How to Paint a Room

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Painting your walls can transform the look and feel of your home. You can make a small room look substantially bigger by using light colors or you can create a mood based on the paint color of your choice. To paint a room, start with the ceiling and then paint the walls. Finish with the trim.

Things You'll Need

  • Paintbrushes
  • Interior Paints
  • Primers
  • Power Rollers
  • Drop Cloths
  • Ladders
  • Paint Rollers
  • Light-grit Sandpaper
  • Paint Roller Pans
  • Household Rags
  • Prepare the walls and ceiling (see 'eHow to Prepare a Room for Painting'). Use a stain-blocking primer to cover any dark mark you can't remove (stains, knots, ink, dark paint); otherwise, that area will bleed through. Never paint on wallpaper (see 'eHow to Remove Wallpaper').

  • Make sure there is adequate ventilation in the room.

  • Plan on three coats: one coat of primer and two coats of finish. Always use primer on patched and unpainted surfaces; raw surfaces suck up paint like a sponge - or reject it.

  • Paint into all the corners with a 2-inch or 3-inch paintbrush. Use the same brush to outline where the ceiling meets the wall (and vice versa), around doors and windows, above the baseboard and around any other trim or detailing - and wherever a paint roller won't fit.

  • Pour some paint into the roller pan and roll away on the ceiling and then the walls. Pour only a small amount of paint in your roller pan - this will keep the paint from drying out before you can use it.

  • Try to start rolling before the brushed-on paint has had time to dry, so that the rolled-on paint will blend in rather than become a second coat. Rolling out a W, about 3 feet wide, and then filling it in, assures an even application of paint. Get as close into the corners as you can without making a messy paint line.

  • Paint from dry areas into wet. This will help reduce any paint ridges. Feather (thin out) all edges as you go, whether using a brush or a roller; this will also help reduce ridges.

  • Cover cans or buckets when you're not using them. Keep a rag and brush handy to deal with drips, spills and the general messiness of the process. If a drip becomes too dry to spread out, let it dry. Come back later, sand it and paint over it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear old clothes and a hat.
  • If you have mildew, consider adding a specially designed primer or an additive to your paint.
  • If you use anything other than water-based latex paint, never put paint-soaked or cleaner-soaked tools or rags in an enclosed area of any kind - even a trash can with a lid. This is a recipe for spontaneous combustion.
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