Painting Walls For Beginners

adult and child painting wall green

What Is The Best Way To Paint Interior Walls?

If this is your first time painting, or perhaps it has been a while and you need to brush up on the correct procedures, this step by step guide should give you the confidence and know how to do a great job.

The first step as always is good preparation. Time well spent preparing the room and walls properly goes a long way to creating a great finish.

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 & Roller

Prep the Walls

Any imperfections in the wall surface could spoil the paint finish. Take some time to find any cracks or holes no matter how small and repair them with a filler. Fillers come in two forms, ready mixed fillers, or as a powder to be mixed with water. For repairing holes in drywall/plasterboard, ‘Wall-repair kits’ are an ideal choice.

Step by Step Guide to Filling Holes and Cracks 

Coat The Walls With a Primer

A primer provides a uniform surface for the new paint to adhere to, and will prevent stains on the existing surface showing through the freshly painted finish. A coat of primer may save you from having to put extra coats of paint on the walls. Considering paint is more expensive than primer, less coats equals less cost.

decorator taping skirting board

Masking Off

Use painters tape to cover the areas that shouldn’t be painted (wood trim/coving etc.)

Time to Stir the Paint

When paint sits in the tin, the components (Binders & Pigments) more often than not, will separate. Therefore, it is essential before getting any paint on your brush to give it a good stirring in order to blend the components together again.

Cutting In

Cutting in is the process of using a paint brush to paint areas that are too tight for rollers (such as at the ceiling line, corners, skirting boards, and trim. These areas are best blended in with the rest of the wall using a mini roller.

close up of someone using a pain brush on edges

1. By cutting in the edges of a wall you are giving yourself the best chance of achieving an excellent finish.

2. Use an Angled Sash Brush to achieve the best results.

3. Be prepared to take your time, cutting in requires a steady hand and accuracy.

4. Start a little away from adjoining surfaces and then work your way towards it for precision.

5. Try to cut in at the ceiling and skirting by keeping the brush horizontal, this will help you to get a precision finish.

wallpaper roller upon wall

How to Apply Paint Using 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.

Time to Dry

Make sure you read and follow the paint manufacturers recommendation for how long it will take the paint to dry, before you can apply a second coat if needed.

Taking A Well Earned Break

Once body parts start aching, and daylight is running out, you may decide to finish the job (apply a 2nd coat if needed) after a good night’s sleep. If so, simply wrap your brushes and rollers in cling film and leave in the refrigerator overnight. This will stop them drying out. Just give them 30-60 minutes before starting up again.

Ventilation is Essential

The fumes from paint can affect a person’s health. It is not uncommon for people to experience dizziness or nausea after inhaling paint fumes for a prolonged period. Therefore, it is essential to make sure there is proper ventilation when painting indoors. Opening the windows wide and using a fan to blow out the fumes is the best approach. Choosing a low VOC or no VOC paint is an excellent way of avoiding toxic fumes, as these types of paint don’t release harsh chemicals.

It is advisable to keep the fan running until the paint has dried and stopped releasing fumes. This could be 24-48 hours. Read and follow the paint manufacturers recommendation on how long it will take for the paint to dry?

At the Finish Line

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

Clean Up

You’re almost finished, just the clean remains. After you have removed any dust sheets used to protect the floors and furniture, it is important to check thoroughly to see if any paint has spilled through the protective sheets. Should you find any spills, set about removing them immediately.

If you used oil-based paints you will need to use mineral spirits to clean the brushes, whilst for latex or water-based paints, soap and water is all that is needed.

Enjoy The Fruits Of Your Labor

Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy the beautiful space that you created. Maybe open a bottle or red or if you had help from a little person, break out the blender and enjoy a couple of delicious milkshakes!

Wallpapering Too?

If you’re painting with a view to also wallpapering, why not try WallpaperBuddy™? It makes wallpapering easy.

No need for a second pair of hands to help, the WallpaperBuddy™ tool holds the paper away from the wall at an ideal angle for aligning and smoothing, and helps to reduce bubbles and creases. WallpaperBuddy’s telescopic design allows you to progress down the wall at a pace that is perfect for you, working with both hands free the entire time. At a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional, why not DIY with WallpaperBuddy™.

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