How to Paint a Wall

How to Paint a Wall

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Color works wonders in your home. Learn how to prime and paint a wall like a pro with these easy steps.

Purchase the Right Paint

Your walls are here to stay. Treat them right with the perfect paint.

  1. For true-to-color results, always use a primer.
  2. Test out paint colors during the day while shades are open.
  3. Remember, dark colors can make a small room appear even smaller. Try an accent wall for color that won’t cramp your space.
  4. Satin finish is perfect for most interior walls. For bathrooms, kitchens and children’s rooms, try a durable semi-gloss.

Use Expert Tools

Make your job easier — shop for the right tools.

  1. Buy at least one paint tray for each color you plan on using. You’ll need a few paper or plastic paint cups when edging with a brush.
  2. Keep extra paint rollers on hand. Buy at least one extended-handle roller.
  3. Use a 2-inch, angled paintbrush for edges and corners.
  4. Find a sturdy ladder with plenty of room for your brush and a paint cup.

Get Organized

Avoid mistakes and stress by planning ahead.

  1. Move all furniture to the center of the room and cover it with tarps or bed sheets.
  2. Remove all fixtures, including outlet covers and light-switch covers.
  3. Line doorways, windows and ceilings with painter’s tape before you begin priming.
  4. Set up a break area with snacks and bottled water. Don’t forget music to keep you occupied while you’re working.

Minimize Mess

Even professionals make a mess when painting. Be prepared and ready to clean.

  1. Buy a heavy-duty cellulose sponge for tough cleanup tasks.
  2. Have dishwashing liquid and a plastic bucket on hand for easy brush-rinsing and spot-cleaning.
  3. Always use canvas, tarp or paper drop cloths on your floors and carpet. Check your shoes to avoid tracking dripped paint through your house.
  4. Wear clothes you don’t mind staining. Avoid baggy clothes and remove jewelry before you begin painting.

Paint Like a Pro

Professional painters have a few tricks up their sleeves. Try these tips:

  1. For a uniform finish, always use the recommended number of coats.
  2. When using a paint roller, paint in a Y-shaped formation rather than up and down — this will prevent streaks and lines.
  3. Take your time. Paint edges slowly, especially along tile or windows.
  4. Allow paint to dry fully between coats (a fan will speed up the process). When you’re done, store extra paint in mason jars for future touch-ups.
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