How to Paint a Room Like a Pro

To apply caulking to a gap or crack:

    1. Cut the tip of the caulking tube to a 45° angle so the hole is the width of the crack.
    1. Puncture the seal in the tube several times using a nail or the seal punch on a caulking gun.
    1. Hold the caulking gun at a 45° angle so the opening in the tube is parallel to the surface.
    1. Lay down a smooth, even bead of caulk with little or no excess.
    1. Smooth the bead with your finger before it sets up. Dampening your finger with water (latex caulk) or mineral spirits (silicone caulk) can make smoothing easier.
  1. Allow caulking to dry thoroughly before painting or getting wet.

Painting a Room

Once the room has been prepped and you’re ready to paint:

    1. Remove furniture, wall hangings, light switch and receptacle covers.
    1. Apply safe release painter’s tape along baseboards and around window and door trim.
    1. Cover floor with tarp or plastic sheeting.
    1. Cut in ceiling edges and around light fixtures with brush.
    1. Paint ceiling with roller. Unpainted textured ceilings may be hard to paint.
    1. Mix the gallons of wall paint together in a 5-gallon bucket.
    1. Cut in the walls with a brush around the ceiling, switches and plugs, windows and doors, baseboards, and along inside corners.
    1. Use a quality roller and cover with a 1/2” to 3/4” nap.

    1. Hook roller screen over the side of 5-gallon bucket.
    1. Dip roller in bucket and use screen to remove excess.
    1. Start at one corner of room and apply paint vertically to the wall over a 2’ wide area.
    1. Use light pressure on the roller at first, then press harder as the roller becomes less saturated with paint. Move the roller at a moderate pace to prevent splattering.
    1. Go back over the area to spread and even out the paint.
    1. Dip the roller in the bucket again and move to the adjoining 2’ area. Keep a wet edge between each section and smooth out any lines or drips.
    1. Clean up the brush, roller, bucket, and screen with water and dishwashing detergent in a sink or outside with a garden hose.
    1. If you’ll be using the same paint again the next day, wrap the wet roller in a plastic shopping bag and seal it with a tie to keep it from drying out.
    1. After the walls have dried, remove tape and paint the trim with a brush, going with the grain of the wood.
  1. Make sure the paint has dried thoroughly before hanging pictures and installing switch and outlet covers to keep them from sticking to the wall.

Further Information

23 COMMENTS

  1. Do you see the drip behind the tube of caulking. What’s the best way to avoid that. I usually don’t have trouble painting with flat, but yesterday I was using satin. The wall on the lower portion of the chair rail has DRIPS. I used my paint scraper when it was dry to the touch and today I plan to touch up those areas.

  2. Good tips but how do you protect/keep paint from chipping off the metal corners where dry wall comes together. It seems like that always chips off even if no one bumps into that area.

    Thank you

  3. Are there special preparation required to paint laminate walls? I live in a mobile home…nothing but laminate!!!

  4. What do I put on the back of pictures, clocks, etc. to keep them from sticking to paint. Before we painted the paint stuck to the items when we tried to get them off the wall. Any help appreciated.

  5. The ceiling in my bedroom is peeling. It is the only room that is doing this. There are no water marks/stains, so I don’t think it can be moisture. Above the room is an unfinished attic, that does have flooring,but is only used for storage. Nothing is wet.

    Although the ceiling hasn’t been painted in a long time,I don’t think it’s age because no other ceiling is doing this.

  6. I WATCHED YOUR SHOW ON SUMMER MAINTENANCE TIPS AIRING ON JULY 21 AND YOU SHOWED A PAINT BRUSH HOLDER THAT SCREWS ON TO A LONG HANDLE, THE BRUSH IS SCREWED IN PLACE IN THE HOLDER AND CAN BE SET AT ANY ANGLE TO DO AROUND CEILINGS OR ANY PLACE,I DID NOT HEAR THE NAME OF THE PRODUCT AND HAVE NOT HAD ANY LUCK FINDING IT AT TRUE VALUE OR ACE. I COULD REALLY USE THIS PRODUCT, CAN YOU TELL WHERE TO FIND IT OR THE NAME OF IT. THANKS SO MUCH!!!

  7. The molding of a door from the laundry room to the garage is immediately adjacent to the garage light switch. People reach to turn the garage lights on and off and most often touch the door molding. Over time one area on the molding becomes dirty. Repeated wipings causes the paint to become tacky and eventually come off leaving a dirty mark or bare wood.
    Any suggestions.

  8. My family room was built in the 70s and the walls are dark paneling. Can I paint the paneling and, if so, what are the necessary steps to have it look professional?

  9. My father was a small painting contractor in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. He always used work lights inside. I have never seen any shows or tips about lighting the area where you are working. How can you do a good job if you are working in poor light?

  10. The primary job of the person back rolling, aside from rolling, is to make sure the person spraying applies a sufficient amount of paint. If you do not have a roller pole and do not want to buy one, try attaching your roller to a push broom pole.

  11. My contractors used silicone caulk in my bathroom trim and walls. Now I can not get paint to look right. How do I remove the silicone caulk?

  12. Hi How do you paint at night and have it look good. When I paint at night it looks good , in the morning it looks like I missed a lot. What is the secret?

    • Hi, Joan,
      It sounds like you need to shine more light on the surfaces you’re painting at night.
      Point lights directly toward the project area, and move them as you work.
      Good luck!

  13. My friend is having a baby and wants me to paint the room for him. (Just because I recently painted my son’s room.)
    It’s helpful to know you need to repair defects and clean surfaces before anything else. I didn’t have to worry about that in my own home because I painted over a builder-grade job. But my buddy’s house is pre-war. We’ll have to look into interior painting supplies!

  14. My husband and I are in the middle of fixing our nursery room for our baby girl Dhalia, and so far the whole room has to be repainted. I never knew that we should shine a light on the walls first before painting so we may determine if there are dents or defects. Never thought about it before, but now that I’ve seen this, ya know what? DIY seems doable!

  15. My husband and I are wanting to sell our home and we NEED to fix the peeling paint in the living room. Thank you for this tip. Use a primer if your walls are painted dark or have any stains or marks … got it. We want the walls to be painted white, so we’re driving to Home Depot as we speak!

  16. My wife and I would like to have our house repainted and while we thought about hiring a professional contractor, we realized it would be too much money from our household budget. (Kids need to go to college!) We love the idea of painting like a pro. Thanks for these tips!!!

    • Glad to hear you enjoyed this content! Please share it with friends — that’s how we’re able to create similar content. 🙂

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