How to Paint a Wall in 4 Steps

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Rolling pan
5 gallon bucket with rolling screen
Drop cloths
Paint strainer
Spackle or joint compound
Caulk gun
Paint thinner

Painting one wall to create an accent, or putting up a new color for a whole room, the basic technique is the same. Painting is a fun and a rewarding task that can be shared with your whole family. Follow the steps below to get started in painting a wall in your home.

Step 1 - Gather the Necessary Materials

Bring together all your tools and materials and creat a staging area near the wall you're painting, but not so close that the stuff will get in your way.

TIP: Our expert painting advisor, Edward Kimble adds, "A five gallon bucket and screen is excellent if you are painting many rooms the same color. It is good if you are doing three or more rooms and will have all white ceilings, you could use the five gallon bucket and screen. If you are just doing a room that will take two to three gallons of paint, use a roller pan. You can purchase roller pans that have liners that are made for them, and there is very little cleanup."

Step 2 - Prep the Space

Use the plastic roll of poly and some blue painters tape to cover and protect the floor and any valuables near the wall you intend to paint. Take down any art work that may be on the wall. Use the painter's tape to cover the corners of anything you don't want paint on like the window or mantle. A word of caution: If you are covering the floor with plastic, it can be very slippery.

TIP: Edward suggests, "Caulk around all woodwork: baseboards, door jambs and window and mantles. I do this on all of my residential house painting jobs, and it is what sets my work apart from others. People just rave about how much better my work is than other pros, but they don't really know it is because I caulk everything. It really makes for a great looking job."

Step 3 - Prime Your Wall

Use the hard bristled brush to cut-in around the parimiter of the wall. Cutting-in means painting a 2 to 3 inch wide margin around all edges and corners. This makes it easier to be accurate with the roller. If you are doing the ceiling as well as the walls, you can roll everything first and you will find that you only have about 1/2 inch that is not covered, and this can then be easily covered with the brush. It will look just fine and it saves a lot of time. If you are not doing the ceiling, you can still roll the walls first. An exception is if you are using a semi-gloss paint, because the brush strokes show in semi-gloss paint.

TIP: Edward advises, "A roller will start to leave visible lines of paint at its ends. You have to go over these lines lightly with your roller. To minimize this problem, put just the end parts of the roller, left and right, and push hard into the wall or ceiling. This will take the excess paint off of the edges. If necessary, do it again."

Step 4 - Paint Your Wall

Follow the same steps for painting as you would for priming. Cut -in the wall's corners, windows, and anything else that may be risky to use the roller near. Once you have completed the cutting-in, use the roller on the rest of the wall. Don't forget to run the roller along the metal screen in the paint bucket, this will keep your work clean and even. Depending on the thickness of your paint and your personal color preference, wait for the paint to dry, and then paint again. Always use at least two coats and three at the most for the best results.