I’m in painting mode here at Dogs Don’t Eat Pizza HQ. I’m painting our guest room to turn it into our master bedroom. So today I thought I’d share with you my top five tips for painting a room.
1. Gather your supplies.
As with most projects, preparation is key. The first thing you want to do, before even opening the paint can, is to gather your painting supplies. Here are my favorite painting supplies. (Note: I have included affiliate links here. That way, you can find and buy the product easily! For my full disclosure policy, please click here.)
A good paintbrush is key to ensuring good coverage and an even finish. I would encourage you not to be tempted by the inexpensive big bags of brushes. This is definitely a case of “you get what you pay for.”
My favorite brush is this one:
I also love this brush for painting along trim or wall edges.
If you are painting a wall, you are also going to need roller covers. These are my faves:
You should also have a roller tray. Get a metal roller tray like this:
You will also need a paint key to open the paint can (usually given to you free with your paint purchase) and a stir stick. If you forgot to get a stir stick with your paint, you can use a ruler or, my favorite stir-stick-substitute, chopsticks! I always keep the free chopsticks we get with Chinese food because they make great paint stirrers in a pinch!
Lastly, you need a drop cloth, which leads to my next tip…
2. Cover up.
I don’t care if you are the Picasso of wall-painting. You are going to get paint on the floor, on yourself, on the furniture…you get the idea…if you don’t cover them.
Drop cloths are inexpensive:
You also need to cover the holes and imperfections in the wall before painting. You’ll need spackle for this. I like this one, because it’s pink but it turns white when it’s dry:
3. To tape or not to tape?
Different people have different thoughts about whether you should tape off the trim, doors, windows, etc.
When I first started painting rooms, I taped off everything. As I’ve gotten more skilled, and more patient, with painting, I have taped less and less. Do what makes you most comfortable. If you are worried about staying “in the lines” around the trim, ceilings, and floor, then definitely tape those off using a good quality painters tape. If you are patient and confident in your painting abilities, it’s less necessary.
4. Now open the paint!
OK – once the prep is over, it’s time to paint.
I paint the trim first, then the walls. I confess that I’ve done it both ways, but I prefer the trim first method (I think because I don’t like painting trim – I like to get it out of the way!).
I pour a little paint into a plastic cup for my brush work (trim, edges) – that way, I don’t have to lug the paint can up and down the ladder.
For both your brush and your roller, do not overload them with paint! You may think that more is more, but, in this case, less is more. Put paint on your roller or brush and then take some off. With the brush, scrape the brush along the side of the paint can or cup; with the roller, roll it along the top, textured part of the roller tray to get some paint off the roller before applying to the wall. Doing this will minimize glumps and drips on the wall.
Do the “cut work” first – paint along the ceiling and trim first, before rolling.
That way, you can use the roller to blend the paint at the edge with the rest of the paint. Do this in three-foot sections, to ensure the paint isn’t drying before you can go over it with the roller.
When painting with a roller, apply the paint to the wall first in a “W” pattern, then fill in the spaces in the W. This will ensure more even coverage.
In between coats, you don’t have to wash your brush or change your roller. You can wrap them in plastic wrap or put them in a plastic bag and tie or zip it closed and put it in the fridge. They’ll be still wet and just fine to keep painting when you’re ready for that second coat!
5. Remove tape while paint is still wet, and clean up!
You’ve painted the room! The walls look awesome! The trim is gleaming! Now what?
First, if you have taped off anything, remove the tape while the paint is still wet. This will minimize paint bleeding under the tape.
Second, if you are finished painting, clean your brushes. Use mild dish soap and water and leave on a folded-up piece of newspaper to dry. For dried-on paint, soak the brush in hot vinegar and then rinse well.
A few bonus tips:
1. Keep a rag or wet towel handy to clean up any drips.
2. While painting, I like listening to music or a TV show that isn’t going to distract me into watching it. Happy music makes painting go faster!
3. Keep the environment in mind while painting. Use no-VOC, no-odor paint, and try to use recyclable materials (as noted above).
4. If you are reusing old paint you had stored in the garage, for example, check it before you use it to make sure it’s still good. To do this, stir the paint well. If there are clumps of solid stuff on the bottom of the can, the paint is bad and you should not use it. If you can stir it, reintegrate the color, and there aren’t any clumps, you are good to go.
5. Have fun and be proud of your job well done!
For more posts about painting, click HERE.