How to paint the walls of a room?


If the idea of painting a room by yourself sounds fascinating, then follow these steps. The meticulous preparation of the room and the correct sequence of the steps are the main keys to a successful and quick painting.

 red room

Step 1: Clear the room moving all movable items out of the room. There is nothing more frustrating than having to work between furniture. Large furniture that is difficult to move, you must place them in the center of the room and protect them with plastic membrane or old cloth. Remove the curtains. Cover with plastic membrane any pendant light, chandelier, etc. At this stage you can also remove hardware (electrical outlets, electrical switch covers, smoke detectors, etc). It is better to remove them than mask them with masking tape. However, if you hesitate to remove hardware of if you are afraid that you will not be able to reinstall them, you can let them on the wall and mask them later.  

Step 2: Remove any nails from the walls and fill the holes with spackle or putty. You might also need to remove peeling paint with paint scraper or sandpaper. In general, you must examine the wall surfaces carefully in case there are cracks, holes, peelings and fix them before painting.

Step 3: If the walls and the ceiling are dirty with dust, stains, spider web, and grease spots, you must clean them before start painting. Use warm water, a mild dishwashing detergent and a soft sponge. If you have mold or mildew, remove it with a mix of bleach and water. Rinse ceiling and walls with clean water and let them dry completely.

Step 4: Apply masking tape to the edges of the surfaces that you don’t want to paint (cabinets, window frames, door frames, floor, woodwork, electric switch covers, trims etc). Push down well the masking tape to make sure that the paint will not seep under.

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Step 5: Protect the floor with newspapers or dump cloth. In needed, tape the paper on the floor. 

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Step 6: Before you do the actual paint, you must first check if a primer is needed. A primer is necessary, if one or more of the following parameters occur:

  • If the surfaces have never been painted before.
  • If you use water-based paint over oil paint.
  • If the existing paint is glossy.
  • If you are applying a light color over a dark one, you can use a white primer.

Step 7: It is better to start from those areas that the roller cannot reach. Take a paint brush and start from the wall corners.  

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Step 8: Continue with the paint brush and paint around the door and window frames.

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Step 9: Continue painting with the brush around the switch covers and the edge between ceiling and walls.

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Step 10: When the difficult areas are done, take the paint roller. Start from smaller areas and paint with vertical strokes.

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Step 11: Continue with the larger surfaces. Roll a W or M shape on the wall to distribute the paint. Then use overlapping vertical strokes to paint evenly.

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Step 12: Continue painting vertically. Step back and examine carefully the paint to see if the layer of the color is even. At this stage you can easily apply more paint.

Step 13: Let the paint dry for 24 hours. After that, you can apply a second layer.

Step 14: Remove masking when finished, ideally one hour after the last layer but not longer that 24 hours. If the paint has completely dried, the tape will be difficult to remove. After the last coat is completely dry, re-install the hardware.

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