How to Paint a Room

Ruth D. Adamson

Does your area really feel a tiny… drab? Switching up your wall color in a trendy shade is the just one of the fastest ways to rehab a worn out area. And because it is really a venture most owners can tackle by themselves, it is really just one of the most reasonably priced, way too.

But as simple as painting sounds, there are some tips to the trade. Choose prep function, for instance. If you skip this important phase, you could conclusion up with a real issue on your hands — an undercoat that shows by means of or peeling paint. If you are painting latex more than oil, for instance, you’ll very likely get cracking, states Rachel Rothman, chief technologist and director of engineering at the Fantastic Housekeeping Institute. These kinds of errors not only acquire time to solution, but can also expense a considerable amount of funds if you have to retain the services of a specialist to correct your glitches.

Do not fret, though: As long as you’re employing the right materials and have a handle on the basic principles, you can be painting like a pro in no time at all. Here, we will split it all down for you, masking every thing from materials, to necessary prep, to rolling evenly, and even cleansing your brushes so you can transfer on to the next venture on your list. Follow these guidelines for specialist-hunting success:

one. Make a approach.

Just before you at any time decide on up a paint brush, you have to have a approach of assault. Believe of it sort of like cooking: You want to study the recipe all the way by means of in advance of you begin blindly throwing substances into the pot, normally, you may get midway by means of and know you’re lacking an important part.

Glimpse up: Does the ceiling have to have a refresh, way too? What about the trim? Take into consideration your alternatives on the partitions as nicely. Will you be employing just one color — or do you want to attempt painting with two hues (an accent wall, maybe)?

blue paper color swatch on blue colored background

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2. Pick the excellent color.

When it will come to paint shades, the alternatives are boundless. It can be a lucky issue: Though you can inevitably come across just what your’e hunting for, landing on the right hue can be quite the course of action. To guidebook your look for, begin by pondering about what you eventually want. Do you visualize a warm or a amazing shade? Does your area warrant a daring color, or would a neutral be a lot more proper? When you have a standard thought of the direction you want to go in, you can get started sifting by means of paint chips.

But never rely on the tiny square to make a closing conclusion: When on the wall, paint can seem really various than it does on the sample card! Shades often seem brighter at the time on the wall, and the mild in your space can have a remarkable influence on the way the color reads. Select a couple of finalists, then order sample cans.

3. Paint a sample swatch.

When you have sample cans in hand, paint swatches on the wall. To give you a superior thought of how the color will seem in your area, paint two coats of color in a twelve-inch-by-twelve-inch square. If your space has equally sunny and shady places, it is really wise to set swatches in equally places, as this can have an effect on the closing seem.

Alternatively, you can paint two coats on to a foam board (available at any craft or office environment supply retailer) and tape it to the wall. This is a terrific solution for all those who never intend to get started right away, as you would not have to live with random color streaks on your partitions.

Professional tip: Use an low-cost foam brush for this form of sample painting. This way, you would not filthy a ton of brushes or squander funds.

4. Work out how a great deal paint you have to have.

When analyzing how a great deal paint to get, lots of merchants have practical calculators you can use. Usually double verify packaging, but in standard, a gallon is about superior for 250 to 400 square toes, states Rothman. And never neglect: You are going to have to have a tiny additional for touch-ups and errors.

five. Assemble the right resources.

Nevertheless the area and size of what your painting will straight impact the precise list of materials you have to have, it is really a superior thought to stock your toolkit with some mixture of the pursuing objects:

  • Painter’s tape
  • Fall cloths
  • Paint brushes (equally angled and straight)
  • Paint roller
  • Paint tray
  • Stir stick
  • Paint

    Other worthy investments: An extension pole, so you can stash away the ladder just after the edging phase a paint-can opener and a pour spout to reduce mess.

    ghi how to paint a room

    six. Prep the space for painting.

    • First, dry-dust the partitions ground to ceiling and scrub any additional-dirty parts with a moist sponge or cloth paint would not adhere as nicely to a filthy area (imagine fingerprints, soot, dust, cobwebs). Let dry in advance of you paint.
      • Guard the ground and any furniture you are not able to (or never want to) transfer, from paint splatters and spills. For the ground, select fabric drop cloths as an alternative of plastic kinds, as plastic can be slick less than your toes or, worse, the ladder.
        • Remove outlet and mild switch plates and tape around any places you never want painted (this sort of as moldings, baseboards, or window frames) with painter’s masking tape or Frog Tape. The Fantastic Housekeeping Institute attempted the latter on a sleek wall and found that it will make a crisp line and doesn’t enable paint bleed by means of.

          ghi how to paint a room

          seven. Prime the wall (or never with our useful trick).

          A little bit of a hinderance when you’re seeking to paint a space in just one day: Portray more than a dim wall with a mild color (or masking stains) involves a coat of primer and two coats of paint — and at minimum 6 hours of drying time. (If you are in a tremendous humid space or painting the exterior on a humid day it will acquire a a great deal lengthier, notes Rothman.)

          That’s why GHI recommends Benjamin Moore Aura, a self-priming paint (it is really a expense-productive solution if you ended up planning on getting primer). Going from mild to mild? You can get away with two coats of superior-high-quality frequent paint.

          eight. Mix the paint.

          Nevertheless the retailer frequently shakes the paint for you, a respectable stir will make certain your paint is properly combined. This is significantly important if the can has been sitting down on a shelf for any size of time. Nevertheless an optional phase, you can also pressure the paint, states Rothman. “It’s simpler to get rid of impurities from the paint can, somewhat than owning them on your wall and owning to correct it afterwards.”

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          nine. Get rolling!

          Now you’re completely ready for the principal occasion. If you’re painting a space with two hues — stripes, for instance — begin with the lighter color first, states Rothman. When it’s dry, run painter’s tape more than the divider, then paint the darker color.

          If you’re painting a space just one color, here’s how with a roller and a brush, according to the execs:

          • Use an angled brush or a sponge instrument to “slash in,” or paint a two-inch swath around the edges of woodwork and the ceiling. (Do not neglect: These places should really be taped off, as discussed in phase five.)
          • Grab your paint tray and a roller. Use one/4-inch nap for sleek surfaces, 3/eight-inch nap for semi-sleek, or five/eight-inch nap for tough — the mistaken instrument will utilize way too a great deal or way too tiny paint. If employing a latex paint, pre-moist the roller first, states Rothman.
          • Fill the nicely of the paint tray about ¼ of the way. Then, when loading the paint, roll the roller back again and forth in the nicely until it is uniformly included. Lastly, transfer the roller back again and forth in the higher portion to get rid of any excessive.
          • Fill in the central unpainted area employing the roller. Paint the wall in overlapping W- or M-shaped strokes for the most even paint distribution.
          • Let the first coat dry at minimum a few of hours, then coat once more. In between coats, protect the tray and brush with plastic wrap touching the paint area, and refrigerate.

            Professional tip: Have a moist rag useful to wipe fresh new splatters. Scrape off dried drips with a credit rating card or plastic spatula.

            ghi how to paint a room

            10. Finish and clean up.

            • Rinse your paintbrush and roller (if you never toss it) less than a faucet until the drinking water runs clear.
            • Decant the tray’s leftover paint back again into the can seal the can tightly by putting a paper towel more than the lid and tapping the lid edges with a hammer. Rinse the tray.
            • When the brush’s bristles are entirely dry, slip the brush back again into its initial paper wrapper to keep the bristles from fanning out, or attempt this Diy correct: Fold a thick piece of paper around the bristles tape to protected.
            • Remove masking tape in advance of you call it a night, pulling it off at a forty five-diploma angle to avoid tearing the end.

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