How to Achieve the Perfect Paint Job


Painting a room is one of the few redecorating projects jobs that is truly a DIY event. Fortunately, changing the color of a room also delivers a huge impact – one which your family and friends are sure to notice. It is not difficult to achieve a professional look, but certain steps must be followed, and adequate time allotted to pull off an expert finish to all painted surfaces.

Step One: Prepare The Room To Be Painted

If possible, remove all the furniture from the room. You want to paint the walls, not the floors and furniture. If total removal is not possible, drape the furniture with the canvas with which you also cover the floors to protect them from paint splatters. Professional painters use canvas instead of plastic for protection because plastic not only gets slippery, but it also doesn’t soak up the paint like the canvas will. Take everything off the walls and either remove them from the room or protect them using the canvas.

Step Two: Prepare the Surface for Paint

At this point, you should have chosen the color by taping various paint samples to the wall and moving them around to see how they perform under different lighting. Unless you plan to re-carpet put down wood floors and buy all new furniture and window treatments for the room, choose a shade that complements the existing décor. Preparing the surface may be the most important step to a professional looking paint job. Proper preparation ensures the smooth, even finish you are looking for.

  • Remove all nails, picture hangers or anything else sticking in the wall and spackle the hole to make it even with the rest of the wall surface.
  • Sand over the spackle to help smooth it and help the new paint adhere.
  • If painting latex paint over oil-based paint or vice-versa, sand the entire surface thoroughly to allow the new paint to adhere.
  • Professional painters start the job with the trim, then the ceilings, and finally the walls. You will need to tape off the walls along the trim borders for a neat line.

Step Three: Painting the Room

Before that gorgeous new shade of paint goes up, there must be a coat of primer. Primer is essential for three reasons.

  • It blocks stains from bleeding through the new paint.
  • It allows for a one-coat coverage job.
  • It improves paint adhesion.

Estimate the quantity of paint necessary by figuring each gallon of paint will cover 400 square feet of a regular, smooth wall surface. Remember, rough textures will require more paint. It is recommended to mix all the cans of paint together in a five-gallon tub as paint color can vary from can-to-can, sometimes noticeably.

Another recommendation by the pros is that you put a plastic paint grid in the five-gallon tub vertically with the tub half filled with paint instead of the more typical horizontal paint tray. When the painting is over for the day, wash the roller and snap the lid back on the tub, grid and all, and you are ready to begin again. This is a faster, neater approach than the tray method. After painting the trim and the ceiling, paint the walls using a long floor to ceiling swipe and overlap the strokes quickly before the first swipe dries. This will give a unified color and smooth surface.

Wait a full day before putting the room back together to give the paint a chance to dry. Once your furniture and wall decorations are back where they belong, you can stand back and prepare to enjoy your new, fresh room for many years to come.