How to paint a room

How to Paint a Room, Pretty Much Fool Proof

How to paint a room

Everyone has that one room in their house that needs some loving. The easiest and quickest way for a face lift is to paint it. I’m dead serious, you will be surprised at what a fresh coat of paint will do. But a lot of newbies don’t have a freaking clue as to what to do and where to start. I know I was there once. I mean yea you need a brush and paint, but girl (or boy) do you know the plethora of brush types and paints are out there. Not to mention the extras that you don’t know if you need or not.Its not that complicated I assure you. Why you ask? Why should you listen to anything I have to say. Well for staters not only did we paint our 2.7k+ square foot house by ourselves, but my hubby has been doing this for most of his adolescent and adult life (15+ years). He’s got a few tricks to the trade. So without further a do I will give you the 411 on how to paint a  room that desperately needs that quick transformation. 

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Paint sheen Cheatsheet
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Paint Sheen: Types of Paint Finishes

So you have the color that you want, but come to find that there are a few types of finishes. You think you will just pick any and be done with it. However, you will be surprised on the importance of picking the right sheen for your space. Believe me, you don’t want a flat paint in an area that receives high traffic. Especially with little ones. If you need help with picking out a paint sheen for your space click this graphic and get a handy paint sheen cheatsheet.

Eggshell vs. Flat Paint

There are a few minor differences between eggshell finish and flat paint. You can get the gist of it from my paint sheen cheatsheet, but here is a 2 quick tips that is not on the cheatsheet. 

For eggshell paint you are gonna want to remove the painter’s tape pretty quickly after you paint. The reason being is that once it dries it tends to stretch. So when you remove the painter’s tape after it dries you will either lift the paint up or peel off some and ruining the pristine look. If you do let it dry before removing the painter’s tape. Grab a exact blade or box cutter and cut around the tape. 

For Flat paint, it’s a soaker. It acts like a primer so if you don’t use a primer you are almost always going to have to do two coats or more with your color. The flat paint will suck up the first coat like a vacuum.  

How Much Paint Do I Need to Paint a Room

The easiest way to calculate the amount of paint you need for a project is to use a calculator. Not the one on your phone. A paint calculator. You will find them on most major home improvement stores or painting company websites. I will link a few below that I find easy to use, but don’t take them to heart they are a guideline. Remember this is just for the actual paint this does not include the primer, unless you get a paint and primer in one, but to be honest I never rely on that. I always get primer. Also Don’t account for the doors and windows. It’s better to have more than less of what you need. 

Gidden’s Calculator is based off of one wall at a time. 

Lowe’s Calculator does feature gallons and any extra quarts needed, plus the primer amount. 

Lowe’s For Pros is even more in depth. They included the hours of labor for the project. 

Home Depot’s calculator account for the ceiling, the trim and the baseboard, but you will need to now the coverage area of the paint you are buying to know how much to get.

The Cost to Paint a Room

Okay I hear ya. Painting a room is surely the quickest way to transform space, but how much is it gonna cost me? Oh yes the money factor. Depending on the size of the room and how many coats of primer you will need to cover up that hideous color it will vary. Not to mention the quality and brand of the paint. For a 12×12 foot room a gallon of good paint can range from $26 to $40. Plus the primer, which by the way don’t stray from Kilz primer. They are the best in the business for a reason. I only use Kilz and they have tons of options. I freaking love that stuff (not sponsored by the way)! Don’t forget the tools you need like brushes and rollers.

How to Prep a Room for Painting

Prep is the first and foremost important thing to do before painting a room. Obviously you can’t just start slathering the paint on the walls and expect clean lines and no mess. If only the paint gods would just do the work for us, but no not gonna happen sister.

The materials you will need to prep is

If you have holes you will need 

First, clear everything out of the way, you will need a lot of room to move around while painting. You don’t have to move any big furniture out but you will want to move them together in the center or the side of the room away from the walls. You will need to cover all the floor with a painter’s plastic. If you are not painting the base boards start tapping from there. Half of the tape on the top edge of the base board the other half on the painters plastic.

If you have any wholes in the wall this is the time to take care of them. Use the drywall compound and putty knife to seal up the whole. If it’s a bigger than the size of a small tangerine use this kit to repair.

Now that the holes are covered and dry, sand till smooth and follow the directions on the can and lightly spray with the texture to make it look identical to you wall. While that is drying, brush off all the cobwebs.

Remove the outlet covers and place a piece of tape over the opening. Do the same for the light switches. Also remove ceiling vent covers. Tape around the lights and light fixtures. Add the painter’s plastic to them to protect them from paint spaces and overspray. 

How to prep a room to paint

Painting a Room Fast Vs Taking is Slow

So you have to options and they both have pros and cons to them. If you want to paint a room fast you can use a spray machine. Now from personal experience I gotta say it is nice to finish a room pretty quickly. However, it uses more paint than you would with a roller, so thats added cost right there. Also you have to be wary of overspray and overlapping drips from not being at the right distance away from the wall. Now if you are doing it old school, it does take more elbow grease and more time, but there is little to no over spray to worry about and you won’t use as much paint as a sprayer would. You really have to way your wallet and your time when considering what way you decide to go. I don’t know about you I take my wallet more then my time so I will go over more of the old school version in this post.  

paint roller

The Tools You Need to Start Painting a Room

To be honest you won’t need much. You got your paint and your prep tools. To start painting a room you really only need a roller and a brush to cut the edges of the room. The brush that my husband always ALWAYS recommends is Purdy brushes. Now it is more on the pricey end but if maintained well it will last you for a long time. If just want a use once and throw then it would be best to just get a cheap 2.2 inch to 3 inch brush. I will say this you’re probably going to work hard doing the cuts with a cheap brush since the bristle bunch is thicker. So have a steady hand. If you don’t have a broom stick at home, you may want to pick up one of those as well. Oh yea and a paint pan, because you can’t just stick the roller into the bucket (that’s what she said) its just not gonna work. 


Time to Paint that Room

You got the room prepped. Let’s smack on that primer. If you’re not doing the ceiling, you can tape the edges for a cleaner look. Thats why prepping is key, especially for the window/door trim and the baseboards. However, if you have a steady hand you can cut into the edge with the primer. See the picture below to get a visual of what I’m talking about.

If you do plan on painting the ceiling there is no need for precision and you can just cut the edges like so. 

Now let’s get that color on the wall. If you did plan on painting the ceiling, that is the first thing to go. The reason you want to paint the ceiling first is because of the splatter. You painted the walls first and then move on the the ceiling, there goes all thats hard work. The cutting of the edges and corners are basically the same for both the ceiling and the walls for the primer portion. Now unless the same color is going on both ceiling and wall you will have to use more precision on the cutting of the edges where the ceiling and wall meet. 

You Don’t want to start from the top of the ceiling or wall. Start from the center and the either work your way up and down or down and up. This will help distribute the paint evenly.If there is one good tip that will help your paint job look like a pro is making sure that you evenly spread the paint. You don’t want those paint roller lines to show. 

And Thats it in a Nut Shell.

I hope this gave you a better idea of how to tackle that next room you plan to paint. The painting isle can be very intimidating with all those brushes and paint buckets in your face, but it doesn’t have to be if you know what you need and how to do it. If this helped you in anyway or you learned something new share and pin to you favorite Pinterest board. Not only painting a room and need some tips on also painting your kitchen cabinets. Check out this post that will help you paint your kitchen cabinets in 5 easy steps. I’ll catch ya’ll laterz, adios amigos! 

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  1. I absolutely love your tips about the paint types. I had no idea why eggshell always lifted with tape and it made me give up taping haha. I use a lot of flat paint in our home decor and it sure does get soaked up fast! I think I would love to try spraying the walls someday but it almost sounds like more work to me just having to move everything out of the way lol Thanks for the great tips!

    1. Thanks, it’s was definitely mind blowing when the boo told me about the difference in paint and the small hacks that only painters know. Before that it was just a brush, roller and the paint bucket with the cheapest paint I could find, but now nope. I’m a whole new woman thanks to the hub’s knowledge and the 3,000 soft experience. Spraying has a double edged sword like all things. It is definitely faster, but prep is key to get the professional look. Be prepared for the overspray that may linger into other rooms and to pay for a little more paint.

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