A Beginner’s Guide

To Painting A Room

Create A Vision

couple painting wall in empty room smiling

The first step in the process is to visualise how you want the finished room to look. Be creative, you don’t have to paint all the walls or woodwork the same color. Why not paint an accent wall in a bolder hue, or highlight wood trim and mouldings in a contrasting shade? Ceilings don’t always need to be white, have some fun choosing a contrasting colour that would work with the walls.

Choose Your Colour

Obviously, the most important part of the process, choosing your colors. Start by deciding the general colour(s) you think will work well, considering the colour of existing furniture, or new pieces you plan on purchasing. Once you have a good idea of what you want, look through some fan decks and select a few shades.

Handy Tip: Many companies have tools on their websites which will allow you to upload a photo of your room, and preview different colours and shades on the walls. Whilst this is a very useful and fun thing to do, it is important to remember that the colour you are seeing on your screen may look different when you bring it home!

tester pots of paint

What Type Of Finish Do You Want?

Paint finishes range from flat (matte) to shiny (glossy). Glossy paints are more reflective and look brighter, whereas matte paints absorb light and so look darker. Generally, it is recommended to use matte finish on walls as they are good at hiding imperfections, and gloss on woodwork.

Testers, Testers And More Testers

Purchase small tester pots and to try on each wall. It is important to check how they look throughout the day as the natural light changes, and at night with your home’s artificial lighting.

Protecting Your Furniture and Flooring

1. Move smaller pieces of furniture in to other rooms

2. Move large objects into the middle of the room and cover with protective sheets.

3. Clear your walls of any mounted furniture pieces or accessories (television, paintings and photographs etc).

room no people furniture covered in cloths and ready for painting

4. Cover furniture with drop cloths or plastic sheets. Cloth drop cloths are better for the floor as they are absorbent and will help stop any spills spreading outwards. Make sure to tape them in place to prevent any spills getting underneath.

assorted painting tools

Get Your Tools Ready

Checking that you have the correct tools before commencing your project will get you off to a good start. Here are the basics:

  • Paint Brushes
  • Paint Rollers
  • Extension Pole (for painting ceilings & walls)
  • Paint & Paste Stirrer
  • Pouring Spout (attach to paint tin and prevents paint filling the tin rim or pouring down the sides of the tin)
  • Painters Tape
  • Craft knife (for removing painters tape)
  • Drop Cloth (for covering floors and furniture)
  • Paint Brush Cleaner (white spirit/turps)
  • Sandpaper and sanding block.
  • Caulk gun and Caulk

How To Choose The Right Paintbrush

Where To Start Painting First?

The golden rule is ‘top to bottom’:

  1. Ceilings
  2. Walls
  3. Skirting
  4. Windows
  5. Doors

How To Use A Roller

Roll up and down, from floor to ceiling and move over about three-quarters of a roller width each time making certain you overlap the previous stroke. Once you covered the wall using your main roller, a mini roller is ideal for blending with the cut in areas.

wallpaper roller upon wall

Taking a Break

If you have not finished painting but have cause to take a break, a simple practice to stop your brushes and rollers from drying out is to wrap them in cling film and place them in the refrigerator. Remember to remove them from the refrigerator 30-60 minutes before starting to paint again.

Don’t Forget Ventilation 

For your own comfort and to benefit the drying process, make sure your room is well-ventilated, by opening windows and using fans. If you keep the room warm and use a fan to circulate the heat around the room, it will definitely help speed up the drying process. On damp days, it is going to take longer for the paint to dry no matter what.

Removing the Painters Tape

The best time to remove any painters tape is when the paint is no longer tacky, but still a little damp below the surface. If you leave it until the paint is dry, you can damage the paint when removing the tape. If the paint starts to peel when removing the tape, try using a craft knife or razor blade, gently, for a clean cut with no damage.

removing painters tape after painting

Time to Clean

It’s time to remove the drop clothes and any plastic sheets used to protect the furniture and flooring. Check the furniture and floor to see if any paint spilled through. Hopefully not, but if you find any it is better to treat it immediately.

If you used latex or water-based paints, clean the brushes with soap and water. For oil-based paints you need to use mineral spirits.

Done and Dusted

With the painting complete and the cleaning done, it is time to sit back and enjoy the transformation that you have created. Put the kettle on, or open a bottle of red, just don’t spill any on the walls!

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For more painting tips:

Different Types of Paint 

How Much Paint Will I Need

Wallpaper or Paint? 

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