Paint A Room

If this is your first time painting a room you're in luck. It's a great project for any novice do-it-yourselfer. With the right tools and advice, you can give any room in your home an instant update without spending a lot of time or money.

Head to your local Cole's Hardware store for everything you need to complete your interior painting project. Then follow the steps below to learn how to paint a room.

Step 1. Prepare the Room
Remove furniture or place it in the center of the room and cover with drop cloths. Place drop cloths or tarps on the floor and remove window coverings, switch plates and outlet covers. Use painter's tape to protect windowsills, baseboards, door hinges and the ceiling perimeter.

Step 2. Clean & Repair Walls
Properly cleaning and repairing surfaces is extremely important when painting since paint doesn't adhere to dirt. Using a sponge or cloth, wipe down your walls with mild detergent and water and allow to dry. If your walls have cracks, holes or other damage, apply spackling compound or acrylic caulk with a putty knife. Sand with fine sandpaper once it dries.

Helpful Tip: If you need to make repairs, add an extra day to your plans to give the compound time to dry.

Step 3. Prime
When interior painting, you don't have to apply a coat of primer before you paint, but doing so will make the paint adhere and wear better. Additionally, priming is advisable if your walls are stained or you wish to use light-colored paint over dark walls. Apply primer with a brush or roller, using the same technique as painting.

Safety Alert!
Open the windows to make sure you'll be priming and painting in a well-ventilated area.

Step 4. Paint the First Coat
Okay, let's roll - ceiling first, then walls. When painting a ceiling you can either use an extension pole that is attached to a roller, or set up scaffolding. Pour paint into the paint tray and coat your roller. Paint widthwise in 6-ft. square sections, using a zigzag pattern of overlapping "W" strokes. Move from right to left, then left to right, spreading evenly with horizontal strokes.

"Feather" (apply less pressure to) the edges of the squares to eliminate overlapping lines between each section. To ensure even coverage, use light strokes to re-roll across the ceiling and from bottom to top of each wall. If your paint has a flat finish, you don't need to blend. Otherwise, paint over the entire surface (for very large areas, do two square sections at a time) with one-directional, overlapping, non-diagonal strokes once again.

Helpful Tip: To prevent the paint from drying unevenly, avoid stopping while you're in the middle of painting a wall. Touch up any missed spots when the paint is still wet to ensure an even sheen. Before you begin painting a new wall, make sure you have enough paint left in the can to finish the entire wall. The same paint color can vary slightly from one can to another, so try not to use two different paint cans on one wall.

Step 5. Apply Wall Brushwork
Use a brush, coated with one inch of paint, to do wall brushwork in areas your roller can't reach, like the corners and next to the doors, windows and molding.

Step 6. Paint The Second Coat
If necessary apply a second coat of paint using the same technique as the first. You don't have to let the paint completely dry between coats, but your results will be better the longer you wait.

Step 7. Clean Up
You're almost done! Thoroughly rinse your roller covers and brushes in water until the solvent runs clear. Store in plastic bags or hang them on nails or hooks to dry. Remove the drop cloths and pull off the painter's tape at a 45-degree angle to avoid removing any fresh paint.

Helpful Tip: So you don't waste paint, combine any leftovers in a mixing bucket and store properly.

Great job! Step back and admire your updated room. We hope that finishing this home improvement project successfully will give you the confidence to keep painting!

Project courtesy

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Shopping List

  • Drop cloth
  • Painter's tape
  • Sponge
  • Spackling compound
  • Putty knife
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Paintbrush
  • Roller
  • Paint tray