Painting Drywall For DIY Newbies

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Drywall painting is a fairly straightforward home improvement task, but like any job, a few tips will help you get the job done right at the right time. Organizing materials, prepping the site, and working safely are the keys to painting drywall successfully.

Preparing the Room

Sanding will produce a residue that when mixed with paint droppings will become difficult to remove. Start your prep work by moving all furniture and personal items out of the room. If certain items are too heavy to be moved, cover them with painter's cloth. Takedown photo frames, paintings, clocks, and other wall hangings. Then cover the floor with a non-slip plastic sheet. These measures will protect your personal belongings as you work.

Safety First

While there are no power tools involved in drywall painting, sometimes the sand and the paint fumes can be detrimental to your health. Make sure to wear protective goggles and a jumpsuit. Protect your hands by wearing rubber gloves. Cover your nose and mouth with a face mask.

Preparing the Surface

Slide a nail through the wall. If the nail pulls out easily covered in a white chalky substance, then it is drywall. Use a cloth to dust the wall. Follow it up by wiping it with a damp cloth. Check the surface for any holes or dents. If you spot any damage to the wall, fix it before painting by applying a quick-drying joint compound. Wait till it dries and then sand it to a smooth surface before painting.

Using a Primer

Use a paint roller or a paintbrush to apply the primer to the wall. A primer preps the wall for the drywall panting process. There are three main advantages of applying a primer. First, it acts as a good adhesive agent which helps the paint to stick faster. Second, it protects the surface that is being painted on. Third, it increases the durability of the paint. Hence taking the time to apply a primer coat is worth the extra effort. A well-applied primer will ensure the longevity of your drywall. Apply the first coat by moving the paint roller in an upward motion, towards the ceiling. The next stroke should be towards the floor. Cover the entire drywall with primer in this fashion. Two coats of primer are advisable. Leave it overnight to dry.


Choose a paint color that will blend into the existing work in your room. Apply the paint in up and down strokes with a paint roller. Then use a fine painter's brush to fill in corners and other tight spots, above the skirting and below the ceiling. Let it dry for another day. Follow it up with another coat of paint. Wait for it to dry thoroughly.


Rearrange your room. Bring back all the items that you have shifted. Be cautious while you do so. Place furniture pieces a few inches away from the walls so as not to damage them. While hanging the photo frames and other wall hangings make sure the walls have dried completely.