How to Properly Paint a Wall | 6 EASY STEPS
Updated: Aug 24
Use these simple steps to successfully paint the interior walls of your home and transform the space.
Welcome fellow DIY-er! So, you’re ready to re-paint your walls but you’re not really sure where to begin? Or maybe this isn’t your first rodeo but you’re in need of a little recap. Well don’t you worry, I will have you painting like a pro in no time. Lucky for you, painting a wall can be pretty straight forward as long as you have the right guidance.
Before we jump in I am going to gift you with my number one piece of advice when it comes to painting a wall. Say it with me now – PREPARATION. Closely followed by a little reminder that Rome was not built in a day – TAKE YOUR TIME it may take longer than you think. If you are going to take anything from this guide, this is what I want you to remember. As long as your surface is properly prepared and you don’t rush – then you my friend have got this!
Continue reading for a full guide on how to paint a wall successfully.
1) PLAN OF ATTACK - Figure out your vision for your project. Remember that this space is going to be a reflection of you and your home. What is the room going to be used for? Think about the furniture that will be in the room. Do you want an accent wall? Is there a lot of natural light in the room? Remember, warm or cool and bright or neutral colors can make a room feel completely different, think about this. Take your time looking through color fan decks or online previews.
2) THE FUN PART – COLOR - Once you have narrowed down your aesthetic and general color you have in mind. I always recommend grabbing a few sample paints and applying swatches to the wall, waiting for them to dry and then making your final decision. Some colors look different in person and you want to be 100% sure you’re going to be in love with your new space. Don’t forget to figure out how much of each color you will need.
3) THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB – Here’s what you’ll need:
Quality* Paint Paint Brushes Paint roller
Paint roller sleeve Paint roller extension pole
Step ladder Drop cloths Paint pan
Paint pan lining Sandpaper Putty knife
*a quality paint will usually be more expensive but for the best results it is highly recommended.
4) PREP PREP PREP – As mentioned, this step is critical to ensure success with your project. Ensure you cover any furniture or carpet with drop cloths – trust me paint can have a mind of its own and even if you are the most careful painter, paint will most likely splash. Start off by cleaning the wall. I recommend dusting the surface and then using a sponge and water to get rid of any residue. Next, if you have a steady hand or maybe an artistic streak I recommend NOT using tape for the “Cut in” (where the wall meets the trim and crowning etc). In my opinion, if you take your time and use a smaller paint brush, (I recommend a two-inch paintbrush) skipping the tape gives a much cleaner finish and saves you time. However, if you want to be safe apply tape to the trims, crowning, door frames and any other areas that meet the wall you are painting. You can use a putty knife to ensure it is as flat as possible. Lightly sand and smooth the area with sand paper making sure the surface is as even as possible. IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO DO A FULL PREP INCLUDING PATCHING, CAULKING AND PRIMING CHECK OUT OUR POST ON HOW TO PROPERLY PREP A SURFACE HERE:
5) LET’S GET PAINTING – It is important to mix your paint thoroughly with a wooden paint stick which you should get when receiving your paint (you might have to ask). Don’t forget to continue doing this periodically throughout the project. Carefully pour a portion of the paint into a lined roller pan. Dip the roller sleeve gently into the pan so a coating of paint is covering one side but it is not submerged. Roll it back and forth slowly until there is a solid layer of paint on the entirety of the sleeve. With light pressure start an up and down motion covering about 8 inches of wall at a time until the paint is layering nicely. To avoid streaks, focus on small areas at once and let the roller do the work. Ensure to not go too close to the edges, as a more intricate paint brush should be used here. When you have finished rolling you should have a gap of a few inches around the edge of the wall. Take a small to medium sized paint brush and carefully paint the remainder of the wall, again with an up and down motion. You can immediately use a wet rag to wipe away any mistakes you may make at any point.
6) REPEAT – When the walls are completely covered and look uniform allow for drying time and repeat with another coat. I recommend at least two coats to ensure a solid color. Often lighter shades will need a third coat depending on the previous wall color. Throughout the project ensure the room is well ventilated, if you have a fan lying around whip it out - this will speed up drying time. When you are finished painting ensure to allow at least 24 hours of drying time before fully cleaning up and putting back artwork or furniture etc.
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