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Find essential information on painting tools, paint preparation and how to properly paint walls and ceilings. The more you know up front, the better your results will be.
You should have plenty of air circulation and ventilation in the room you will be painting. Use an oscillating fan for additional circulation.
Before painting the walls, remove all the hardware in the room and anything hanging on the walls. The following are items you may have to remove:
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:
Remove any furniture that you can from the room. All other furniture should be pulled away from the walls and, if possible, moved to the center of the room.
After you've removed everything that can be moved, protect all areas that won't be painted.
A new coat of paint should be applied to a clean, hole-free surface. If you are painting over a pre-painted wall, make sure there is no loose or flaking paint. If your home was built before 1978, you may have lead paint on the interior walls.
All holes and imperfections in the wall should be repaired. Be sure to wear a dust mask when sanding. The basic repair steps are below:
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.
New construction and patched or repaired areas will need to be primed before painting. Priming seals the surface and helps the paint cover more evenly. See Choosing Primer for information on the best kind of primer for your application. If you are painting a pre-finished surface that has a high gloss paint, prime it before re-painting.
Open the paint can and stir well. Make sure you mix down into the bottom of the can. The paint pigment needs to be thoroughly blended.
After you've repaired, cleaned, taped and primed, it's time for the actual painting. After all of the preparation you owe it to yourself to choose a high quality paint that will give you professional-looking results. Picking the Right Interior Paint can help you choose the best paint for your room.
The order in which you paint a room should be top to bottom:
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 M). 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 M shape, beginning in a corner near the ceiling. Fill in by rolling across the M.
Paint the wall in blocks of 4 ft. by 4 ft. 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 ft. x 2 ft.
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.
Paint the windows starting with the sashes. Then paint down the window casing to the sill.
Paint the woodwork using a sash brush. Paint with the grain of the wood.
If you're painting doors, use the following method:
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.