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OVERVIEW

 

The hardest part about painting a room is the prep work - patching holes, sanding and scraping, removing hardware, etc., etc. Before you get out your paintbrushes, spend some quality time prepping the room. It is the secret to achieving professional results. Our tutorial on interior paint prep will walk you through the necessary steps.

Now you are ready to paint, right? Start by selecting the colors you want to paint the room as well as the surface type (gloss, semi-gloss, eggshell or flat). Generally ceilings are painted flat white. Walls are frequently painted eggshell or flat. However you might choose a semi-gloss for a kitchen or a child's room - it is usually easier to wipe off. Woodwork is usually painted with an oil-base semi-gloss, which tends to have better expansion and contraction properties. When you go to the store to get your paint, don't forget the primer. You will need to prime any new construction or patched areas.

If you are painting a room with all new materials (drywall and woodwork) you need to start with a coat of primer on everything. Follow the rolling and brushing techniques below to apply a coat of primer to the walls and woodwork. This will seal the surfaces and provide a more thorough coverage of the final coats of paint. If you are painting over a previously painted surface, you only need to prime patched or repaired areas, for example drywall patches or woodwork repairs.

 

 

Skill Level & Time to Complete

 
  • Beginner - 6 to 8 hours 
  • Intermediate - 5 to 7 hours
  • Advanced - 4 to 6 hours
  - When taking a break, don't leave your brushes or rollers sitting in paint. Cover trays with a damp rag.
  - When you accidentally drip paint on an adjacent surface, wipe it off immediately. Otherwise it can start to dry and will be much more difficult to remove later.
  - Brushes and rollers can last through many projects if properly cared for. Clean them thoroughly. Wrap and store brushes in a paper towel to help them maintain their cutting edge.
  - When painting with dramatically different colors, apply the lighter color first and the darker color last.
  - If you use a good, stain blocking primer, you can usually get away with 1 finished coat of paint.
  - For overnight breaks, you can wrap your brushes and rollers in plastic wrap and put them in the freezer. Tightly seal cans and clean trays.



SHOPPING LIST


Materials List
   Latex primer
   Oil-base primer
   Ceiling paint
   Wall paint
   Trim paint
   Masking tape
 
Tools List
   Paint brushes
   Paint roller covers
   Paint extension pole
   Paint tray
   Paint stirrer
   Drop cloths
   Step ladder

 

1. Rolling tips. Here are some general painting tips when using a roller. Dip your roller in the paint tray and then roll it back and forth on the ridged part of the tray. This squeezes out excess paint and evenly spreads the paint all the way around the roller.
2. When painting, start with diagonal or zigzag strokes to get the paint on the surface.
3. Then go back over the area with longer, up and down strokes to even out the surface.
4. Paint each surface in blocks of roughly 4 feet by 4 feet. Paint adjacent blocks before each previous block dries. This will blend the edges together and help prevent lap lines. When using glossier paints, paint smaller areas at a time. Glossier paints have a greater tendency to show lap lines.
5. Brushing tips. When painting molding and woodwork with a brush, you can mask off adjacent areas that you do not want to paint (for instance window panes). Use wide masking tape along the edge you want to maintain.

 

6. With a little practice you can learn to "cut" in your paint edge and avoid the hassle of masking things off. With a steady hand, guide the brush along the surface you are painting, allowing a few bristles to overlap the adjacent surface by about 1/16". Strive for a smooth, even line. Paint with the grain of the wood. Use short strokes to coat the surface with paint, the go back over the area with longer, smoother strokes for an even, finished surface.
7. Paint that room! The order in which to paint a room is essentially top to bottom. That means start with the ceiling, then do the walls and finally paint all the woodwork. To paint a ceiling, begin by painting the edge of the ceiling along the walls with a brush. Paint out about 2" to 3" onto the ceiling. This will provide an area to overlap with the roller.
8. The easiest way to paint a ceiling is with a roller and an extension handle. This allows you to stand on the floor while you paint. If need be, you can use a stepladder, but it is much slower going and awkward. Start in the corner of the room and work your way across the narrowest dimension of the room with a band about 4 feet wide. Continue back and forth across the room until you are finished.
9. When the ceiling is dry, you can start painting the walls. Start by using a brush to paint corners, ceiling lines and areas adjacent to woodwork. Paint one entire wall or area at a time.
10. Use the roller and work your way across the room, from the ceiling down to the baseboards.

 

11. When the walls are dry, you can start to paint the woodwork. This will probably be the most time consuming part of the project and requires a fair amount of patience. Use a good sash brush. They are worth the extra cost. Paint with the grain of the wood. When painting windows, paint the sashes first. Then work your way down the window casing to the sill. Don't paint moving parts, like sash cords and pulleys, or the sash channels.
12. On raised panel doors, paint the panels first. Then work your way from the top to the bottom of the door.
13. If you desire, flat panel doors can be painted with a roller for quick application.

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