Paint your home in 10 easy steps

Paint with a purpose

Whether you’re moving into a house or apartment that needs some work or simply want to improve the look of your home, painting is a cheap and effective way to change things up and add value.

The color of a room reflects personality. Some people prefer the peace and quiet of rooms painted with cool colors like blues and greens. Others prefer the energy and boldness of warm colors like reds and oranges. Some people just want their home to look larger and use white paint. There really are no boundaries.

With painting, it’s crucial to pay close attention to detail. As you’ll see in the step-by-step guide that follows, there are several parts that don’t involve the actual paint, but they are important and should not be skipped.

By taking the time to plan the colors in your home, paying attention to detail and following the steps in this guide, you will have professional results and a home that reflects your own style and personality.

Whether you’re just moving into a house or apartment that needs some work or simply want to improve the look of your home, painting is a cheap and effective way to change things up and add value.

For this project you will need:

  • Painting suppliesLarge denim drop cloth. You can use plastic, but it is slippery and anything with a sharp edge could rip it easily.
  • Masking tape
  • Sturdy paint tray
  • High-grit sandpaper (100-120)
  • Small jar of Spackle
  • Putty knife
  • Paint roller
  • Two roller heads. Match the description on the package to the wall you are painting (rough, smooth, and everything in between).
  • Quality 2 1/2-inch paintbrush
  • Interior primer. Tell the sales clerk how much area you have to paint, and he or she will advise you on how much to buy.
  • Interior semi-gloss paint. Plan on using two coats, and again, ask the clerk to advise on how much to buy. Semigloss is almost always the kind of paint to use inside your home, but there are other choices like flat (no shine), eggshell (little shine), and glossy (very shiny).
  • Damp, clean rag.

1. Tape the border of the wall and trim/floor.

paintingAnything that you need to protect from paint drips should be covered with the masking tape. You need not worry about the tape harming woodwork.

2. Lay the drop cloth on the floor.

drop clothSnug it up to the edge of the wall and try to make sure that there aren’t any large wrinkles that may cause someone to trip and fall. As you go on with this project, always check to see that the cloth is up against the wall.

3. Use the Spackle to patch any small holes in the wall.

SpackleMost walls have their share of small holes and cracks. Before you begin painting, it’s important to fill those holes using the Spackle. Simply dip the putty knife into the container of Spackle and pull some out so that it’s sitting on the end of the knife. Then press the Spackle into the nail hole or crack. Repeat the same motion until a small mound of Spackle has built up over the spot where the hole used to be. Let it dry for an hour or more.

4. Sand the areas that were patched.

SandingUsing the sandpaper, lightly sand the areas that were Spackled. By doing this, you are making the wall flat, and no one will ever be able to tell that there were holes in the wall once it is painted.

5. Wipe the wall with the damp rag.

Wipe down with a clean clothSanding has left a layer of dust and dirt down the length of the wall. It’s important to wipe it with the damp rag before beginning the painting stage.

6. Pour the primer in the paint tray.

PrimerCarefully pry the lid off the can of primer, stir it with the wooden paint-stirrer that came with it, and pour the primer into the tray. It’s always best to pour less than you think you’ll need. You can always pour more in if you need to.

7. Paint the edges of the wall with the brush.

Paint edgesDip the brush into the paint tray. Never dip the brush more than halfway into the paint. After dipping it, gently scrape both sides of the brush on the inside edge of the paint tray so that you don’t have too much paint on the brush. Slowly

paint in even strokes along the tape. Make sure that you aren’t leaving any drips and that the paint is even all the way around. Once you have finished this step, make sure to wash the brush well under warm water.

8. Coat the roller evenly with primer.

Coat roller evenlyPlace the roller in the deep end of the tray. Slowly and carefully drag the roller up the slope, then roll it back down into the deep end. After a few times, you should have an even coat of primer on the roller. When there is plenty of paint on the roller, roll it downwards on the slope several times without going into the deep end of the tray. This will get some of the extra paint off the roller and prevent it from dripping.

When you finished applying the primer, allow it to dry for 2-3 hours. Wash the paint tray immediately with warm water. When the primer has dried, open the paint and stir it well with the wooden stirring stick, the same way you did earlier with the primer. Pour the same amount of paint into the tray as you did earlier with the primer.

9. Paint the edges of the wall with the brush.

paint edgesUsing the same method you used with the primer, paint the edges of the wall that are bordered with tape.

10. Roll the paint on the wall.

Roll colorUsing the same method you used with the primer, roll the paint on to the wall.

If needed, apply a second coat of the paint once the first coat has dried.


Thank youIt is best to wait 48 hours before hanging pictures or drilling holes. That gives the paint plenty of time to really dry.


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