What Are Some Tips for Painting a Room?


Quick Answer

It is important to start with clean walls before beginning to paint a room. Washing the walls to remove grease and dirt provides for a clean, even surface. Then, carefully apply painter's tape along the bottom of the walls, along trim and around light switches. Prime the walls even if they have been previously painted, and use both rollers and brushes to cover the walls evenly.

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Full Answer

Before opening a can of paint, it is important to move or cover all furniture, rugs and carpets. Then use painter's tape to block off baseboards and moldings.

Begin with the ceiling, and apply a 2- to 3-inch coating of paint around the edge of the ceiling. It is crucial to remove excess paint from the roller and to paint along the width of the ceiling rather than the length. According to Benjamin Moore, painting in a motion across the body prevents a person from experiencing strain in the neck and back. After finishing the ceiling, paint the walls next. Again, "cut in" by painting around the edges first. Paint one wall at a time in small sections to ensure even application. If the room has trim that needs painting, such as around door frames or windows, wait for the paint on the walls to dry completely. Then, tape around the trim and paint with a 2-inch angled brush. Start at the top of windows and door frames so that drips and runs are easily managed. Finally, paint the baseboards last.

If a paint job takes more than a day, clean up properly at the end of each session. Put lids back on paint cans, and clean brushes or rollers for reusing later. If there is no time to clean them, wrap each in a plastic bag to keep them moist overnight.

Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours, and then remove the tape. Do not allow the tape to stay on for long periods because it can become difficult to remove.

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