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How to Paint a Room

Thinking about tackling a DIY weekend? Painting a room is an easy and manageable way to transform a space. You’ve seen your parents and friends do it, so this shouldn’t be too difficult. But where do you start? What paint do you buy? What do you paint first in a room? Keep reading. We’ll dive into the basics of it all and provide additional tips for you to make your friends say, “I wish I would’ve known that!”

Scope of Work Alright, I’ve found that whenever I’m overwhelmed, the first thing to do is set aside 5-10 minutes to just stand a think. Take this time to look over the room your painting, no matter how big or small, to consider what you’re trying to accomplish. Do you simply wish to change the wall color to achieve a new “feel” for the room? Are you trying to recreate an entire space that achieve a completely brand-new look? Does the ceiling just need to have some water-stained spots painted? Not only do you need to determine which surfaces you will be painting, but you also need to decide what, if anything, needs to be repaired before painting. For example, large cracks in drywall or plaster will require drywall taping and “mudding”, while small cracks in drywall will only need a little spackle. Trim that is separating from the wall should be caulked. Nail pops in ceilings should be removed and patched. These are a few common examples of the prep work you will want to determine. The answer will guide your entire process, so get this right before you even think about running off to Home Depot or Sherwin Williams. If you’re wondering how many surfaces there are to potentially paint in a room, skim this quick list: - Walls - Ceilings - Trim (baseboards, door/window moldings, crown molding, etc) - Doors - Windows - Closets - Built-ins (cabinets, shelving, etc) - Vent covers The more surfaces, the more work. So, pick only what you really want to spend time on! Materials for Painting Your material list is ultimately going to rely on your “Scope of Work” that you decided above. Here is a solid general list of items to buy for most painting project

- Paint - Paint brushes - Paint roller cages - Paint roller covers - Paint trays and liners - Painter’s pole - Drop clothes/tarps - Protective plastic (if furniture in room) - Spackling - Caulking - Drywall compound (if large repairs to drywall) - Painter’s tape - Sanding sponges (for drywall surfaces) - Sandpaper (for trim/woodwork) - Painter’s rags/microfibers - Primer (for large drywall repairs or unsealed drywall) - Putty knife/drywall knives - Drywall pan (if large repairs to drywall) - Vacuum - Broom/Dustpan - Stepstool/ladder - 5-in-1 painter’s tool - Utility knife


Painting Process

We break this down into four categories. This process assumes walls, ceilings and trim will be painted. Here we go!


- Protection Prep -

1. Remove furniture from room if desired. If not, plastic completely over all furniture and space around room so that all painted surfaces can be reached easily.

2. Remove items such as light fixtures, outlet covers, blinds, hardware, etc.

3. Perform general cleaning of room (dusting, sweeping, vacuuming). This will prevent dust and debris from ending up in the finished product.

4. Protect floor with drop cloths. We always run paper or plastic around the perimeter of the room to avoid a mistake, however, feel free to skip this step if you feel confident.


- Surface Prep -

1. Scrape away any loose paint or drywall. Cut out failing caulk lines if painting trim. Inspect surfaces to-be-painted for inconsistencies and scrape/sand away any “bump outs” if so desired.

2. For large drywall cracks, apply drywall tape and 2-3 coats of drywall compound over top. For small cracks or nail holes, apply spackle. Once everything has dried, sand away!

3. At this point, vacuum all surfaces and floor again to ensure a dust-free room.

4. Perform any caulking required *Note: performing this step after sanding and cleaning ensures that no sanding dust will adhere to your freshly caulked lines.

5. Prime any bare drywall or large drywall repairs.


- Painting -

1. Start with painting ceiling and trim. For the ceiling, use a brush to paint the perimeter of the ceiling and then a roller to paint the rest of the ceiling. When using the brush, make sure to overlap the paint onto the walls. This will provide you with a clear “road map” to cut-in on when painting the walls.For the trim, apply with brush or roller. Make sure to also overlap this paint onto the walls as well.


Apply 2 coats unless 1 coat provides desired look.


2. Paint walls. Start with cutting in on ceilings. This will require a steady hand. If it’s out of your skill level, then you can use tape on the ceiling, however the tape will most likely allow paint bleed through in multiple spots and will not create as natural of a line. After cutting in on ceiling, paint around the trim. Then, roll out the remainder of the walls.


Apply 2 coats unless 1 coat provides desired look.


- Clean Up -

1. Time to clean up! Begin by pulling any tape or masking that you used.

2. Reassemble any items that you took off.

3. Remove drop cloths and vacuum flooring.

4. Perform any touchups.

5. Move furniture back into positions.

6. Clean brushes and rollers (if desired). Almost all paints are “water-based”, so they should clean up without any problem in your sink with warm water and soap. If “solvent-based”, you will need to clean with a solvent such as mineral spirits.


Closing Thoughts and Tips

· If doors, windows, closets, etc are also being painted, you can normally paint them anytime in the “painting” phase without jeopardizing the rest of the painting process.

· Always have a wet rag on you. It will help you stay clean and help keep your area clean.

· Using paint trays, pals and liners will help you stay clean and lessen the risk of spilled paint.

· Using a medium-high quality paint will always be better than using a lower quality paint due to ease of touchups, coverage, and long-term durability/cleaning.

· Taping screws into outlet covers and hardware ensure that you don’t lose any!

· Proper ventilation will decrease paint odors and help paint to dry faster.


That’s all you need to know to kill it on your next painting project! If you’re looking for more information on this topic, or you’re just a visual leaner like myself, check out our corresponding video. Let’s bring your home to life!


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