By CLARICE SMYTH
HOW TO PAINT A ROOM PROPERLY
How to properly paint a room? So many people have options on the particular project method for painting a room. Who is right?
Painting is one of the most used methods professionals and amateurs use to give a noticeable change to a space … quickly. If you are doing the painting yourself, it is economical too.
This is my painting method and the one I recommend to clients that I work with when they want to dip their brushes into a little DIY project.
There are 3 steps involved: Preparation, painting (how and the order), and clean-up.
It is presumed that all demo and additions are completed and painting is the final requirement. It is also presumed that the walls are sheetrock. Other materials may require a different method but the order should remain the same.
Also, it is presumed that you have put your patience on for a fabulous finished project.
STEP 1: PREPARATION
Proper preparation is key. It will save you time, frustration, and money. It will also render a better quality project when completed.
Remove all furnishings or group larger, those that cannot be moved out of the space, into the center of the room and cover with plastic and drop cloths.
It is always recommended to empty space. This allows for ease of painting ceilings and walls and eliminates the possibility of getting paint on the furniture.
Cover the floors with appropriate drop cloths or paper. If you are painting the ceiling, cover the entire floor. If you are only painting the walls and millwork then a minimum of 36” border around the room. It is easier to paint when you are not dragging a single drop cloth from area to area and there is a lot less clean-up in the end.
Tape of trim around, doors, windows, baseboards, and ceiling molding to avoid wall paint build up on the edges. Too much paint build-up can blur the crisp lines and details of trims/moldings and make the finished paint job look unprofessional. Remember the goal of a DIY is for it to look like you did NOT do it yourself.
Remove nails, fill any holes, sand, prime as needed, prime new sheetrock, caulk trim, and wipe down to remove any dust. Let the filler and primer dry before moving to the next step.
STEP 2: PAINT - HOW AND WHAT ORDER
You will need paint, stir sticks, drop cloths, paint brushes (flat and angle), roller, paint tray/Roller Pan, ladders, painter’s tape, a bucket of water, and disposable rags.
Also, I recommend shoe covers so that if you need to leave the space – which you will – you can wipe your feet/shoes and slip the covers on before going to other spaces in your home. I am all about minimizing clean-up.
Pick your paint brand, finish, and color. Typically you will choose semi-gloss for trim, and flat, eggshell, or satin for walls.
Have the paint store shake the paint and then stir it again before you start painting.
The order that I recommend is from the top down. If you are painting the ceilings, start there.
You will cut in with a brush, and fill with a roller on the ceiling and walls. Most surfaces generally will require two coats or more.
When painting a ceiling… I recommend painting from wall to wall in the longest length of a room for the first coat. Paint the second coat from wall to wall in the shortest width of the room. This tends to blend the roller lines for a full even coverage.
I have painted three coats on ceilings that are new or very old because they can tend to suck up the paint and look patchy.
When painting the walls… I recommend that the roller be defuzed with painter’s tape.
Cut in with a brush at the ceiling molding, baseboards, and corners of the wall you will be working on. It is important that the paint cut in have a wet edge for better blending.
Load the roller evenly by rolling it with even pressure along the ribs of the paint tray. Do not overfill the paint tray the ribs are there for this reason.
Start by applying the roller to the center of the wall and roll out from there in a V pattern. Reload the roller as needed.
Move to the next wall and repeat.
Remove painter’s tape gently when the wall has received its final coat of paint, before the paint completely dries. If the painter’s tape is left too long it can damage the paint finish when removed.
When painting the trim… The paint on the walls should be completely dry. Apply painter’s tape on the walls, outlining the trim, and press firmly in place. Let the paint dry between coats.
I recommend that a high-quality angle trim brush be used. For best application clean brush between coats, letting it completely dry. Another solution to cleaning the brush is to purchase multiples. Brushes can be wrapped in plastic to keep the paint wet but I have found the paint thickens on the bristles and the paint strokes become more visible.
After the trim has received the final coat of paint, and before the paint completely dries, gently remove the painter’s tape.
Clean as you go. If you drip or spill paint clean it up immediately. This is one of the purposes of the bucket of water and rags.
When using latex paint, clean brushes with water and a suitable mild soap. A paintbrush comb is a helpful tool in cleaning brushes well. Hang to dry completely. Do not leave brushes to soak as this can destroy the integrity of the brush causing it to perform poorly or fall apart.
If a liner was not used, wash the paint tray with water and a suitable mild soap. Tip: If you leave a slightly thicker coat of paint in the paint tray, and let it dry, it will generally peel off to reveal a clean pan underneath.
Any paint cans that have remaining unneeded paint, sit them in a safe place – out of reach of pets and children – and let the contents dry. Once dry dispose of the closed can appropriately.
Again, there are many opinions on how to paint a room. This is just my preferred method and I believe it renders a beautiful background for the finished interior design.
I hope sharing this may help you on your next painting project.
For more painting and design, tips check out other posts here in the Clarice Smyth Design Blog.