There are many ways to freshen up a room, or give it a complete makeover. The most cost effective and dramatic way is to simply add new paint. Perhaps you’re leery of painting because of the work it may take, poor results you’ve achieved in the past, or the lack of knowing how to achieve great results. Keep reading as we share our tips on how to paint a room that will ensure you achieve professional results!
Tap the video below to see how to paint a room with step by step directions.
How To Paint A Room | Prep Work
If you’re going to go to the trouble and time of painting a room, it really is key to do some prep work, otherwise it’s likely you’ll be unhappy with mediocre results.
Prepping to paint a room may take just as long or longer than it does to actually paint a room. Planning for the extra time to properly prep for painting a room will ensure you’ll achieve professional results!
Begin by removing all decor, outlet and light switch covers from the room. Using a power drill really helps speed up this process.
(I love our cordless Ryobi cordless drill because it’s light weight and easy to use!)
This little Miss has been SO excited to finally start on her bedroom makeover! She’s ready for a more mature room, with plenty of space to create and store her craft supplies.
It didn’t hurt that we let her help with the power tools and painting either!
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Visual Inspection | Prepping Nail Holes
It’s important to visually inspect the room once all of the decor has been removed. Make note of nail holes that will need to be filled in, and any areas where caulking has cracked, or there is loose paint.
For filling in nail holes, we prefer to use Dry Dex spackling. It goes on pink, and dries white, making it really easy to know when it’s dry.
When spackling, less is more!
Use a small putty knife and press a small amount into the nail hole. Then holding the putty knife on an angle, scrape it flush with the wall to remove any excess product.
This step really helps minimize smoothing out the spackling job once dried.
To get a smooth finish take a damp washcloth and gently wipe away any remaining spackling around the hole. (You can also lightly sand if you prefer.)
Prepping For Caulk
Scan the room for any areas where the caulk has separated from the wall or is cracked.
Take a small putty knife and scrape the edge of the wall and/or trim work to remove any lose paint. Wipe clean with a damp washcloth.
Run a new bead of caulk along the seam and smooth out with your finger. Excess caulk is easily removed with a damp washcloth.
Allow to dry per specific brand directions before painting.
Supplies Needed For Prep Work
How To Paint A Room In The Correct Order
To achieve professional results, you do want to paint in a specific order. Beginning with all trim work, then the ceiling, and last the walls.
It’s easier and faster to tape off or mask the trim work than to tape off the walls. And you really don’t want to waste the time masking them both off!
How To Paint Trim Work & Cut In
Beginning at the base boards, carefully apply painters tape to protect the flooring.
(We love using frog tape! We always get nice crisp lines and great results!)
If possible apply painters tape under the base boards. This will help protect carpet or other hard flooring from paint!
To begin painting the base boards use a large putty knife to insert underneath the base boards while cutting in. This provides an extra measure of protections from paint getting on the flooring.
Working in small areas at a time, insert the putty knife under the base boards (if possible) and cut in with an angled paint brush.
Paint the top edge of the base board above the putty knife. Be sure to smooth out the paint that gets onto the wall. Then paint the front surface.
Move the putty knife to the next area and repeat until all base boards have been painted.
Using the same angled paint brush, cut in all of the corners and ceiling.
(If you’re not planning to paint the ceiling, apply painters tape to mask off the ceiling first. Scroll below to see our trick to cutting in at the ceiling (especially if applying a different color). You’ll get nice crisp lines every time!)
Apply paint about 2″ wide or about the width of the brush. This will allow space for the roller to get close to the wall without transferring paint onto the adjoining wall.
Also paint a 2″ area around all outlets and light switches.
PRO TIP: The paint surface that has been cut in will need to be rolled while it is still wet. This will help the brushed and rolled areas to blend better and prevent brush strokes.
If painting a large space you may need to work in small sections, cutting in and rolling. For this bedroom we were able to cut in all of the walls and ceiling before we began rolling.
How To Paint A Room Using A Roller
If you’re planning to paint the ceiling it’s important to do this before painting the walls.
While rolling the ceiling there may be paint splatter or drips that can get onto the wall surface. These are easily wiped away with a damp washcloth.
To prevent splatter or drips, don’t overload your roller and be sure roll slowly. Paint splatter is much more likely when rolling quickly.
(If painting the walls a different color, allow paint to dry for a minimum of 24 hours before masking off the ceiling to paint the walls.)
After the ceiling has been rolled, the walls can be rolled.
Properly loading the roller with enough paint will help prevent the urge to “stretch” the paint as far as it can go, leaving walls looking patchy.
On the other hand, be careful to not overload the roller with too much paint. This will cause the roller to drag the paint instead of evenly applying it to the wall. If this happens, offload the paint from the roller onto a dry area of the wall and roll over the saturated area with a long even motion.
Take your time and cover the wall from top to bottom. Applying paint in a long even motion will help prevent any roller marks on the wall once dried.
PRO TIP: Be sure to complete painting a wall once you begin. It’s important to overlap the paint while it is still wet to create a smooth, even surface and color.
How To Paint A Room | Getting A Crisp Line At The Ceiling
For this bedroom makeover, we will be painting an accent wall. After allowing the other walls to dry for a minimum of 24 hours, we were able to apply the painters tape to the ceiling.
Use small strips of tape at a time to make it easier to work with.
PRO TIP: Paint a “bleed layer” of paint before applying wall color. Cut in the wall where it meets the ceiling with the ceiling paint color. Painting a textured surface like a ceiling will likely have some paint bleeding. By painting with the ceiling color first, any paint bleeding will match the ceiling.
After the “bleed layer” has been applied, allow it to dry to the touch before applying the wall color.
Cut in with the accent color at the ceiling, walls and base boards.
How To Paint A Room With An Accent Wall
Before painting the “bleed layer” we masked off the adjoining wall and base boards. Cut in the corners using an angled paint brush, again about the width of the paint brush, about 2″ wide.
Apply the accent color in the same way as the other walls.
Applying the paint in a long even motion really is key to preventing roller marks when dried.
* Immediately after rolling the wall, remove all painters tape. Removing painters tape while it is still wet will prevent any paint from tearing and pulling away vs. pulling it off after paint has dried.
And take a look at this nice crisp line! This tip of painting a “bleed layer” works every time!
(You can see how we used this method when we painted a striped ceiling in Mr. G’s teen bedroom.)
Supplies Needed For Painting
We hope you’ve learned a few helpful tips to painting a room with professional results. What methods or tips do you have when painting a room? We’d love to hear from you.
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Thanks for spending some time with us today!
And as always here at Sunny Side Design
WE HOPE TO BRING YOUR HOME TO THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET!