How To Paint A Room (Best Tested Methods)

How to paint a room?

Painting a room is a great way to renovate the look of your home. If done correctly, it can completely change the atmosphere and appearance of that room. However, if steps are skipped, the improper technique is implemented, and the quality of your materials is subpar, then it can turn into a disaster. 

Picazzo Painting has existed for more than 25 years, providing its customers with the highest quality painting contractor services in the entire Miami area. We know what it takes to paint a room the way it needs to be done. We have experienced all of the failures and successes so you don’t need to. There are exact steps that every homeowner should take in order to achieve a professional grade of work in their home. In this blog post, we will discuss these procedures in depth, outline potential mistakes, and give you all of the tools you need in order to successfully paint your home.

Before getting started with the specifics of “How to paint a room”, there are a few things you should know before getting started. 

How long does it take to paint a room?

How long does it take to paint a room?

Many homeowners tend to opt out of painting their own homes because of the time required to do so. This can be a tremendous impediment to their daily lives and schedule, which leads them to outsource their interior, exterior, and pressure washing needs to a painting contractor. 

This is a massive factor that any homeowner needs to take advantage of before starting on their own project. You never want to leave a job half done. You have no idea how many times I’ve been asked “how to paint a room” and people just end up leaving the job half done and calling a painter to pick up the tab. While painting a room isn’t a tremendous time investment, you can assume 4-6 hours of work for an average-sized room which is around 224 square feet (14×16 ft). This isn’t a massive time investment, but it can be a strain on your daily schedule. 

Ultimately, the decision to paint a room is up to you, but you do need to realize that doing the job properly will require some time. Knowing this, if you still want to learn “how to paint a room”, stick around because we’re about to get started.

How much does it cost to paint a room?

How much does it cost to paint a room?

Another driving factor pushing people away from painting their own rooms is the cost. Painting has a moderate barrier to entry in the form of buying the right tools for the job. Later in this post, we’ll go over the exact resources that you’ll need in order to successfully paint your room. 

So, How much does it cost to paint a room? As we mentioned earlier in this blog post the average sized room is 224 (14×16 ft) square feet, given this measurement we estimate that a room of this size will cost you anywhere between 300$-620$. This is 1.4$-2.7$ dollars per square foot to paint a room. 

Note, that this price can go up based on a few factors. 

  1. How large your room is?
  • If your room is bigger than the national average the price will go up.
  1. The price of the tools that you buy.
  • The tools you need for the job will be offered at different price points. This will change the cost of the job.
  1. Any mistakes you make could cost you.
  • If you make the right mistakes the price of the job could go up. We’ll go into these potential mistakes later in this blog post.

Assuming that you aren’t painting your room yourself these prices could increase dramatically. The industry average for hiring a painter to paint your home would be 3$-6$ per square foot. 

So, painting your own room is definitely a way to keep costs down if you’re renovating your home, but you have to keep in mind that you will be spending a good amount of time in order to get the job done. 

Tools you need to paint a room.

Tools you need to paint a room.

In order to paint a room the bare bones items you’ll need are a paintbrush, roller, and a tray. However, if you’re looking to do a great, not a good job,  then you’re going to need all of the following items. 

You can find all of these items conveniently at your nearest Home Depot, Sherwin Williams, or painting supply store. If you’re looking to cut down on costs there are plenty of different price points that will allow you to save money on materials. 

  1. Paint brushes: You’ll need at least one high-quality paint brush for cutting in (painting the edges of the room where the wall meets the ceiling, baseboards, and trim) and one or two larger brushes for painting the walls. Look for brushes with synthetic bristles, as they are less likely to shed and are easier to clean.
  1. Rollers: Rollers are great for quickly and evenly covering large areas of the wall. Look for a roller with a medium nap (about 3/8 inch) for use with most types of paint.
  1. Tray: A paint tray is essential for holding paint and allowing you to easily load your roller or brush.
  1. Tape: Painters tape is used to protect baseboards, trim, and other areas you don’t want to get paint on. Make sure you use a tape specifically designed for painting, as it will be less likely to leave a residue.
  1. Drop cloths: Drop cloths are used to protect your flooring and furniture from drips and spills. Look for heavy-duty canvas or plastic drop cloths.
  1. Paint scraper or putty knife: A paint scraper or putty knife can be used to remove any old paint or wallpaper that may be on the walls before you begin painting.
  1. Sandpaper: Sandpaper can be used to smooth out rough spots on the walls before you begin painting.
  1. Paint stirrer: A paint stirrer is used to mix paint before use.
  1. Paint buckets: Paint buckets are used to store paint and can be used to transport paint from one room to another.

  1. Paint roller extender: An extender is a long-handled tool that attaches to your paint roller, allowing you to reach high or hard-to-reach areas without using a ladder.

How to prep a room for painting  (5 steps)

How to prep a room for painting

With this, it is time to get actionable advice on “how to paint a room”. This section will discuss how to prepare a room for painting. Arguably, the most important aspect of making sure a job gets done correctly. 

The Five Steps:

These 5 steps are the same exact steps that we take here a Picazzo Painting whenever we approach any client’s room, house, or project. 

1. Moving Objects out of the way.

This step is obvious to most DIY painters because you can’t paint a wall if there are any obstacles in the way. Even still, we feel that it is necessary to outline this step. You would think this step is super obvious and easy to do right? Yeah, us too. People still manage to make mistakes.

Here are a few mistakes that people make:

  • furniture too close to the wall
  • furniture completely uncovered
  • They move furniture to a spot that’s inconvenient for the project.

When you’re getting rid of any potential obstacles to the job it is necessary to make sure that you either move the furniture out of the room or concentrate the furniture at the center of the room. 

If have moved the furniture outside of the room, good. You no longer need to worry about it and you’re ready to move on to the next step.

If you have moved the furniture to the center of the room, make sure that you won’t need to move it in the future and find a plastic covering, tarp, or cardboard to cover the exterior of the furniture. This will avoid any stray paint sticking to the surface of the furniture. 

2. Clean up

This step is super important; most DIY painters tend not to do it. After moving all of the furniture out of the way and making sure that you didn’t make any of the mistakes we outlines in the previous section, it is time to clean up.

For this, you will need a rag, mop, or duster. In this step, you’re going to clean all of the walls and surfaces that you intend to paint. This step will ensure that the paint will adhere properly to the wall. With this, we can avoid any potential issues that we might have will paint or primer adhering to our surfaces. 

This step doesn’t need to be done perfectly, but it is important to do in order to avoid any potential issues. 

3. How to repair drywall 

This is where things start to get complicated and most DIY painters start to struggle. Don’t worry, we’ll try to explain this topic the best we can. 

Do you have any of these imperfections on your wall?

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Then, you’re going to need to repair these minor imperfections. 

For this, you’re going to need a compound. You can easily find these on amazon, Home Depot, or a painting supply store near you. 

After you have the compound, you want to apply a generous amount to the surrounding area with a spatula. The compound will most likely have peaks and ridges that we’ll want to get rid of. So, make sure that you have a damp sponge in order to smooth down the compound until it matched the texture of the wall.

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One common mistake that beginner painters make is coming in with the sponge too quickly. You want to 4-5 minutes before you start smoothing down the compound with a sponge. This is because when the compound is too moist it sponge will more difficult to avoid any steaks in the texture of the compound. 

When you have finished applying all of the necessary compounds. If you have opted for a quick-dry compound, then you should wait 30-45 minutes before continuing with priming the walls.

  1. Tape.

Once you have completed the last 3 steps, it is time to start taping any appliances that can’t be removed from the walls. You are going to want to use the painter’s tape that I recommended back in the “Tools you’ll need for the job” section. 

So what should cover with tape?

  • Widow Cills 
  • Power outlets
  • Floor Molding 
  • Crown Molding
  • Any surfaces that cannot be removed from the walls (electrical service panels)
how to paint a room img 3

Make sure that you tightly tape the outline of any of the aforementioned obstacles. Otherwise, paint could seep through and will have to be cleaned after the job is complete. This tape makes sure that the time spent cleaning up is at an absolute minimum, so this step is absolutely necessary to complete carefully. 

      5. Primer

Primer is another of those things that some DIY tend to forget when they decide to paint a room. I feel like professionals don’t adequately advocate the importance of primer even though they might use it themselves. 

Primer is an adhesive for the paint to latch onto once you’re ready to paint. It assures the longevity of the paint job past the 1-3 year mark and it reduces the possibility of bubbling or chipping paint. Especially when there is a substantial amount of humidity in the environment, chipping is a real danger to the quality of your work. 

So, how do we apply primer? 

  • Make sure that you have completed all of the steps mentioned above
  1. Moving objects out of the way.
  2. Clean Up
  3. Repairing Dry-Wall
  4. Taping anything you don’t want to be painted. 

If you have completed all of the preparation then you’re ready to prime your walls. If you refer to the “Tools you’ll need for the job” section, you will need a paint roller, interior primer,  roller tray, and paintbrush. 

Then you’ll want to begin by “cutting” the entire outline of the walls/ room.

how to paint a room img 4
  • To do this, you’ll need to make sure to steady yourself. While the primer will not be as noticeable as the paint, it is good practice when you have to cut the room again with paint. 
  • For areas that have tape, you can paint around the objects freely as long as the tape is pressed down and aligns with the obstacle. Try to not strain the tape too much by pressing it with the paintbrush too harshly. 

Once you’re done with “cutting” the entire room it’s time to fill in the outline. You’ll want to open the gallon of primer with the spatula that you used back in “step 3”. Then pour out a generous amount of primer into the roller tray (make sure that the paint doesn’t exceed the reach of the upper ridges of the tray). The ridges will make sure that the paint soaks into the roller properly, minimizing the amount of paint flying to other surfaces of the room. 

how to paint a room img 5

After this, the rolling process is relatively simple. You want to paint vertically, slowly adjusting your angle to move to different parts of the wall once you covered the previous area with primer. 

When it comes to applying primer onto a wall you want to make sure that coat of paint underneath is hardly visible. Obviously, this depends on the color of the previous paint job. If the underlying coat of paint is dark, then the paint will still seep through the layer of primer. That is the purpose of using two coats of primer. You need to make sure that the previous layer of paint isn’t visible or hardly visible. This will ensure that your new coat of paint will be bonding to a completely fresh coat of primer as opposed to 50% primer and 50% paint. 

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If this aspect of “how to paint a room” still confuses you take a look at our blog post about “how to prep drywall”.

How to Choose paint?

How to Choose paint?

If you are struggling with choosing the right color for your room, then you should take note of these steps. 

  • Don’t rush paint selection.
  • This is the first tip that comes to mind when asked: “how to choose paint”. People always rush the paint selection process and just say oh… “I’ll paint my walls white and call it a day”. They don’t tend to think about the things I am about to tell you. 
  • Pick a color that compliments the aesthetic of your home.
  •  The most important aspect to consider when painting any room in your house is choosing the right color for the job, which is the paint that most nearly matches the aesthetic of your home.

Is your home any of the following?

  • Rustic- lots of wood and more antiquated materials.
  • Modern- A more rectangular architectural aesthetic that uses marble and open spaces.
  • Bohemian- Free-form space with lots of vibrant colors. 
  • Industrial- Makes use of brick and exposed plumbing

My point is that the paint that you choose for your home should complement its aesthetic. For example, for the rustic and industrial you might use more brown, yellow, or green-related colors. Whereas the more modern and bohemian homes might stick to the classical whites and greys. 

Ex. Notice how this home uses a green hue to complement the natural coloration of its wooden floors.

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The paint you choose should always simplify a room, so I suggest a white base with different hues. For example, white with green, yellow, or orange hues. Using this strategy avoids making huge mistakes with paint choice. 

Picking a vibrant color in my experience over complicates the aesthetic of most homes. So, if you’re not 100% sure of your paint selection can go to home depot and request samples of paint for 4-5 dollars. However, this will increase the time required to paint a room because your samples will need to dry on the wall before you can reapply a coat of primer and continue with your selected paint. 

  • What are your goals?
  • Make the space look bigger.
  • Make the space feel warmer?
  • Use the space for a specific purpose.

Keeping your goals for the room is another important factor you want to keep in mind. It helps you minimize your choices in the paint selection process. For example, if you want to convert a room to a gym then you’ll want energetic colors like reds. You might even want a multi-colored room. So, when picking the right paint for you make sure to keep your objectives in mind.

How To Paint A Room

How to paint a room?

Finally, it is time to learn “how to paint a room”. If you’ve completed all of the previous steps, congratulations. You have practiced all of the skills necessary to completely paint your room.

You have learned how to trim, proper painting techniques, and minimize the probability of error. 

What are the steps?

  1. Trim the room

Similar to priming your room, you are going to want to trim your room in the color you selected in the previous section. Make sure that the paint doesn’t spread onto any unwanted areas. You can accomplish this by placing a tarp underneath wherever you are painting. 

  1. Fill in the remaining unpainted area!

Now, pour the paint into the roller tray making sure that it isn’t filled past the ridges. As we said in a previous section, this will minimize the amount of stray paint flying onto unwanted areas. Then you’re going to use the same technique as before, painting vertically and shifting to places without paint once the previous areas have been sufficiently covered. 

The whole time makes sure to keep a tarp underneath the area you’re painting in order to further alleviate the need for any additional cleanup once the paint is all dried up.

This part is completely up to your discretion, but we recommend a second layer of paint in order to make sure that your layer of paint is there to stay. It will eliminate the possibility of any bubbling and solidify the quality of the job. Please note, that you will need to wait 4 hours after the initial coat in order to apply the second layer safely. 

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  1. Dry-Time

This will probably be the easiest step of them all, waiting. The traditional amount of time to wait for your paint to dry is 2-3 hours. However, our recommendation is to let the paint sit overnight before moving all of your furniture back into place. 

If this isn’t a possibility then after waiting 2-3 hours your paint should be completely dry to the touch, just make sure to move all of your furnishings back carefully. 

If you’re interested we have a blog post on How-Long-Does-Oil-Paint-Take-To-Dry.

  1. Congratulations!

You have successfully completed all of the steps necessary to paint your room. Your room should have a completely different aesthetic and ambiance. If you followed all of our steps correctly then your clean-up time should be kept to a minimum. Feel free to move all of your furniture to its original position at your leisure.

If you have any questions about the content that you read in this blog let us know.

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