How To Paint a Room

Painting a room can seem like a daunting task but it's totally worth all the work in the end. For me, seeing the steps all laid out helps make a task seem less overwhelming. And so I bring you a step-by-step guide for painting a room:

What You Need

Materials
Paint of your choosing
Painters tape
Paint roller and refill brush
Paint brushes for detail and touch up
Paint tray
Drop cloth (optional)
Rags for clean-up and oopses

Tools
Ladder
Flat head screwdriver

Instructions

Before you start painting, make sure you have plenty of fresh air in the room. Open windows and, if necessary, have a fan blowing out of the room.

1. Move furniture out of the room to be painted. For large furniture that cannot be removed, move to the center of the room and cover with a drop cloth.

2. Wash/vacuum the walls to be painted. It may seem like an unnecessary step but you'd be surprised how much dirt/pet hair/dust hangs out on the walls of your home.

3. Fill holes in the walls from nails and screws with a patching compound.

4. While the patching compound dries, apply painters tape to protect trim (and anything else you don't want painted). Taping may seem like a pain in the neck but it's totally worth it. There are also edging tools that claim to eliminate the need to tape but I haven't had much luck with them.

5. After the patching compound has dried, smooth over with fine sandpaper. Remove excess dust by vacuuming and wiping the patched area with a damp cloth.

6. Remove outlet and switch plates.

7. And now, after all that prep work, you finally get to paint! Pour a generous portion of paint into the tray, place a new roller refill on your roller, and get to work!

8. Using the roller, apply the paint to the wall as evenly as possibly. Paint as closely into the corners as you can with the roller.

9. After all the walls are covered, go back with a paint brush and touch up in corners and other hard-to-reach areas you couldn't get with the roller.

10. Despite the fact that many paints promise one-coat coverage, I've never been able to achieve it. While waiting for the paint to dry between coats, store your paint tray, roller, and brushes in plastic bags. This will keep the paint from drying on your tools.

11. Apply second coat of paint.

12. After all paint has dried, carefully remove tape. Use a small detail brush to touch up any areas around the tape that may need it. If paint has collected in the nooks and crannies of your taping, use an Xacto knife to cut the tape and lift edges from the walls.

13. Reinstall the outlet and switch plates, move your furniture back into the room, and start accessorizing with your new paint color!

You can see the transformation of this project in an earlier post: Before & After: From Disaster to Delightful in 2 Days

Additional Notes: After all the painting and touch-up is completed, pour your leftover paint into jars for later touch-up work.

Images: Jason Loper

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