Learn How to Paint a Room Like a Pro With These 7 Tips and Tricks

Best Of Hometalk
by Best Of Hometalk

Painting a room is one of those projects that most people always have on their to-do list. And most folks don’t really look forward to it. Painting takes time and effort. But painting a room is one of the best ways to update the look of your home without spending a fortune. And if something goes horribly wrong, it’s typically an easy fix. Here are seven of the best tips and tricks for how to paint a room!

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Tip # 1: How to Choose the Right Paint Color and Sheen for your Room

Choosing the right paint color can seem overwhelming. But you do not need to hire a designer in order to choose the right paint color and sheen. A good place to start is by gathering inspiration online! Hometalk DIY Forums, Pinterest and other DIY blogs are a great way to see what colors and styles pique your interest. Not to mention, popular paint companies such as Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore offer a massive amount of information and color choices on their website. Sometimes you can find inspiration from other places too, like artwork and other accessories such as rugs. Pull a favorite color out of these items to tie a whole room together.

First, let’s talk about paint tools: In order to paint a room efficiently and correctly, you need the right tools for the job. Be sure to have the following paint tools handy: paint, paint roller, extension pole, sandpaper, painter’s shield or putty knife, drop cloths and paint rags, angled paintbrush, paint tray or paint cup and painter’s tape. Also, keep in mind that a sturdy step ladder or stool will go a long way. It will make those hard to reach corners and ceilings that much easier to tackle. Try to keep the room as well ventilated as possible while you are painting. Paint will take longer to dry if it’s a rainy, damp day, so you might want to keep a fan blowing in the room while you are painting.

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Here’s a great tip for testing your paint colors: First, get samples from your paint or hardware store. Tape them up on your wall where you want to paint and visit them throughout the day if you can. This way, you can see how the light will affect the color as the day moves on. You can also buy small samples of paint. Not ready to put them up on the walls yet? Paint a white foam board instead and display that up on the wall. This will give you a larger area to test the color and if you don’t like it - you can just throw it all away! Still stuck on color? When in doubt, go with a popular neutral color, like white or greige (warm gray), which are currently trending.

Once you have the color chosen, it’s time to select the right sheen. Paint Sheens range from dull/matte to shiny. Most paint stores can help you determine the sheen you want based on the room you're painting, but here’s a tip. The higher the sheen of the paint (i.e. the shinier it is), the higher the durability and wipe-ability of the paint (i.e. more kid-friendly). The lower the sheen of the paint (i.e. the more matte it is), the more it will hide imperfections on your wall.

Tip # 2: How to Prep Your Space When Painting a Room

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In order to paint a room like a pro, you need to prep the room like a pro. How exactly do you prep the space like a pro when you are painting? So glad you asked! First, we have to remove the outlet and light switch covers. Put them together somewhere safe where along with their matching screws. A ziplock bag would work well here. Then remove any nails in the wall and repair and/or fill the holes with caulk. Finish the area with a light sand and wipe the walls down clean. Take down window treatments or blinds if you can or cover them up, along with the floor. Drop cloths or plastic sheets sold at home improvement stores work well for this. Now, tape all the areas you don’t want to get paint on - baseboards and trim, door handles and hardware, windows etc. I think you’re ready! Follow the advice below for even more specific tips on how to paint a room.

Tip # 3: In a rush? Here’s How to Paint a Room Quickly

While you should generally take your time with prepping and painting a room, sometimes, we just need to paint a room really quickly. Here’s a tip for doing just that. Basically, after you prep the space (see tip you start by painting the edges and corners. While that is still wet, you start rolling on the walls with a heavier amount of paint. This will cover the walls quickly and blend in with the edges you just painted, which are not yet dry. After you have painted the whole room, remove the tape before the paint is fully dry. You’re done! That’s a great way to paint a room fast. 

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Tip # 4: How to Paint Edging like a Pro Hack

Here are a couple hacks for painting edging, which can be a challenge:

Hack Take a plastic putty knife and place it right where the wall and ceiling meet or anywhere near the edging. Brush up right underneath the putty knife and you won’t get any paint on the ceiling part! Genius! You can buy large putty knives from home improvement stores. 

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You can also buy Painter’s Shields, which are essentially the same thing and larger. Just make sure your shield is clean so you don’t transfer any paint to the walls or ceilings.

Hack For painting straight lines: Use a Clearcut brush and paint using the edge of the brush. Then go over the area with a roller to smooth the finish. 

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Tip # 5: The Best Way to Paint Trim

When painting a room, occasionally you will have to paint the trim as well. Plus, there is nothing like bright and gorgeous trim that just pops against your freshly painted walls to really give your room that designer feel. And by trim, we mean baseboards, crown molding and any trim around windows and doors.

Here’s a tip, wipe down your trim and repair any holes you see between the wall and trim with caulk. This will ensure a smooth paint job that looks professional. Another tip is to follow the tips from #4 above. Use a painting shield in order to achieve those nice crisp edges. And make sure you use a semi-gloss paint sheen! Baseboards have a tendency to get dusty and dirty, and you want the option to wipe them down and clean them regularly. Don't forget - the higher the sheen of the paint, the more durable it is and easier it will be to wipe them down. Which is why Semi Gloss is the tried and true sheen for trims and baseboards. 

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Another Tip: Use an angled brush to paint trim and only get paint on the tips. Keep your wrist stiff and you will paint nice straight lines in no time!

Tip # 6: Best Paint for Kids Rooms

Kids rooms can be so fun to decorate. You can be a bit bolder and whimsical and go a little more wild with your design! You may be wondering if there is a best tip or trick for painting kids rooms. There is. First and foremost, you need to consider what type of paint you are using. You don’t want children and babies breathing in harmful paint fumes. Make sure you do your research and go with a certified safe paint - such as Benjamin Moore’s Natura Line (which is certified asthma & allergy friendly and has zero VOCs and zero emissions.)

The other consideration when painting kids rooms, is that kids tend to touch the walls a bit more than adults. And sometimes they end up coloring off their coloring books and onto their walls. Oh no! The best way to combat all this wear and tear on their walls is to use a paint with a higher sheen, such as satin. The walls will be that much more durable and easier to keep clean.

Another tip when painting kids rooms are to spark their creativity by allowing them to write on the walls. What?? Yes! Paint an accent wall with chalkboard paint. Let the kids have their space to draw and write and you can wipe it clean when they are finished. Check out Hometalkers posts to tell you which brand of chalkboard paint is best.

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Here’s an easy project if you don’t want to paint the whole walls! Use stamps! You can use paint stamps or a patterned paint roller to create patterns on the walls of your kids' room. It’s a great alternative to wallpaper. Choose an accent color and go for it. Stamps and Patterned Paint Rollers can be purchased from craft stores, online and home improvement stores. Check out Hometalk for some inspiring ideas about painting with stamps.

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Tip # 7: Unique Painting Ideas for your Home

Hometalk is a great resource for brilliant painting ideas for your home! Here are some great ideas if you are looking for something a little more unique. How about painting a buffalo check pattern on your wall? Buffalo check is a super popular pattern these days and you can choose the accent colors so it will fit in with your current decor.

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Another fun idea is painting faux brick on your walls. Exposed brick walls never go out of style, and they can make such a statement in your rooms. Painting a faux brick on your walls is a great way to save money, as using real brick is a much more expensive and labor-intensive project.

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Do you love wallpaper but hate the expense? Get the look for less! You can use painter’s tape to create really unique geometric patterns or stripes on your wall. Or, take a cue from tip #6 and use stamps or a patterned paint roller to achieve the look your desire. 

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You can also create a beautiful watercolor effect on your walls. This project is a bit messy but so much fun and incredibly easy.

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Once those walls are dry, it’s time to remove that painter’s tape, gather up those drop cloths and marvel at a job well done.

So there you have it. We learned how to properly prep a room for painting, how to choose paint colors and paint sheens and how to paint a room quickly. We also spilled some secret hacks about edging and painting trim, best kids paint ideas, as well as unique painting ideas for your home. I hope these 7 best tips and tricks for how to paint a room will help you on your way to beautiful new walls and a whole new look for your room.  

Now it’s time to get out there and paint that room! Don’t forget that Hometalk and your fellow Hometalkers are a fabulous source of inspiration for your next painting project or any of your DIY projects. Need some help? Simply type your question into the Hometalk DIY Forum and let your fellow Hometalkers answer your inquiry. Be sure to post your painting project on Hometalk too, we can’t wait to see the before and after reveal!

Written for the Hometalk community by:  Karen | Decor Hint

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  3 questions
  • Deborah Deborah on Jan 22, 2019

    How do I get up those drips of paint? We have laminate.

  • Julie Aldebol Julie Aldebol on May 11, 2019

    my husband and I are starting to paint all of our dark brown trim to white :•0!!! We followed all the basic steps sanding, wiped down, primed with oil base primer, then painted. How do painters get the paint not to be somewhat sticky? It has been about a week and the trim is still somewhat sticky. Does it need a coat polyerithane? Thanks so much.

  • Ree Ree Deissroth Ree Ree Deissroth on Nov 11, 2019

    Can you paint paneling and how

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