in question on your wall. Keep in mind that most paint dries darker than it appears while wet.
Before getting started, know the right paint for your walls. Depending on what your walls are made of, you may need to put down primer before painting in your color of choice, especially if you are updating to a lighter color.
Get a Handle on the Right Tools
The exact tools you’ll need are determined by the shape and layout of your room. If you have tall ceilings, you’ll need a paint roller extension pole, and the protective coverings you need will depend on your flooring and furniture. As a general rule, though, this is a good list of tools to have on hand:
- Paint roller
- Paint tray
- Drop cloths
- Painter’s tape
- Putty knife
Make sure you have enough paint before you start your project. One gallon per 400 square feet is a safe estimate, but remember that more paint is needed to paint a wall lighter than the existing color. Paint manufacturers like Benjamin Moore offer paint calculators to get a more specific volume of paint for your space.
Prepare the Room
Protect your furniture by covering it with plastic tarping or by removing it from the room before you begin to paint. Make sure you cover your floor as well, no matter what it is made of. Remove all pictures, decor, and appliances from the walls. This includes outlet and light switch covers. Unscrew the covers and protect the outlets and switches with painters tape.
Once you’ve protected the room, protect yourself and ventilate the space. Open any windows and use fans to blow noxious fumes out of harm’s way. This will not only help the paint dry faster, it will mitigate the fumes you inhale.
This is also part of prepping the room. If you have holes in the walls, use putty to patch them then sand over the spots to smooth them to be flush with the rest of the wall. Make sure the putty is dry all the way through before you begin to sand. If you need to caulk the baseboards, do so before you paint.
Clean the Ceiling and Walls
Paint needs to be applied to a clean, dry surface to ensure the strongest and smoothest adhesion. Using a damp cloth, wipe away any sanded-down grit and other dirt and grime that has built up. This should be done even if the walls don’t look dirty. Trust us, you don’t want anything getting between your walls and your paint.
Trim with Tape
It’s almost time to start painting! First, give yourself a defined area to color in the lines. Painters tape is specifically designed to be easily added and removed without removing existing paint, so use it to protect your windows and door frames and give your paint job sharp, clean lines. For best results, use a putty knife to really secure the tape’s straight edge. Never apply tape to wet paint.
Paint to Perfection
Before putting brush to paint, stir your paint to thoroughly mix it. Next, pour some paint into a paint tray, not the whole can, just enough to comfortably work with. If you are painting your ceiling, start there and work down. Paint trim and doors—if they are in need of a fresh coat—before painting the walls. Wait until the ceiling and trim paint is dry before painting the rest of the room.
We have a few hints on applying paint:
- Make sure the paint is thick enough to cover but not thick enough to drip.
- Roll the paint on in small sections.
- Lay the paint on with smooth sweeping strokes of the roller.
- Paint in a “W” pattern to help eliminate paint roller marks.
- “Cut in” the wall paint around the trim and door frames. This means use a paint brush to get right up against the tape on the frames.
- Be quick so the paint doesn’t dry as you work, but keep your strokes even.
- Repeat with a second or third coat if necessary.
If you take a break, make sure to cover your rollers and paint trays. Even if you’re only away for 10 minutes, the paint will continue to dry, and if it dries on your brush, that brush will become unusable. Wrap the head of your paint brush to limit the air flow that facilitates more rapid paint drying.
Any time you are not using the paint can, put the lid on it at once. When you are all finished with your paint job, multiple coats and all, clean brushes and rollers with soapy water.
At Brush Brothers, we know that painting a room—and even preparing to do so—is no small task. If you’d like the experts to take care of it, or if you’d like more professional painting tips, give us a call today.