Ready for a change? A quality paint job is one of the least expensive ways to transform your home and make any room look good.
The first step, and the key step, is prep. You need to do this. Watch our How to Prep for Paint video. Don’t run out of paint in the middle of your project. The general rule when buying paint is one gallon will cover about 400 square feet. Use the old length times height equation to get the square footage of each wall.
For the trim, use length—in feet—and .5 for the width. If you’re not sure about how much paint you’ll need, head to Lowes.com/Calculators for help. So here’s the general plan: work from the top down. Do the ceiling, then the walls, and finish with the trim.
If you’re using more than one gallon, mix them in a 5-gallon bucket to ensure color consistency. This is called boxing. A smaller cut bucket works great for the edges.
Painting the ceiling is a similar process to how you’ll paint the walls—brush the edges then use a roller. Remember–to avoid spatter don’t roll too fast. Once it’s dry you can mask off the edges with painter’s tape and start on the walls.
To paint the edges, or cutting in, dip the brush about a third of the way into the paint and TAP it against the sides—no scraping. Holding the brush like a pencil, paint with smooth strokes, feathering out the edges to prevent runs. Getting a little bit on the trim won’t matter since you’re painting that later, but try not to be super messy.
Now for the roller. If you’re using a bucket, you’ll need a roller grid. For pans, use a liner for easy cleanup. To help the paint load, first dampen the roller cover with a wet rag. Dip just a little ways into the paint and roll a few times to even it out. Resist the urge to submerge the roller. It’ll make a mess.
Starting near the edge, roll the paint on in a zig-zag pattern. It helps to roll in several directions to get good coverage, especially on textured walls. Go slow to avoid paint splatter. And don’t press and squeeze the roller to get more paint out of it—just reload. Work in 4-foot sections, top then bottom. Once you get going you can go back along the edges. A few tips: turn the roller sideways to get really close to the ceiling and baseboards. And to remove buildup and runs, lightly roll down over the painted areas. This is called laying off.
Paint one wall at a time for each coat, two coats for the room. If you need to take a break, cover your bucket, and wrap up your brush and roller. Put them in the fridge if you’ll use them the next day. After the walls are completely dry, grab some painter’s tape for the trimwork. Run it against the wall-trim edge and press it down with a plastic putty knife. Now you’ll have straight lines on your trim.
Once you’ve painted the trim, you’ll want to remove the tape. A knife can help cut along spots where it’s stuck. Remove it shortly after it’s dry. This will prevent peeling. Some tapes have specific removal time recommendations, so make sure you check before you pull it off.
Finally, cleanup. For latex paints, run the brush under water and use a cleaning brush to clean the paint from the bristles. Work some hand cleaner into it, rinse again and reshape the brush. Use a 5-in-1 tool for roller covers and store upright. How about that for some awesome impact? Remember, take your time and enjoy great results. For more help with your paint project, check out Lowes.com/Paint.