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woman with brown hair in ponytail painting a wall with paint roller

Room Refresh: How to Paint Walls Like a Pro

Nothing refreshes and brightens a room like a new coat of paint.

If you’ve been dreaming of a new color in your living room or refreshing your bedroom’s walls, look no further. Here are some tips on painting a room like a pro.

Get Organized

Before you start opening paint cans, do yourself a favor and get organized first. You’ll get done faster and make fewer mistakes if you’re prepared.

Move furniture out of the room, or at least move it all to the middle of the room and cover it with drop cloths. Also, cover the floor with drop cloths, and designate one spot where you can gather your tools and supplies.

Repair Damage

If you have any peeling or flaking paint, scrape or sand the area smooth before you paint over it. Dents, holes, chips, or cracks should be fixed before you start painting. Small imperfections can be patched with spackling compound, but if you have larger areas that need to be fixed, you’ll have to use a new piece of drywall.

Allow the patches to dry, and then sand the area smooth and wipe away any dust with a damp sponge.

Prep the Space

You need to remove anything that you don’t want to paint. That includes outlet or switch covers, wall sconces, or any other wall fixtures or attachments. To keep track of screws, tape them to the back of the covers or fixtures with masking tape.

Using painters tape, mask off window and door frames, baseboards, ceiling moldings, and any other woodwork that you don’t want to get paint on. Make sure your surfaces are clean and dry.

Get the Materials Ready

Have all of your paint brushes, rollers, an extension pole, paint cans, a stepping stool, and any other materials together in one area. Once you start painting, you don’t want to have to stop to find something.

Paper towels and damp cloths are a good idea to have on hand in case you make a mistake or need to wipe up paint. Also, have a couple of plastic grocery bags or sandwich bags to wrap your paint brushes in case you need to step away. Plastic will keep the paint from drying in your brush.

Start Painting

You’ll want to start with a brush and paint around all of your taped off surfaces and in corners. These are all the areas that your paint rollers won’t go.

Now it’s time for the paint roller! Pour some paint into a roller tray. Using a 12-inch roller, dip it into the paint halfway and then use the tray’s angled side to remove excess paint.

As you paint, work in areas of about 3 to 4 feet. Instead of straight up and down, try working in a ‘W’ pattern, overlapping as you go. And remember to always work from the top down so that you can see and correct any drips or runs as you work.

Depending on the paint you choose and how dark it is, you may need to do a second coat to get a uniform color.

Finishing Up

Remove painters tape carefully so that it doesn’t pull up any paint. You can blast it with hot air from a hair dryer or heat gun to help loosen it.

Make sure that you thoroughly clean your brushes to remove all traces of the paint so that you can use them again. Roller sponges are pretty inexpensive, so those can be thrown away.

Now put everything back up on the walls, uncover the furniture, and enjoy your beautiful new room!

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