How to Paint a Room

If you’ve never painted before and want to tackle a painting project – painting a room or a wall – here are a few suggestions to take the pain out of painting.

I’ve found that the best way to begin a project is go to over it mentally, First, think of all the materials needed and write them down, then visualize each step of the project while thinking about the best way to do it. If there’s some doubt, talk to  an expert at your local paint, hardware, or lumber store, or a professional painter. You can  find good articles online too. However, even with mental preparation, if you don’t have sufficient experience, unexpected mistakes will occur. Planning minimizes the mistakes and makes the work easier because you won’t be planning as you go along.

In order to begin work, the first thing you need is paint. So measure the square footage of all the walls to be painted, then buy one gallon of paint for every 400 square feet. The quality of paint is also important. Cheap paint might have problems covering, so buying good quality paint will save you time and money in the long run. An excellent paint will cover in one coat (unless it’s a highly contrasting color).

The quality of rollers, brushes, plastic, tape, etc., are also important, but if you can’t afford it and don’t paint much, then it makes sense to buy the cheaper stuff.

The best way I’ve found to deal with plastic drop cloths is to cover them with large sheets of cardboard, such as from large cardboard boxes. Just open the boxes completely and lay flat on the plastic wherever you need to walk. More cardboard is better. Lay a row of cardboard along the wall being painted, and push the straight edge against the wall so you won’t have to tape. As you are rolling, move the last piece of cardboard in the row to the front so you always have cardboard under the spot you are rolling. Keep your supplies on a piece of cardboard in the middle of the room. Don’t step on he cardboard along the wall and you won’t track paint.

Before starting to paint, if you want to do a really good job, first remove all switch and outlet covers, remove all nails, tacks, etc., take down curtains and hangers, etc., then fill unneeded nail holes with putty and wipe smooth with a wet sponge. When putty is dry, smooth out with sandpaper.

 The best procedure for painting is to first brush-paint all the edges around corners, ceiling, baseboards, windows, and doors. Then do the rolling. A long 4-5 foot stick on the roller handle will make rolling much easier and keep you out of range of the paint drips. When rolling, use a consistent overlapping system and watch for missed areas. If the paint doesn’t cover in one coat, then after going over all the walls, immediately go back and put on a second coat. If it’s still not completely covered, wait till dry and put on a final coat. If the edges need another coat, brush paint all edges before the final rolling.

For clean-up, if you’re using the cheap equipment, well, just toss it, along with the plastic and cardboard. Don’t try to save roller pads because they will inevitably have dried paint in them.

If you’re an amateur painter, take it easy, start early, take your time, and consider each step first. If there doubt, call an expert. If you can’t finish in a day, don’t worry about it nd will till tomorrow. (Wrap brush and roller tightly with plastic till the next day. If it will be more than a day, soak them in water.)


If you make mistakes, it’s not incompetence, it’s just lack of knowedge and experience. This is the key to anything.Even Michael Jordan had difficulties trying to take up baseball, so he returned to basketball, his area of greatest skill.

I hope these suggestions will be helpful. Good luck!

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