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Find essential information on painting tools, paint preparation and how to paint walls and ceilings. The more you know up front, the better your results will be.
Clearing the Walls
Before painting the walls, remove all hardware in the room and anything hanging on the walls, such as:
If you've decided to paint the ceiling as well as the walls, remove all ceiling fixtures. For fixtures that are suspended by a post:
Protecting Furniture and Immovable Items
Remove any furniture from the room that you can. All other furniture should be pulled away from the walls and, if possible, moved to the center of the room. After you've done this, protect all areas that won't be painted.
A new coat of paint should be applied to a clean, hole-free surface. If you're painting over a pre-painted wall, make sure there's no loose or flaking paint.
All holes and imperfections in the wall should be repaired. Be sure to wear a dust mask when sanding. The basic repair steps are:
Cleaning and Taping the Walls
Now that everything in the room is removed and/or covered, it's time to wash the walls and remove dirt, dust and other substances. Wear gloves to protect your hands.
If your home was built before 1978, you may have lead paint on the interior walls. Use a lead paint testing kit to help determine if you have lead paint and need to take proper safety steps.
You should have plenty of air circulation and ventilation in the room you’ll be painting. Use an oscillating fan for additional circulation.
New construction, patched or repaired areas, and pre-finished surfaces that have a high-gloss paint will need to be primed. Priming seals the surface and helps the paint cover more evenly.
Stirring the Paint
Be sure to stir well and mix down into the bottom of the can. The paint pigment needs to be thoroughly blended.
Suggested Painting Order
The order in which you paint a room should be:
If you’re painting your room in radically different colors, apply the lighter paint color first and then the darker color.
Taking Breaks and Overnight Drying
If your paint is a deep color such as red, use a gray or matching tinted primer to match the paint. The tinted primer will reduce the number of coats necessary.
Most people dread the thought of painting the ceiling. If you use a paint extension pole, the job will be a lot easier. You can stand on the floor to paint the majority of the ceiling. If your ceilings are vaulted, you may have to use a stepstool or ladder in conjunction with an extension pole.
Start in the corner of the room and paint the edge of the ceiling along the walls using a paint edger. Be careful to not get paint on the guide rollers on the edger.
Roll the paint on with a series of diagonal swaths (shaped like the letter W). Fill in the open areas by cross-rolling.
Pour the paint in the reservoir area of a lined tray.
Use a small angled brush to paint next to the floor boards, ceiling and corners. This application will take some practice. In addition to the brush, use a long painter's shield to help with edging around moulding. Paint the area about 2 inches above the floor moulding and 2 inches below the crown moulding.
Load the roller and apply the paint in a large W shape, beginning in a corner near the ceiling. Fill in by rolling across the W.
Paint the wall in blocks of 4 feet by 4 feet from the ceiling to the floor. Paint each adjacent block before the previous one dries to blend the edges together.
If using high-gloss or semi-gloss paint, apply in smaller sections that measure 2 feet by 2 feet.
Allow the walls to dry completely. This usually takes about three hours.
Add a second coat of paint if the first coat isn't the desired color.
Dip the roller in the paint tray. Roll it back and forth on the ridged part at the top of the tray to evenly distribute the paint.
Paint the windows starting with the sashes. Then paint down the window casing to the sill.
For raised panel doors, paint the panels first using a sash brush. Then paint the door from top to bottom.
Flat panel doors can be painted with a roller.
Paint the woodwork using a sash brush. Paint with the grain of the wood.
Before you remove the drop cloths wait at least three hours for the paint to completely dry. Don't re-hang pictures for at least a day.
Brushes and rollers can be re-used if properly cleaned.
Soak brushes/rollers in paint thinner and follow steps 2-5 above.