How to Paint a Room Like the Pros
Having a set of methodical steps at your disposal ensures rooms are consistent and colourful.
Sound hard? Before you call the pros, consider our step-by-step guide to painting your room like a pro!
Part I: The Research
1. Choose Your Colours
Before you visit the paint store, there are various points to take into consideration when planning to paint a room. Here are some questions to ask:
- How much light does this room get?
- What time of day is this room the brightest?
- What will this room be used for?
- Is the current paint used in this room latex-based or oil-based? Or is there any paint at all?
- What kind of material is the wall made of?
- How much paint do I need?
- Where am I storing extra paint?
2. Read the Can
Read the label on the paint can to learn more about the product. The paint may require a specific primer, may only work on certain surfaces or may even need to be stored in a specific environment. You also learn on the label whether the paint is oil-based or latex-based.
3. Get the Right Rollers
Different pile sizes create different finishes, effects and textures. The shorter and denser the pile (the soft part at the end of the roller that absorbs paint) the smoother and more even the finish. Longer piles hold more paint and work best on uneven surfaces. Different fabrics also give different textures.
4. Buy Your Brushes
Since paint bristles absorb water, the best brushes have holes in the handles to allow hanging them after cleaning to properly dry.
5. Load Up On Stir Sticks
Grab a bunch of stir sticks while you are at the paint store.
Custom colours are mixed and shaken at the store. But sometimes different ingredients and agents begin to separate before you are ready to paint. Giving paint a thorough stir after opening, and occasionally during your painting process, ensures the paint remains mixed and consistent.
Although off-the-shelf colours do not necessarily require stirring, it’s a good idea to stir them anyway. Better to be safe than sorry!
Part II: The Prep
1. Move Furniture
In order to paint properly, you need a proper amount of space! There’s nothing worse than painting in a cluttered environment and nothing more satisfying than painting in a clear one.
Another reason to move your furniture lies in the furniture itself. Despite taking every protective precaution, there is always going to be one drip of paint which slips through. If you think red wine is bad, try removing latex paint!
2. Prepare the Walls
Consistent paint jobs begin with consistent surfaces to paint on. Start by scraping away any peeling or loose existing paint with a scraper. Next, remove any nails or screws from the wall, filling in any gaps or cracks with spackle (slightly widen any gaps before filling them). Finish wall repairs with a nice sand finish.
3. Clean Walls
Be sure to clean and dust everything before laying down any paint. Even the smallest of dirt and dust particles have drastic effects on the outcome of your paint-job. We recommend dusting all walls, baseboards, trims and window sills, followed by a thorough wipe down with a wet rag.
4. Protect Edges
Protect any trims, sills, or baseboards with painter’s tape. This tape, which comes in blue or green, should be removed only after your finished painted walls are dry to the touch. Short strips of tape, as opposed to long strips, reduce the risk of ripping off paint when they’re removed.
5. Down Drop-Sheet
To protect your floors or carpeting, put a drop-sheet on the floor adjacent to the wall you are preparing to paint. This protects against unexpected spills or splatters of paint. While the best drop-sheets are made of thick canvas, plastic drop sheets are also acceptable, but do not absorb paint.
Part III: The Painting
1. Prime Your Walls
Despite what friends may tell you, previously painted walls still require primer before the application of a new coat of paint. Primer ensures maximum sheen and coverage, giving your finished product a more uniform appearance. To begin, use a brush to outline and cut in before you start rolling.
2. Then Paint Your Walls
After giving your paint a thorough stir, pour some into a separate paint tray to prevent dirt or dust from contaminating the can. Use a brush to cut in from the wall’s edges before switching to the roller. Take your time.
Wait for your wall to dry before applying a second coat.
3. Enjoy Your New Room
Once your walls have dried, move your furniture back in, open the windows and enjoy your new room!