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How To A Paint A Room Like A Pro

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Of all the Do-It-Yourself projects the handy homeowner can take on, properly painting a room is probably one of the easiest. Here are the materials you’ll need as well as tips and techniques to make your finished room appear as if you had hired professionals.

Paint: A gallon of latex paint is enough for one coat on the walls most rooms up to 10 by 15 feet. If the room is larger, you will want to consider more. Read our How To Select Paint Finishes to help you decide, and read other articles and see magazines to determine the correct color and the trim color for your room.

{category_img id=8457 type=small align=right link=yes}Painter’s Masking Tape: Painter’s tape is a low adhesive tape that is essential for the novice painter. Unless you have an especially steady hand, when you get to the sections where the wall meets the ceiling or the baseboard, using painter’s tape will save you a world of headaches in the end. If you do not plan to finish within a day or so, buy masking tape rated for a longer time period. If you are painting stripes or different colors a take with an edge locking ingredient is called for. When sticking to a delicate surface, there are maksing tapes for them too.

{category_img id=12236 type=small align=right link=yes}Paint Roller & Tray Set: Choose a roller cover by nap or pile. For latex or water-based paints, you can use all-purpose rollers with a medium nap, which are about nine inches in width. For rough surfaces or older homes with uneven walls, your best bet will be to use a paint roller with a higher nap. This will ensure that the paint will cover the varying texture of the walls evenly.

{category_img id=17247 type=small align=right link=yes}Paint Brushes: Along with the roller, you will need a couple of paint brushes, preferably 2″ or 3″ in width, and you’ll want to use brushes marked for the kind of paint you’re using, which will probably be latex for an interior paint job. Avoid buying economy priced brushes. Economy paint brushes are not well tipped and may even lose bristles as you paint. You will not get a smooth finish and may have to pull loose bristles off of the painted wall or trim. Spending a little more on good quality synthetic fiber brushes is worth the few extra dollars.

{category_img id=47299 type=small align=right link=yes}Paint Tray Liners: Many of our roller trays have plastic inserts that are available to match. For a couple of dollars you will keep your reusable paint tray clean so you can just toss the liners when you’re done rather than having to scrub out your paint tray.

Ladder: A secure ladder will help you get to those places where the wall meets the ceiling. Even if you can reach it comfortably, a ladder will get you that much closer and make the task easier. And it’s great to have around your home when changing light bulbs, hanging fixtures, putting up window treatments and so much more.

{category_img id=50427 type=small align=right link=yes}Tarps or Drop Cloths: Fine splatters can be caught by old sheets. Drips and spills can not. It is best to cover your furniture with light plastic drop cloths and your floor, because you will be walking on it during the pain job, with heavier tarps.

OPTIONAL:

{category_img id=51057 type=small align=right link=yes}Ceiling Paint: If you are painting a room where the ceiling looks fine, than repainting it is an option. If it is scuffed, marked, stained or discolored in any way you will want to repaint it. If staining exists you should track down the cause of the stain, i.e. a leak in a bathroom vanity upstairs. Cure the cause and kill the stain before continuing.

{category_img id=11626 type=small align=right link=yes}Primer: If you are painting a dark surface with a lighter color, or covering stains, or painting a wall for the first time, you’ll need to use primer first. The primer will act as a block so that the old color doesn’t bleed through and will help the new paint adhere to the wall.

{category_img id=49320 type=small align=right link=yes}Disposable Gloves: While these are not absolutely necessary, it’s nearly impossible to paint a room without getting paint on you and your clothing so using gloves will help with the cleanup.

Let’s get started. Move your furniture to the middle of the room or better yet, move it out of the room if you can. Place your drop cloths over any furniture in the room and tarps or runners on the floor and along the walls all around the room. Using the painter’s tape, tape all around the room where the walls meet the baseboard and ceiling. If you haven’t removed the outlet covers do so. Tape the edge spacers of those as well. Open your paint, put on your gloves, and stir the paint a few times to make sure the color is even. Pour some paint into the tray. You’ll want enough in the tray to fill the deepest section without going over; make sure there’s about in an inch of space left. Dip the roller into the paint tray and move it back and forth to ensure that the paint covers the roller fully. As you lift the roller, there should be enough paint so that the roller is covered, but not so much that there are large drips. Use the grin and sides of the tray to remove any excess paint from the roller. With practice, you’ll quickly be able to gauge how to dip your roller into the paint to get the correct amount.

Start your painting in the middle of the room, in the middle of the wall and move the roller up and down in a W formation until most of the paint is on the wall instead of the roller. Continue painting in this manner, going over the sections where the paint is thinnest on the wall. Where the paint is thicker, roll over it a few times to distribute the paint evenly checking for drips. As you paint around the room, leave an inch or more from the ceiling, baseboards and corners; you’ll tackle those areas later with the brush.

Once the entire room is painted, you can now take on those areas you missed. You’ll want to do this as soon as possible to avoid a situation known as “banding”, where the paint looks differently in those areas. Banding can happen if the paint on the wall fully dries before the other areas are done. Dip your brush about halfway into your paint can or tray, pushing the excess paint off against the sides. When the brush has a nice coating of paint without dripping, paint your surface in slow, even strokes, making sure to blend well with the paint already on the wall. When you reach the surfaces with the painter’s tape, paint right over the tape in slow strokes, making sure not to go completely over the tape to avoid painting the surfaces you want to keep clear.

Latex paint dries quickly so you’ll want to remove the painter’s tape once the walls are dry to the touch. Work slowly! Pull the tape back over itself in a slow and deliberate motion. Pulling the tape off too soon may allow paint to drip or smudge onto the surfaces you don’t want to be painted; pulling it off too fast or too late after the paint dries may cause some of the paint to come off the wall along with the tape.

Getting the right tools together and taking your time will always ensure a perfect paint job every time.

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