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Basic Painting Tips on How to Paint a Room

Learn some of my basic painting tips on how to paint a room. The tips include ceiling, trim, and baseboard, perfect for beginners.

Do you want an inexpensive way to update a room? The solution is paint! It’s amazing what paint can do to a room. But maybe you want some help knowing how to paint or the process of painting a room. Here are my basic painting tips on how to paint a room in your home.

paint brush on top of paint can

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BASIC PAINTING TIPS ON HOW TO PAINT A ROOM


MATERIALS:

  • paint (one with primer is a great idea)
  • spackling paste or patch-n-paint
  • #220 grit sandpaper
  • paintable sealant (caulk)
  • Swiffer duster or rag

TOOLS:

You can print the material list and instructions below.

SIDE NOTE: The way I paint a room is with NO painters tape. I don’t want to take the time to apply it…

STEP 1: PREPPING THE ROOM

Before pulling out any paint, the room needs to be prepped. This is done by first removing items from the room then you prep the wall, ceiling, and trim:

  1. Wipe the walls and trim with a Swiffer duster (or rag) to remove the dust. If your walls or trim are really dirty wash them or if needed paint them with a primer.swiffer the wall before paint
  2. Patch all nail holes, dents, or paint clips with patch-n-paint (spackling paste). Make sure to sand smooth after dry time.patch n paint for wall
  3. Caulk (sealant) any seams or cracks, this is normally around baseboards and trim.apply caulk to baseboard before painting wall
  4. Remove all outlet and light switch covers. I like to remove anything that could be replaced like a light fixture if painting the ceiling.
  5. Sand the walls, trim, and ceiling so that any old paint drips or bumps are smooth.sanding wall before painting room
  6. Wipe the walls again with the Swiffer duster or cloth.
  7. Lay old sheets or dropcloths on the floor to protect them from paint.

STEP 2: PAINTING THE CEILING

If you need to paint the ceiling of a room, I would recommend painting it first before the wall.

Also, I would recommend using a flat or satin finish because anything else will make your ceiling very shinny.

Are you wondering how to open a can of paint? See the full tutorial on how to open and close a can of paint.

Here are the steps and tips for painting a ceiling:

  1. Starting with a paintbrush, cut in around all the edges of the ceiling plus into the walls about 3″. You do not need to be careful of the walls because you will be painting them later.
  2. Make sure you are not applying to much paint that it is dripping.
  3. Cut in around the lights too!
  4. With a paint roller and extension pole, load the roller with paint. Then starting in one corner, roll in one direction toward the opposite wall.
    • TIP: Don’t roll directly over your head but instead roll in a direction toward yourself.
  5. Do not roll in a “W” or “V” pattern but straight lines (I like to overlap my lines). Continue rolling until the entire ceiling is painted.
    • SIDE NOTE: Make sure to load more paint when needed, you should not be applying excessive presser to the roller to get more paint onto the ceiling. This is how you create paint lines.
  6. Let the paint dry according to your paint can.
  7. If you need a second coat, apply the coat the same way as steps 1-6 but when rolling apply the new coat in one direction but perpendicular to the first coat.

STEP 3: PAINTING TRIM AND BASEBOARDS

There are different ways to painting a room so remember this is what works for me and I like painting the trim and baseboards before the actual wall.

Also, most people recommend using a Semi-gloss or Gloss paint finish for trim and baseboards. But I like to use a Satin finish for everything, buy the finish you want!

Here are my steps and tips on painting trim and baseboards:

  1. Using an angled paintbrush plus a 12″ taping knife (normally used for drywall), paint the baseboards. This is my favorite way to paint a baseboard. Plus cut into the walls too about 3″.
  2. Using the same tools (if you need the taping knife), paint the door trim and window trim in the room. Plus again cut into the wall about 3″.
  3. Let the paint dry according to the can.
  4. Apply a second coat the same way if needed.
painting baseboards without tape

STEP 4: PAINTING THE WALLS

If you haven’t noticed yet, you always want to paint the edges and corners of any room first. It’s the same with walls but this time you need to be more careful not to get paint on the ceiling, trim, and baseboards.

rolling paint onto the wall

Here are my steps and tips on painting the walls:

  1. Using an edger tool or 2″ angled paintbrush, cut in around the ceiling, trim, and baseboards. Take your time during this step to only paint the wall.
    • TIP: I like to have wipes or a damp cloth close by to wipe up any unwanted paint on the ceiling, trim, or baseboards.
  2. Using a paintbrush, cut in around the corners of the walls and around the outlet/lightboxes about 3″. You are cutting in around anything that a roller cannot get to.
    • TIP: Smooth out the cut in area by lightly brushing to remove drips but also give you a feathered edge.
  3. With a paint roller and if needed an extension pole, load the roller with paint. Then start working from one top corner of the room. Break the height of the wall into three sections and apply paint in a “W” or “V” pattern to the top section of the wall. This will help place an even amount of paint onto the wall.
    • TIP: The “W” pattern should not be any wider than one arm length, about 24″ to 36″.
  4. Continue rolling the “W” pattern onto the second (middle) section then the third section of the wall.
    • TIP: Make sure to load more paint when needed. You should not be applying excessive presser to the roller to get more paint, this will create roller lines.
  5. Repeat the “W” pattern until the entire wall or walls are painted. Then let the paint dry according to the can.
  6. If you need a second coat of paint, repeat steps 1-5.

Do you want to see how to use a paint edger? Here are my tips on how to use a paint edger which is about a $4 tool.

Once the walls have dried you are now done painting a room. But there are a couple more tips I want to share.

TIPS ON STORING SUPPLIES DURING DRY TIMES

Something I do not like is cleaning up paint. So to help save yourself from cleaning the paintbrush plus everything else between dry times, here are my storing paint during dry times tips:

  1. Use a Ziplock bag! I use ziplock bags for my paintbrushes and rollers.
  2. Use a garbage bag! I use a garbage bag to wrap the paint tray.
  3. Use the paint within a couple of days! You don’t want to let the paint sit for more than a couple of days or it will start to dry.

I hope these basic painting tips on how to paint a room will help you update your next space plus help the process go a little smoother.

basic painting tips on how to paint a room
Yield: painted room

How to Paint a Room

paint brush on top of paint can

Learn the basic painting tips on how to paint a room. The tips include ceiling, trim, and baseboard, plus this tutorial is perfect for beginners.

Prep Time 40 minutes
Active Time 1 hour
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes
Difficulty Easy

Materials

  • paint (one with primer is a great idea)
  • spackling paste or patch-n-paint
  • #220 grit sandpaper
  • paintable sealant (caulk)
  • Swiffer duster or rag

Tools

  • 2″ angled paintbrush
  • roller
  • painting tray
  • paint extension pole
  • caulk gun
  • block sander
  • step stool or ladder
  • scraper
  • 12″ taping knife
  • edger tool (optional)
  • old sheets or dropcloths

Instructions

PREPPING THE ROOM

  1. Wipe the walls and trim to remove the dust. swiffer the wall before paint
  2. Patch all nail holes, dents, or paint clips with spackling paste.
  3. Caulk (sealant) any seams or cracks.apply caulk to baseboard before painting wall
  4. Remove all outlet and light switch covers.
  5. Sand the walls, trim, and ceiling so that any old paint drips or bumps are smooth.
  6. Wipe the walls again with duster or cloth.
  7. Lay old sheets or dropcloths on the floor to protect them from paint.

PAINTING THE CEILING

  1. Starting with a paintbrush, cut in around all the edges of the ceiling plus into the walls about 3". Cut in around the lights too!
  2. With a paint roller and extension pole, load the roller with paint. Then starting in one corner, roll in one direction toward the opposite wall. Do not roll in a "W" or "V" pattern but straight lines (I like to overlap my lines). Continue rolling until the entire ceiling is painted.
  3. Let the paint dry according to your paint can.
  4. If you need a second coat, apply the coat the same way but when rolling apply the new coat in one direction but perpendicular to the first coat.

PAINTING TRIM AND BASEBOARDS

  1. Using an angled paintbrush plus a 12" taping knife (normally used for drywall), paint the baseboards, door trim, and window trim. Plus cut into the walls too about 3".
  2. Let the paint dry according to the can.
  3. Apply a second coat the same way if needed.

PAINTING THE WALLS

  1. Using a 2" angled paintbrush, cut in around the ceiling, trim, and baseboards making sure to only paint the wall.
  2. Then cut in around the corners of the walls and around the outlet/lightboxes about 3", anything that a roller cannot get to.
  3. With a paint roller and if needed an extension pole, start working from one top corner of the room. Break the height of the wall into three sections and apply paint in a "W" or "V" pattern to the top section of the wall. This will help place an even amount of paint onto the wall.
  4. Continue rolling the "W" pattern onto the second (middle) section then the third section of the wall. rolling paint onto the wall
  5. Repeat the "W" pattern until the entire wall or walls are painted. Then let the paint dry according to the can.
  6. If you need a second coat of paint, repeat the steps.