Part 1: Preparation
Schedule a full day for preparation
Choose a Color
The choices are literally endless, leaving you a bit overwhelmed perhaps. When choosing a color for your new walls, consider these tips:
- Choose a color based on the dominant pattern in the room. This could be a rug, a painting, or even the upholstery. Let these patterns guide your choices.
- Go from light to dark, ceiling to floor. If you want a rule of thumb, follow this one: lighter colors go up top (ceiling, for instance), colors in the middle go on walls, and the darkest colors go on the carpets/flooring.
- Use the color wheel. Colors that are close to one another on the color wheel generally work well together. Colors that are far away from one another on the color wheel need a little more help to fit a workable color scheme.
Prep the floor and Hardware for painting
The first thing you should do is lay a canvas sheet down on the floor, covering it completely. Secure the canvas with painters tape and make sure it doesn’t move around. In addition to this:
- Remove any switch plates and electrical outlet covers, putting painter’s tape over them.
- Tape over any other hardware that can’t be removed
Sand the Wall(s)
Sanding is helpful because it creates small pores or pockets into which the paint can get, making for a more even layer of paint. While sanding, wear a dust mask.
- Use a pole-sander with 120-grit sandpaper. Move the pole-sander side to side, starting from the top and working your way down to the bottom.
Clean The Wall(s)
With a vacuum, clear the wall of all the dust and debris dislodged by the sanding process. A clean wall will be much easier to paint and will deliver a better final product..
- With warm water and a bit of detergent, wash the walls lightly using a sponge. Hit any greasy or especially dirty spots with extra vigor. Go over the entire wall with clean water and a sponge once this is completed.
Patch up any holes or breaks with compound and caulk
Look at the condition of your wall next. Are there are holes or breaks in the molding that need attention? If so, you might need a little compound of caulk.
- Caulk any breaks in the molding. Using a wet finger, push the caulk into the breaks and smooth out for a nice even finish.
- Using a putty knife, patch up any holes in the wall, depending on the wall. Use joint compound for drywall, and patching compound for plaster. Smooth out the patches with 120-grit sandpaper once the compound has dried.
Deside if you want to use painter's tape or angled brushes
You don’t want your paint running over onto the ceiling or a different coat of paint, do you? For this reason, decide whether you are going to use painter’s tape or angled brushes. Both come with advantages and disadvantages.
- Painter’s tape takes a lot of setup but doesn’t require a steady hand. You’ll have to apply the tape very evenly to avoid bleeding, but once it’s on the wall, you won’t have to worry much about messing up.
- Angled brushes don’t require much setup, if at all, but can cause mistakes if you don’t have an even hand. Still, they may save you hours of prep time if you feel comfortable using them.
Cover the wall with a coat of primer
A primer is a lighter coat of paint that absorbs colors well. You should probably prime your wall if:
- You’re dealing with a new wall that hasn’t yet been painted
- You patched any holes, scuffs, etc. on the wall
- Your wall is glossy
- The color you’re painting over is darker
Part 2: Painting
Hit the edges first with paint
Dip the rollar into the paint
In order to fill the area in the center of the wall, as well as those areas not yet painted, your best bet is to use a roller. Here are some tips for getting the paint onto your roller.
- Wet the roller before dipping it into the paint. Wet with water for latex-based paints.
Roll the paint onto the wall in "W" or "M" shape
After dipping the paint into the tray, use continuous “W” or “M” motions to coat the wall with paint. Continue using these motions until the wall is covered with paint. When applying the paint in this way, it’s important to remember:
- While doing the “W” or “M” motions, don’t move the roller off the wall. Keep the roller on the wall until it needs another application of paint.
- When the roller starts to make a peeling, sticky sound on the wall, it’s time for another application of paint. Move back to your tray and repeat Step 2.
Allow Paint to Dry several hours
Finish off any trim with a coat of paint
You may or may not have trim to paint. Again, you have the choice of covering the wall with painter’s tape (wait until it’s dry before applying tape) or going freehand.
- If applying paint to broader areas of trim, use a wide, straight-edged brush.
- If applying paint to thinner areas of trim, use an angled brush (1- to 2-inch).