Cleaning walls or the ceiling you are going to paint will ensure the paint sticks rather than peel or chip off later. Use a degreaser to clean the wall, following the directions on a bottle, or dust and wipe down walls that aren’t too dirty.
If you’re working on an area that is already plagued by chipped and peeling paint, or are redecorating the room entirely and will likely need to fill nail holes, now is the time to do so. Fill in nail holes with spackle, then sand scrape away any peeling paint and uneven surfaces. If you start off with this, you’ll then want to wipe down the walls to make sure no dust or dirt is left behind.
Use a painter’s tape to cover moldings and separate the walls from the ceiling to ensure that you have a clean line between the end of the paint job and beginning of your moldings or ceiling. Run a putty knife over the tape to get rid of any air bubbles that might result in paint leaking through.
Don’t worry about taping off windows. Use a razor to scrap any dried paint off the windows later.
Taking off all outlets and light switch covers will guarantee that you cannot see where the paint job ends and the covers begin. You’ll just want to put tape over the outlets to make sure no paint gets on them. Keep everything together (covers and screws) in a plastic bag for safe storage.
Lay down a cloth to protect your floors. No need for a plastic, tarp, or bedsheets here! Cotton cloths are safer and stay in place on a carpet, so you don’t have to tape them down. If you’re working on a wood, vinyl, or tiled floor, you should use rosin paper. This does need to be taped down but, once it is, it provides a non-slip barrier between your floor and rouge paint. Both will stop splattered paint from seeping through to your floor.
It’s key to have a plan of attack when painting a wall. First, you want to outline the wall or ceiling with paint. There are special tools for this that will help you make the lines as clean as possible, rather than using a paintbrush that will have a different effect than using a roller. If you do use a paintbrush, make sure you do the rest of the painting while these lines are still wet so that they blend well.
After you’ve finished outlining, it’s best to start at the top and work your way down a wall. Not only will it keep you organized, but you can work away any dripping paint as you work your way down. For a ceiling, work with small sections at a time and feather out the edges to reduce visible layering in the paint. Think ombre.
Congratulations! You’ve finished painting your room. You might be excited to see the finished product, but it is important to let paint dry entirely before you remove the tape. Removing it only once the paint is dry will ensure a crisp, clean line.
Once the room is dry and you’ve removed the tape, you can start redecorating and enjoy the hard work you put into your room makeover.
Kayleigh is a content writer with a BA in technical writing/literature and an MA in creative writing. When she’s not at work writing, she’s at home writing, reading, or binge-watching television shows… for research, of course. A big do-it-yourselfer and crafter, Kayleigh loves testing out projects and gifting them to friends and family—all in preparation for when she owns her own home one day and decorates with her own personal creations. Her work has appeared on The Writing Cooperative and as an Honorable Mention in East Meets West American Writers Review.