Watch this video to learn about the steps involved in preparing a room for painting, along with tips on how to spray paint walls, roll ceilings, and paint trim.
Painting tips include:
- Painting Prep: Find out about deglossing paint, patching walls, and caulking trim.
- Painting Walls: See how to spray walls using a Wagner FLEXiO 590 paint sprayer.
- Painting Ceiling: Learn how to use a roller to paint ceilings.
- Painting Trim: Applying painter’s masking tape and painting trim with a brush.
Read episode article to find out more.
- Paint a Room Like a Pro (article/video)
- Interior Painting Made Easy (article/video)
- Interior Painting Preparation (video)
- How to Paint Walls (video)
- How to Paint Trim (video)
Danny Lipford: Painting is one of the most popular projects with do-it-yourselfers. So, this week we’re helping two new homeowners tackle the chore the right way.
Melissa Laster: I don’t know. I’ve never done this before.
Danny Lipford: Interior painting is one of those home improvement projects that lots of people take on. And it can make a big difference in a home.
Melissa Laster: The house is in really great shape. There’s just some colors, not that we necessarily hate any of the colors in this house, we don’t, but we just sort of want to make it our own.
Danny Lipford: The tools are pretty simple, the time commitment isn’t outrageous, and you can do it a little at a time, unless you’re trying to get moved into a new house, like David and Melissa Laster.
David Laster: We’re going to have to get this stuff in here in a very short amount of time.
Danny Lipford: They just bought this 70-year-old home, and they’re anxious to get moved in.
David Laster: My favorite thing about this house would be, I like the layout a lot, I love the yard, and I like the floors.
Melissa Laster: The floors were the first thing I noticed. That’s probably my favorite thing about the house. But just the charm, and the built-ins, and all the original things from, you know, it being an older home is what I really love.
David Laster: Our master bedroom, I’d really like to change the color. I’m not really even sure what you would call that color. Not really overjoyed with it from day one.
Melissa Laster: The kids both chose colors for their room. Our daughter, Olivia, chose a lavender. And then Brooks is going with a gray for his room, I think. And then the office…
Danny Lipford: The office appears to have been recently painted, but the color is, well…
Melissa Laster: It’s very green. And I love green. Actually, his favorite color is green.
David Laster: Not that green.
Melissa Laster: But I don’t think that’s the color we’re going for in there. So, we’re not really sure which direction we’re headed. but we’re headed away from that particular green, I think.
Danny Lipford: Right.
David Laster: But home improvements, that’s really my realm, I guess. Except for painting.
Melissa Laster: Yeah. He hates to paint. I like to paint, I think it’s kind of therapeutic, but he hates it.
Danny Lipford: Oddly enough, David can’t miss work this week.
David Laster: I am just distraught that she has to do all the painting.
Danny Lipford: But that’s where we come in.
Melissa Laster: Come on in. Welcome.
Danny Lipford: Oh, what happened to your foot there?
Melissa Laster: I just had foot surgery a couple of weeks ago, so I’m still a little hobbly, but I’m doing all right.
Danny Lipford: I love the purple sock, it’s cool.
Melissa Laster: Thank you. It keeps my toes warm. Come on upstairs.
Danny Lipford: All righty. The house looks like it’s in great shape.
Melissa Laster: It is. We are very happy with many of the paint colors.
Danny Lipford: Yeah, that’s good. That’s good.
Melissa Laster: But not all of them. So, some of them we want to change, like this one.
Danny Lipford: Oh, wow. I can see why.
Melissa Laster: It’s very green. I really don’t know what color I want this room to be.
Danny Lipford: But just a little maybe more of a soothing color than what it is right now.
Melissa Laster: Right, right. Exactly.
Danny Lipford: Now, they painted this the same color as the ceiling, it looks like. What were you thinking on that from this standpoint? Because, I mean, there’s no real standard. You could stay with the ceiling painted like that. You could go with this color, and then paint that strip the same color, and then just have the trim color in the middle. Sometimes people would say that having it the same color as the ceiling may make it feel a little larger.
So, you have one other room you wanted us to work with you on.
Melissa Laster: I do.
Danny Lipford: Okay.
Melissa Laster: This is going to be my son’s room.
Danny Lipford: Oh, wow. Plenty of room in here.
Melissa Laster: Yeah, he’s going to love it. He also loves the fact that it’s upstairs. He thinks that’s fantastic. So…
Danny Lipford: Yeah. That’s great. This will be really nice. And are you thinking of two different colors for the rooms?
Melissa Laster: Definitely.
Danny Lipford: Just need to think about that when you’re getting your paint. And we’ll take all of these out. We’ll get all of these out and prep everything…
Melissa Laster: Perfect.
Danny Lipford:…so that when you get here, I know you got some kids to teach tomorrow at school.
Melissa Laster: Right.
Danny Lipford: So, as soon as you get through with that, you can come over, and we’ll teach you some things about painting.
Melissa Laster: Great. I’m excited.
Danny Lipford: Alright, this will be fun.
Danny Lipford: So, while Melissa and David figure out what colors they want to start putting on these walls…
Melissa Laster: What about blue?
David Laster: No, no. No, no. No, no.
Danny Lipford: Let’s check in with Joe Truini for this week’s Simple Solution.
Joe Truini: When painting a room, you often spend more time masking off the areas you don’t want painted as you do applying the paint. Here’s a trick that can maybe save you some time.
First, cover broad surfaces with a drop cloth. And then for other surfaces—such as this backsplash—try using sealing wrap, which is basically just plastic food wrap that has an adhesive on one side.
Peel it off, pull off a big piece, tear it, and then you can just stick it right along the edge—in this case it’s the backsplash. And this adhesive holds pretty well, just stick it right down. I’ll add a couple more pieces there, but you see it just drapes over the faucet and onto the drop cloth, so that whole area is sealed.
It’s also great for surfaces such as the top of the toilet tank. Again, you just pull out a piece. This is pretty affordable, too. I mean with a couple of bucks you get, you know, a hundred square feet of it, enough to do a small bathroom easily. But anyway, you just stick it down.
Now, because this is plastic, you know the paint won’t soak through, so we don’t have to worry about staining any surfaces. And when you’re down, just peel it off, toss it out, and clean up is done.
Danny Lipford: David and Melissa just purchased this home and are about to move in. Before they do, there’s a lot of painting to be done, so we’re helping them get a jump start with some pointers and prep work.
You know, Allen, there’s really not that many cracks in these walls for a house this old. I think a little bit of a repair of the cracks, and maybe get rid of some of these phone lines, and we’ll be ready to go.
You know, how to approach painting an interior room is something you can get a lot of opinions on.
Allen Lyle: You know, I think there are probably as many opinions on how to paint a room the right way, as there are painters out there.
Danny Lipford: Yeah, absolutely. And what we’re going to do, though, is what we feel is the best way to address some of the real common things you have to face, especially when it comes to preparing a room. So, once we removed the old exposed phone lines, register covers, and unnecessary hardware, we’re ready to start patching.
And the thing is, you have to realize, there’s going to be some shrinkage with the spackling when you use it, so it’s almost impossible to do it with just one coat. So, just fill in the holes, and then know that it’ll shrink a little bit. It’ll dry really fast. And then you can put another coat on.
For larger holes, it’s a good idea to fill in some of the space with backing like tape to minimize the amount of spackle or joint compound needed as well as the shrinkage. Cracks in plaster walls often have raised edges, so you have to scrape them down a bit before you fill them up.
I like to use latex caulk for this job because it flexes some, as the plaster expands and contracts. But in either case, once the void is filled, we need to disguise the repair with some texture.
Allen Lyle: So, here’s what I’m going to do. I’ve got a little sponge. And over here, I’ve got some mud, just some drywall compound. And a little bit of water, I’m going to sprinkle on it. Then watch this, I’m going to put my index finger right in the back of the sponge, and I’m going to bow it out just a little bit. Just like that. All right? So now, I’ve got a little mud that I’m going to start just dab it on, then come back. And that’s one way to put some texture on a wall.
Danny Lipford: And another way to match the texture is wall texture in a can. This is readily available at just about any home center and it makes it so easy to match the texture, especially when you have a larger spot like I have right here.
Now, when you’re using this texture, first of all, it’ll tell you to shake it like crazy for about a minute. And then it has an adjustable dial right on the top like this, so that you can adjust to the right texture that you want. I’m going to try a medium texture and this is always a good idea, to try it out on a piece of cardboard before you actually put it on the wall. So, it was a little heavy there but just right there. So, I think I’m ready to hit the wall.
Another thing we need to do in this room is to prep the walls to remove the gloss of the existing green paint so the new paint will stick a lot better. Liquid deglosser’s a great solution for this because it keeps you from having to sand everything.
While I’m doing this, Allen is getting started with the ceiling paint in the next room. Since Melissa decided to bring the ceiling color down the wall to the picture rail, Allen’s covering the space with the brush, and apparently working on some kind of off-the-wall impression of me.
Allen Lyle: Hmm. What is it that Allen hates to do more than anything? Oh, yeah. Allen hates to paint. I think we should do an episode on painting. That’s Danny.
Danny Lipford: When you get ready to start with the roller, make sure you pick up some of these roller tray covers. They make cleanup a lot easier, as well as switching between colors. Of course, the thing you have to look out for when rolling a ceiling is the tiny splatters that drop off the roller from above.
Allen Lyle: Danny, did I tell you about my invention idea I think you could go in with me on?
Danny Lipford: No, let’s talk about it.
Allen Lyle: I want to get some self-sticking clear plastic lens covers. Individual lens covers.
Danny Lipford: Lens covers for cameras?
Allen Lyle: No, no, for your glasses. So, when you’re doing this, you’re rolling, and all this paint’s getting on your glasses, and then you just take your glasses off, you peel it off and you’ve got clean glasses.
Danny Lipford: I’ll bet NASCAR has some of those.
Allen Lyle: Hey! I’ve noticed you’re not wearing a cap, Danny.
Danny Lipford: No.
Allen Lyle: That white just blends right in, doesn’t it?
Danny Lipford: Yeah. You won’t know it, you won’t know it.
Danny Lipford: When you put the second coat on a ceiling, you want to run your roller perpendicular to the direction of the first coat. That way you can ensure that there are no holidays, which is painters’ jargon for missed spots.
While I’m doing this, Allen begins masking the windows and trim in the office. By the way, don’t forget to cover the outlets and switches with tape while you’re at it. We’re just about ready to surprise Melissa because when she gets here after work, instead of rolling these rooms, we’re going to set her up with a spray gun, to knock ’em out quick.
Jodi Marks: You know I love painting projects, especially when the right tool makes my project go so much faster and easier, and take a look at this. This is the Wooster 9-inch Sherlock roller.
And what sets this apart is, first of all, I like the fact that it has these springs right here. So that when I slide my roller into place, you see how it locks on, that prevents the roller from walking off of the handle, which it so often does when you’re in the middle of your painting project.
I like the handle, it’s got a nice grip, so it’s easy to maneuver. But I have to say, the biggest thing that I like about this, is that it makes cleanup easier. How, you ask? Well, let me show you.
Instead of having to grip the roller and slide it off, all you have to do—and of course it might be a little easier with the weight of the paint on this, but since this is dry—look. I have a bucket right here where I would want to dispose of it.
All I have to do is tap it really hard on the side of the bucket, and I’ve got a clean roller handle ready to go again.
Danny Lipford: This should be plenty big enough. Oh, hello there.
Melissa Laster: Hey, guys. How’s it going?
Danny Lipford: This week, we’re helping Melissa Laster do some interior painting before she and her family move into a home they’ve just bought. Have you ever been involved in any spraying.
Melissa Laster: No.
Danny Lipford: Well, you’re about to be.
Allen Lyle: Surprise!
Melissa Laster: Fantastic!
Danny Lipford: While Allen gets the paint sprayer ready to go, Melissa helps me finish masking the room.
Allen Lyle: Okay, let’s just tear off whatever you want.
Melissa Laster: How about that?
Danny Lipford: I get to have a little fun. All right, let’s see. We’ve got a mask.
Melissa Laster: All right.
Danny Lipford: Okay, so put your little mask on.
Melissa Laster: Okay.
Danny Lipford: Okay. There you go. All right, I’m going to pinch your nose here.
Melissa Laster: I’m going to be so beautiful.
Danny Lipford: There you go. All right, there. Okay. Now, glasses. Here you go. Okay. That’s not working, here. And then you have your gloves. And you have your hat. There you go.
Melissa Laster: I am so pretty.
Danny Lipford: Now, let’s paint. Okay, just a few tips on using a sprayer. First of all, instead of using it like this, where you’d have a radius that’d be different distances from the wall, you want to go parallel with the wall, just like that. And so, of course, you want to start at the top, and then just real even.
We’ll set the pattern to where the pattern and the wand is just right. And then back and forth, and just take your time, and just put a light coat on. It’s going to take two coats.
All right. So, just put a real light coat on it and you work your way around. Allen and I will go drink some tea, relax a little bit.
Melissa Laster: I see.
Danny Lipford: Come back in a little while, fill up your canister again and it’ll be great.
Allen Lyle: Let me ask you this. Do you have a tendency to go up and down? Or back and forth? Because that makes a difference what this is.
Melissa Laster: I don’t know. I’ve never done this before.
Allen Lyle: Okay. It’s all yours.
Melissa Laster: Y’all are making me really nervous. I’m going to paint you.
Danny Lipford: You point that way.
Allen Lyle: All right, you want to be about six to eight inches from the wall to start.
Danny Lipford: Once Melissa gets started, she really gets the hang of it, and starts making a lot of progress. So, Allen and I can take a little break.
Now, let’s see what we got. Ah, no food yet. Oh, probably you have to spin me around. There we go, yeah! What have you got? Man, I’ve already passed that level a couple of days ago. Come on.
Allen Lyle: Yeah, well, if my birds were a little angrier, I’d be up there too.
Melissa Laster: Really, guys? Where’d you go?
Danny Lipford: The great thing about using this Wagner sprayer on walls, is that you don’t have to switch tools to get into corners or tight spots. So, Melissa can cover the whole room quickly. In fact, she moves on to the next room by the time we get back from our break. All right. How are you doing?
Melissa Laster: Hey, guys, where have y’all been? Well, we had to look at a few things around the house there. But you know what…
Allen Lyle: Yeah, look at a few things.
Danny Lipford: You’ve done great though. The blue room looks fantastic in there and you’re well on your way here with all the gray color.
Allen Lyle: How do you think about this?
Melissa Laster: Well, I was intimidated at first, but it’s really awesome, and really easy to use, and really fast.
Danny Lipford: Yeah, it does make a big difference. And you feel comfortable now? We’re about to get out of here. You feel comfortable continuing?
Melissa Laster: Yeah. I think I can finish this room up.
Danny Lipford: Okay. Perfect. Well, you finish this tonight. Tomorrow, we’ll start on the trim, everything will be looking good about this time tomorrow.
Melissa Laster: Sounds great.
Danny Lipford: Okay. All right.
Melissa Laster: Thanks.
Danny Lipford: Good luck with it.
Danny Lipford: Melissa finishes the second room that evening, so we’re ready to trim the next day. Now, you get to learn how to paint a little trim.
Melissa Laster: Okay.
Danny Lipford: This is a little more patience, a little more skill. So, we’ll see how it works. But I did want you to take a peak in this other room for a second.
Melissa Laster: Oh, okay.
Danny Lipford: See what you think, right in here. So, how’s that?
Melissa Laster: Wow! It’s all finished.
Danny Lipford: All finished. So, we took care of this room, and all the trim, all the cleanup. So, you get to take care of this room, see? No problem.
Melissa Laster: Yay!
Danny Lipford: Come on. Let’s get you started. Okay. This is where I left off on this room is a little bit of caulking. I pretty much caulked everything, but I thought, you would have to do just a little bit of caulking, so that you can feel good about it.
Melissa Laster: Okay. Sure.
Danny Lipford: All right. So, I’ve got the tip cut, which is very important to cut it at the right angle. Okay. And then go ahead and let you step up there with your bad foot.
Melissa Laster: With my hobbly foot.
Danny Lipford: Okay, now… Here’s what you want to do. You want to take this and real evenly squeeze the caulk out. And just go along there. Try to keep going in a smooth line. And then just put just enough on there, and then we’ll have a lot of fun after that. Okay?
Melissa Laster: If you say so.
Danny Lipford: Okay.
Melissa Laster: All right.
Danny Lipford: There you go, real smooth. There you are. Maybe a little faster because it looks a little too thick. Oh, yeah. Keep going. There you go. That’s good. Now, I’ve got a damp rag here. So what you’ll want to do, put your finger on it and get it a little wet. And then you’re going to run your finger on it, and then wipe it off, rub your finger, wipe it off, and it’s just going to be beautiful.
Melissa Laster: All right.
Danny Lipford: Okay, now wipe it off. There you go. All right. Just real smooth. Yeah. There you go. Isn’t that fun? It’s like spreading toothpaste.
Melissa Laster: It is.
Danny Lipford: All right. You’ve got your caulking lesson done.
Melissa Laster: Yes.
Danny Lipford: All right. Now a little tape. Along the hardwood floors, we’re using green FrogTape to mask off the paint, but on the freshly painted walls, we’re using their yellow lower tack version of the tape. That way, we won’t peel up the new coat of paint, when we remove the tape.
In no time, we’re ready to paint. All right, you’re ready. You’re ready to do the rest of the room, perfect. So, while Melissa finishes up the trim in this room, let’s take another break and answer one of your questions.
Danny Lipford: Renee asks, “What’s the best way to clean out my paintbrushes?”
Of course, after you finish a paint project around your home, cleaning brushes is not the most favorite thing for anyone, but it’s fairly easy and very important. If you’re using an oil-based paint, of course you’ll use mineral spirits to clean it. But most people use latex—soap and water, like I have here, is just perfect.
Best just to put it in a bucket like this, work out as much of that paint as you can, and then blasting away a little bit more of it with a hose will get a lot of the particles out of it.
But to finish up the cleaning project, whether it’s oil or latex, use that wire brush to really work out all of the little particles and to kind of comb out all of the hairs on your brush. And then let it dry just a little bit.
And then use your original sheath to put it back in place, so that it’ll keep the bristles nice and straight. And if you don’t have this, you can use newspaper, fold it around it neatly, put a piece of masking tape on it, and it’ll work great.
Danny Lipford: David and Melissa Laster wanted to make their new home their own and with their own new colors. The old ones weren’t bad, they just weren’t theirs. With the right kind of prep and the use of a few new tools, these areas look brand new.
Besides the great new colors, these rooms have no more unsightly cracks, holes, or random wires stapled to the walls. So, the Lasters’s new house feels new. And, Melissa, I know it’s been several weeks since we’ve been here, and you got all moved in. How was the move?
Melissa Laster: As moves go, it was pretty painless, I guess. And the room still is a little bit of a work in progress, but I think he’s enjoying it.
Danny Lipford: Yeah, Brooks looks like he’s having fun with his little desk and a little project. But I’m interested in the office. I know you guys were talking about building this nice desk in the little alcove area. Uh, what’s this? What’s changed here?
Melissa Laster: Well, we’ve had a bit of change of a plan for this room.
Danny Lipford: So, you’re telling me this is going to be a nursery instead of an office?
Melissa Laster: Yes, this is going to be the nursery.
Danny Lipford: Wow well, that’s pretty exciting. Hey, well, it fits well in there.
Melissa Laster: Kind of like it was made to go there.
Danny Lipford: Absolutely. Well, congratulations.
Melissa Laster: Thank you.
Danny Lipford: Hey, I hope you can see how you can do a little painting, spend a little time on a house like this and make a big, big difference with very little money invested. Thanks for being with us this week on Today’s Homeowner. We’ll see you next week. Well, all I can say is I hope it’s a boy.
Melissa Laster: Yeah.
Allen Lyle: Now, I expect a loop-de-loop, all right?
Danny Lipford: Oh, that’s far enough.