Learning how to paint a room is a simple task once you begin reading up on it. There is a lot to think about, but most of your painting task is simple enough. Doing it yourself is easy as long as you complete the proper preparation and follow a few guidelines.
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Planning is an important part of any task as it typically makes the job go more smoothly. Make your preparations prior to beginning any painting. Compose a list of all of the supplies you need to purchase. This should include the proper brushes, paint, painter’s chalk and tape, tarps, and cleaning supplies. Purchase all of the items at the same time so that you don’t forget anything.
Choose an area of the home for a landing station where you will keep all of your supplies. If the room that you are painting is large enough, simply use a small section of that room. If it is a small room, you might want to consider storing the majority of these supplies elsewhere.
Even though you are going to paint the room and the dirt would get covered, it is important to start with clean walls. Paint goes onto clean walls more easily. Plus, the walls will look nicer when the paint job is finished.
Remove obstacles from the room to simplify the painting task. This includes blinds, drapes, lamps, wall hangings, knick knacks, and any furniture that might get in the way.
What Size Brushes and Rollers to Use
For the best results when painting a room, you should have several types of brushes and paint applicators. For painting the walls, you can use a wall brush in any width between 3 and 5 inches, a paint roller, or a paint pad. Paint pads usually create less spattering.
For the ceiling, a paint roller with an extension handle is the easiest tool to use. The roller can also be used to paint the walls. Consider buying a power roller that holds the paint in a reservoir to simplify this task.
A paint pad on a wheel is perfect for painting the wall near the trim, ceilings, and corners. It allows you to paint on an angle, up to the edge, without getting any paint on the area that you are trying to avoid.
A smaller brush is needed in order to paint any trim work. Purchase one with a width of 1 inch if you have narrow trim. You can also purchase trim brushes up to 3 inches in width depending on the size of your wall trim. Typically, this type of paintbrush is referred to as a sash brush.
Once you have prepared the walls and are ready to begin, follow this strategy for the easiest path to a completely painted room.
Purchase your supplies.
Clean the walls and place painter’s drop cloths down to catch any drips or spills. Canvas drop cloths absorb paint so there is less risk of tracking paint from one spot to another. Plastic drop cloths catch the paint but tear more readily than canvas. Use painter’s tape to secure the drop cloth in place. Use a 2-inch wide tape that you apply to the entire perimeter of the drop cloth allowing half of the tape’s width for securing the cloth.
Cut in or paint close to the trim, ceiling, and corners.
Paint the ceiling first if you are planning on painting it. Always start in the highest location whenever painting a room.
Paint the walls. If you are using a paint roller, paint in small sections using a zigzag stroke that will create a more even look.
Paint the trim after you have filled in any holes with wood filler. Start with the trim along the ceiling first, then the walls, and finally the baseboards.
How to Get the Best Finish
For the best finish, clean the walls properly and allow them to dry before you begin. Fill in any holes or dents and sand it down. Avoid painting when the air in the room is humid or too hot as the paint will become sticky and difficult to use.
Low gloss paint is easy to apply as well as being easy to touch up. Low gloss paint minimizes the appearance of minor indentations, scratches, nicks, and seams on the walls.
High gloss paint washes and cleans well, so it is easy to maintain the look of fresh paint. However, if you use high gloss paint, any imperfection is more noticeable.
Use a base coat, especially over dark colors. Expensive paint tends to cover better than cheaper paint. If you plan to use a base coat, follow the same procedure to prepare the room as you would for the real paint job.
How to Use Painter’s Tape Properly
If you are going to use tape to cover those areas of the room that you are not painting, use a low-stick masking tape to simplify clean up. When using tape it is best to do so a little bit at a time. Using too much tape at once can lead to the tape becoming tangled up. Plus, if you try to tape too much at once, you are more likely to miss your intended mark, creating an uneven look to your overall painting task.
Use only a few inches of tape at a time. Use your fingertips to press the tape down, removing all bubbles or folds since paint might seep under the tape and fill these spots. If you are using low-stick tape, you don’t need to worry about ruining what is beneath it.
Outline windows, ceilings, and trim to avoid painting them accidentally. While the tape can be used for two paint jobs, it is best to reapply the tape if you intend to apply a third coat of paint. Otherwise, the paint the covers the tape will be too thick and you will have difficulty removing it. Allow the room to dry thoroughly before removing the tape in one, slow motion for each section of tape that you applied.
Do-it-yourself painting can be a lot of fun. Do your prep work, put on some music, and have fun. Remember that this paint job is meant to last so taking a few days to complete the task is okay, especially since the paint job will probably look better.