How to Paint a Room: Tips and Tricks

Learn how to paint a room along with tips and tricks for making it look like it was done by a professional.

This post is a sponsored post by Purdy. I take pride in reviewing only products that fit my brand and will be beneficial to my readers. While this post is sponsored, all the opinions are my own.

Prep the Room

Before you begin to paint a room, you will need to prep the room.

Clear the Room and Protect Furniture

Move all furniture to the center of the room and cover it.

Fix and Clean the Walls

Carefully inspect the walls for cracks, holes, dents, or other imperfections. Scrape cracked or flaking paint and sand any small bumps. Use a putty knife and lightweight spackling compound to fill and repair holes and cover imperfections. 

Wipe walls clean with a damp towel or sponge. If you are painting in the kitchen with grease spots, use mild dish soap to clean the spots. Allow walls to completely dry before proceeding.

Make a Plan

Maintain efficiency by getting enough paint. A gallon of paint can roughly cover between 350 to 400 square feet of wall space.

This is a great time to test out your chosen paint color. Most likely the paint swatch you found in the store won’t look the same in your home.

Lighting changes the appearance of the paint color, and I love to purchase small samples and paint different areas of the room before I fully commit to a color.

Trim with Painter’s Tape

Mask off trim, windows, and door frames. Press the tape firmly in place to prevent paint from seeping underneath or bleeding through.

If you use Purdy® Clearcut brushes, you don’t need to use painter’s tape. They provide excellent cut-in ability and create well-defined lines, making edging easy.

Cover the Floors with Drop Cloths

Cover the floors with drop cloths to protect them from paint drips and splatters.

  • Canvas drop cloths are durable and absorbent. They can also be reused, and in my opinion, are worth the additional cost. 
  • Plastic drop cloths are durable and budget-friendly but NOT absorbent. Dripped paint is more likely to be tracked if stepped on. 

Prime the Walls

A quality primer is always recommended when painting a room – especially if you’re painting from a darker color to a lighter color. Primer helps hide imperfections and gives the finished coat of paint a uniform look.

Mix the Paint

Use a wooden stick to mix the paint. The ingredients in your paint can separate which could compromise the true color you are going for.

Invest in Quality Brushes, Rollers, and Paint

Invest in quality brushes, rollers, and paint. The painting job will go quicker and easier – and look better in the end. Clean your brushes and rollers well, and they will last a long time.

It’s also important to buy the best paint you can afford. It’ll go on easily, offer the best coverage, and last a long time.

Paint One Wall at a Time

Paint one wall at a time. Take a brush and cut in and follow up with the paint roller. When applying paint with the roller, use long strokes in a W pattern for ample coverage (and to avoid roller marks).

Before reloading your roller and moving on to the next section, roll over the area you’ve just painted in a smooth, continuous stroke from top to bottom to catch drips and help hide lines.

Overlap areas already painted and lightly lift the roller off the wall to avoid leaving end marks.

Once the wall is dry to the touch, it’s ready for a second coat.

Clean Up

Once the painting is done, remove all the painter’s tape. Gather drop cloths – make sure any spills are dry before you move them.

Clean the paintbrushes with soapy water and use the brush to clean and reshape the bristles. You can use the 5-in-1 tool to remove excess paint from your roller under running water. The tool is also useful for opening a can of paint, removing nails, and scraping.

Additional Painting Tips

Cover your paint bucket, tray, or container when switching between brushing and rolling – this will keep your paint and tools from drying out.

Make sure your room is well-ventilated by opening windows and using fans. The fans are an added bonus since they will speed up drying time.

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How to Clean Paintbrushes

Before we discuss how to clean paintbrushes, the quality of the paint tools you use is just as important as care and technique.

Good quality brushes will cost more than standard-grade brushes, but investing in quality brushes will make a huge difference in a smooth paint job and last longer with proper cleaning and storage.

This post is a sponsored post by Purdy. I take pride in reviewing only products that fit my brand and will be beneficial to my readers. While this post is sponsored, all the opinions are my own.

Paintbrushes come in two main bristle types: Synthetic and Natural.

Synthetic Paintbrushes

Synthetic paintbrushes are best for latex or water-based paints and stains.

Synthetic bristles are made from nylon, polyester, or a combination of both. These bristles are stiffer than natural animal hair and do not absorb water and offer shape retention and a smooth finish.

Natural Paintbrushes

Natural paintbrushes are best for oil-based paints and stains.

Natural bristles have split ends which allow the brush to hold more paint and release it evenly. They readily absorb water which means they can quickly become limp.

It is always best to clean paint brushes (and rollers) as soon as possible post-painting. Paint is harder to clean once it dries, so proper cleaning and storage of paintbrushes are important.

Tip for Storing your Paintbrush in the middle of a paint job:

If you’re not able to wash your brush right away, try wrapping it in cling wrap or put it in a baggie (clip off the corner and stick the handle out). You will avoid the brush drying out.

How to Clean Synthetic Paintbrushes:

Wash Brushes

Use warm water and soap or mild detergent to clean the paint from your brushes, gently working the soap through the bristles until the water runs clear.

Soften dried-on paint with hot soapy water and work quickly.

Once the dried paint has softened, work the soap or detergent through the brush bristles and rinse. Continue to repeat the process as necessary.

For best results, use a Purdy® Brush Comb or Brush and Roller Cleaner to straighten bristles and place the brush in its protective keeper.

Dry Brushes

Once clean, hang them to dry before reusing or storing them.

Store Brushes

The best way to store paintbrushes is by replacing their original protective cover. This helps keep the bristles intact and helps the brush to maintain its original form.

*You should never use natural bristle brushes for latex or water-based paints and stains. If you make this mistake, clean the brush with warm soapy water and let it dry completely. Then, use a dime-sized amount of linseed oil and work it into the bristles. You may need to repeat this step several times to completely repair the brush. Once soft, comb out the brush and place it in its original keeper until you’re ready to use it again.

How to Clean Natural Paintbrushes:

Wash Brushes

Clean your paintbrush immediately after use and check the back of the can label for the manufacturer’s recommended *cleaning solution. Using a lined paint tray or another disposable container, work the solution into the bristles to remove the coating by dipping and swirling the bristles against the surface. Change the solution periodically when it gets too dirty and do not soak.

*Read the cleaning solution’s label instructions on how to properly dispose of the used cleaning solution.

Dry Brushes

Once the bristles are clean, use a Purdy Brush Comb or Brush and Roller Cleaner to straighten the bristles and ring out extra water.

Store Brushes

Store your brushes in the sleeve they came in so that the bristles remain flat and protected. Keep the cardboard covers with which costlier brushes are sold and put them back on for storage.

If properly cared for you will get many services from a good brush. Taking the time to clean and store them properly is important to their longevity.

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