How to Paint a Room: Clare's Ultimate Guide

From paint prep to cleanup.

Clare | How To Paint A Room

You've found your perfect paint color and you're one step closer to a beautiful room. Now comes the fun part. Here’s everything you need to know to get started with your paint project, plus our top tips on how to paint a room.

Prep:

Proper preparation is the real secret to a flawless paint finish. Prepping for your paint job might feel tedious and time-consuming, depending on your space, but once it’s done, the rest will be a breeze.

Gather your tools

A professional-looking paint job requires premium tools. Quality painting supplies will help you achieve the best results with less effort, so you can tackle your paint project like a pro. The higher the quality, the better the results. Here’s everything you need.

Preparing your space

  • Move furniture away from walls toward the center of the room. Remove any art, nails, hooks, light switch plates, doorknobs, and outlet covers from walls.
  • Protect floors and furniture with a drop cloth. If you’re painting ceilings, you’ll need to protect your entire floor. Secure the edges of our plastic drop cloth to the floor with tape to keep it in place.
  • Use our Painter’s Washi Tape to protect your trim, as well as to protect your ceilings when painting walls, and vice versa. Apply your tape starting from the corner of a room, pressing down on the edges firmly to seal so paint doesn’t bleed through.

Preparing your walls

Painting over dirty or oily surfaces can cause the paint to chip or flake off, and cobwebs in the corner can cause the paint to ripple. Putting in a little extra prep time will pay off in the end and provide longer lasting results. Here's how to do it.

  • Sand over any rough spots or peeling paint using a 120-grit sanding sponge. (Scraping or sanding surfaces of older buildings, especially pre-1978, may release dust containing lead or asbestos. Check out our safety guide for more information on sanding.)
  • Fill any nail holes or blemishes with spackle. Once dry, sand until smooth.
  • Wipe down your walls to remove any dust, dirt, grime or debris. A little warm water and mild soap on a large, slightly damp sponge will do the trick. This will ensure a better bond between the surface and the paint.

Everything you need to know on how to get started with your newest paint project.

Getting set to paint

  • Give your color a good stir before pouring into your paint tray.
  • Our paint is low-odor, but we always recommend opening windows (if weather permits) to keep air flowing, and running an oscillating fan on low to help your paint dry faster. But try to avoid painting if it’s super hot or humid. Humidity will make paint dry slower, so you definitely don’t want windows open if its too muggy.

Paint:

Painting may seem like a no-brainer, but there’s actually a certain level of skill required to get the most flawless finish. Here's how to get the most professional finish.

Priming

Our paint is self-priming on most properly prepared surfaces. If you’re painting over a higher gloss finish or a darker color, or you want to minimize imperfections on your wall, we recommend using our Primer first and always doing two coats for the most professional look.

Cutting in

Before you roll paint onto your walls, you want to “cut in” using a 2” angled brush. This allows you to get into areas that are too tight for rollers, such as around baseboards and trim, and the edge where the wall meets the ceiling.

  • To load your paint brush, dip the bristles about ⅓ of the way into your paint, and gently tap it against the sides to remove excess paint. Brush should be fully loaded but never dripping. Start in the corners and apply your paint by dragging the tapered edge of your brush in a straight line using gentle pressure so the bristles flex slightly.
  • Use a downward stroke when painting vertically, or sideways strokes if you’re painting along the edge of the ceiling, baseboards or other horizontally-oriented trim.
  • Once you’re happy with your line, use quick, back and forth strokes to feather out the edge of your cut in area, which helps paint blend seamlessly when you move on to the rolling step.

Painting Ceilings

Always paint your ceilings before your walls, allowing your ceiling to dry for 24 hours before painting your walls.

  • Starting from a corner, use your 2” angled brush to cut in a 3- to 4-inch wide section around the perimeter of the ceiling where it meets the wall.
  • Next, start rolling onto the ceiling while your cut in section is still wet. Work quickly in small sections, rolling forward, then backward.
  • When rolling a ceiling, roll across the room in one consistent direction. When rolling your second coat, work in the opposite direction.

Painting Trim

Paint doors and window frames before painting baseboards, and all trim before painting your walls.

  • Use a 2” angled brush, in long, smooth strokes with gentle pressure along the length of your trim.
  • To minimize brush marks, work your brush back and forth, starting your stroke from the dry area, working back into the wet area.
  • After your final coat, remove tape and let trim dry thoroughly for 24 hours before painting your walls.

Rolling Walls

Before rolling, cut in around the edge of your ceiling, window frames, door frames and trim. It’s best to start rolling while your cut in area is still wet so the paint blends seamlessly.

  • Use a liner in your paint tray for easy cleanup and fill the well of your tray halfway, which leaves room to roll excess paint into the ribbed roll-off area.
  • For the most control and evenness, an extension pole is a must, since it allows you to apply your paint with the same pressure when moving from top to bottom. Keeping the pressure consistent throughout will ensure the paint dries evenly and the color looks its best.
  • To load your roller, dip your roller about ⅓ of the way into paint, gently rolling back and forth on the roll-off area of your tray. Your roller is properly loaded when it is fully saturated down to the core, but not dripping.
  • Roll the paint onto your wall starting close to the ceiling. Use long, diagonal strokes in a W-ish pattern so that your current paint stoke slightly overlaps with the stroke right before it. This is called keeping a “wet edge.” Just like it sounds, keeping a wet edge simply means that the edge of the painted area should not be allowed to dry, so you’re never painting wet paint over dry paint. This helps ensure a really even, consistent paint job.
  • Keep your roller well loaded and resist the urge to push the roller into your wall. Too much pressure will create streaks and compress your roller fibers making it more difficult to reload.
  • For best results, apply two coats of paint.

Dry and recoat times

Times will vary, but our paints products should be dry to the touch in 30-60 minutes. Recommended recoat time for Wall Paint & Trim Paint is 2-4 hours, and recommended recoat time for Ceiling Paint and Primer is 1-2 hours. High humidity or cool temperatures may result in longer dry and recoat times.

Everything you need to know on how to get started with your newest paint project.

Cleanup:

Our tools are high quality, which means they'll last you some time. But it all depends on how you care for and store them after each paint job...

Removing Tape

  • Remove tape approximately one hour after painting your final coat, when paint is just dry to the touch. Remove tape by gently tearing it off at a 45-degree angle.

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