Guide To Painting A Room

Painting guide

painting guide




Cut the confusion

There is lots of advice on picking a color and sheen of paint so I wont be going into that here and if you read my post about determining quality of paint your all set to go buy what you need. So what do you need? A fair estimate of spread rate is about 300 square feet of wall space per gallon.  Measure the dimensions of your room, length by height. A 10 by 10 room with a 8 foot ceiling is 320 square feet. 10 x 4 walls = 40 times 8 = 320 square feet. I always suggest 2 coats unless you are repainting a room with exactly the same product. In this example you need 2 gallons.

Are you painting the ceiling too? Now would be the time for that. A good off white flat latex will do the trick. So you will need another gallon for the ceiling. So far you will need 3 gallons of paint. In addition a short list of additional tools/sundries you will need are as follows. This painting guide suggests only the minimum to get the job done.

A quality 9″ paint frame. Wooster is a good choice.

Two paint covers. I suggest a 1/2 inch nap lambskin or sheepskin for the walls and a cheaper 1/2 cover for the ceiling.

A paint pole for your paint frame.

Good Brush. A  3″  Purdy is a good choice.

A five gallon bucket and a bucket grid to roll out of. Way better then using a tray. Spills much less likely.


One or two drop cloths.

Roll of good tape. See blog post on tape.

Spackle and putty knife.



Stain sealer. If needed. I suggest B I N in a spray can.

painting guide

Lets get to it

Start by removing as much of the contents as possible out of the room. You would be surprised how much time is lost walking around a bed in the middle of a room. Be sure to remove anything on the walls including all switch and outlet covers.

Get your drops down to protect the floor. You will start with the ceiling. Are there any stains on the ceiling that need to be sealed? Dump your ceiling paint into the five gallon bucket with the grid in it. Leave some paint in the gallon to work out of. You wont need much.

Next cut the perimeter (of the ceiling) with a brush. Don’t worry about getting some paint on the walls, they are getting painted (ha ha). A much faster method to cut the perimeter is to use a weenie roller. If you decide to go this route get a cover with nap on the end as well. You can roll the perimeter rather quickly. Just make sure to jamb the roller against the wall to make sure the paint covers all the ceiling. Right to the edge where the wall and ceiling meet. Use your paint pole on the weenie roller. When you use this method you will end up with the perimeter of the ceiling and about the top inch of the wall covered with ceiling paint.

Cut around any light fixtures with your brush and then roll out the ceiling from your five gallon bucket with your 9″ frame and pole setup. Most people don’t load enough paint on their frame. This is the number one mistake people make. It should sound wet as you roll it out. Start at one side of the room and work your way over to the other side.

As the ceiling dries you can start prepping the walls. Fill any nail holes or imperfections with the spackle. Tape off your baseboards, window trim and door frames. Are the walls clean? A diluted Vinegar solution or a no rinse TSP solution works well. We always sand the walls. Bottom to top all the way around. Much easier with a pole sander.

If the walls are receiving a coating with any sheen to it I suggest priming the spackled areas and any areas that have to be sealed. If you are rolling a flat paint,  when you load up your frame go through and roll a light coat over all your spackled and primed spots.

Check the ceiling for any touch ups. If you are good to go,  you can either clean out your five and dump in your wall color or have a second five and grid ready to go. Clean out your roller cover and reuse or wrap it up to clean later and use a new cover. Take care of these covers and clean them well they will work for a long time.

Cut out the room with your brush. Along the base trim, windows and door frames. Next the part that distresses most people, the ceiling. Take your time and go slow. If you mess up you can always touch up the ceiling with the ceiling paint. Just make sure the walls and ceiling are dry before touching up.

Now you are ready to roll out the room. Load up the frame with paint and roll a good pattern out on the walls left to right or whatever you prefer. overlap your roll and roll it out. Again make sure you have enough paint on your frame and use the pole, it will save your arm.

Same process for the second coat and your ready to pull tape and put your room back together. Take care of your equipment and clean it well. You can use it over and over. Hopefully you will purchase some quality equipment to start with so it will last a long time. Hope this painting guide was helpful. You can always email any additional questions you may have. This painting guide is applicable to any room in your home and an exterior painting guide is forth coming.

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