How To Paint A Wall

Painting a wall isn’t a task always carried out by the professionals. In fact, millions of British homeowners paint their interior walls every year and all it takes is a little patience, care and skill.

Of course, you could be painting the walls to either freshen up the place or as part of a complete makeover. What’s for sure, is by carrying out this task the finished room will look much better than when you started. Find out how to paint a wall with the following information.

Planning and Preparation

So, the first thing you’ll need to do is prepare your room. Before decorating of any kind it’s highly advised to move all the furniture out to avoid damage and to cover the floor with a dustsheet, especially if you intend to keep the same carpet.

Once the room is cleared, you can go about preparing the walls. If there’s wallpaper up, you should peel and scrape this off before painting. Wallpaper can easily be removed with warm water and a sponge, or a steamer.

Now you should have plain walls – But it’s not the time to go ahead and start painting. Use an electric sander or sandpaper to smooth the walls and woodwork, ready for paint to better stick to the surfaces as a result.

Depending on the state of the walls, you may also need to fill in any cracks with plaster or Easy Fill. For a better finish, many people will opt to line the walls with lining paper or hire a professional plasterer to create a smooth, even finish across the entire room.

Just be sure your walls are smooth and crack free before attempting to paint. Any imperfections will show through and spoil your work.

Planning and Preparation Part 2

Once your walls are paint ready, you’ll need to remove all electrical sockets and wall coverings. This will help to achieve a better finish and save you having to paint around fixtures. For any outlets you remove, tape the screws to the cover to ensure not misplacing them.

It would also be wise to apply masking tape around areas you don’t want to paint. This could be doors, windows and even skirting. To make life easier you could also purchase a quality painter’s tape, which is superior to ordinary masking tape. Once applied, run a tool along the edge to ensure the tape’s in place and prevent paint getting underneath.

Before painting you should also ensure good ventilation in the room. Opening a window will help with this, whilst also aiding the paint to dry at a quicker rate. Now you’re ready to find out how to paint a wall.

Choosing the Right Tools

So, your room is all ready to be painted. What tools will you need for the job? This will largely depend on what you’re painting. There is a range of sizes when it comes to paintbrushes and rollers.

Typically you’ll need both small and large brushes. Small paintbrushes are perfect for intricate woodwork and when painting at joins, whilst the larger brushes help get the job done quicker on larger sections. You should also have rollers to hand to make the task of painting the ceiling and wall space speedy.

For woodwork it’s also advised to have a primer, which can be applied before using normal paint. This helps to prepare the wood and gives your paint better opportunity to stick.

Using the Brush and Paint Roller

As we mentioned above, paintbrushes will come in a range of sizes. Typically, a wall brush will be around 3-4 inches in width, whilst trim brushes smaller at around 2-3 inches. There are also sash brushes available, cut at angles to aid in the application of paint to edges and obstructions.

Once you’ve selected the right paintbrush for the job, load up by dipping about two thirds of the brush into the paint. Remove excess paint by wiping the inner edge of the can or on an elastic band wrapped around. When applying to the wall, try to have long smooth strokes. This will help to avoid streaks and visible brush marks being left behind.

Rollers help extend your reach, whilst giving you the opportunity to quickly paint larger surfaces. You may also need a ladder when painting the ceiling or top of a wall.

You’ll have both the tray and the roller. Fill the well of the tray with the right paint and dip the roller in, so half is covered. Remove excess paint by rolling in the flat section before applying to the wall.

You may need at least two coats to completely conceal the previous wall and match the colour you’ve purchased, so don’t worry if it doesn’t look quite right after the first go. Remember, the more time and precision taken, the better the end result.

Painting the Trim

Once you’re satisfied with the ceiling and walls, it’s time to spend some time on the trim. You’ll need to remove the masking tape you previously applied and add more against the trim to protect the walls you’ve just painted. Start from any trim closest to the ceiling and work your way down. For instance, you should paint the window frames before the skirting. Again, you may require two coats of paint to achieve the perfect finish.

The Clean-Up Process

Last but not least when learning how to paint a wall, it’s worth taking a look at the clean-up process. This will ensure not making a mess, whilst being able to use your paintbrushes again in the future.

First off, if you can’t complete your painting all in one day, make sure to wrap brushes and rollers tightly with plastic wrap to prevent the paint from setting. You can then commence immediately the next day.

Remember, good quality paintbrushes can be expensive, so it’s worth preserving them to save money. For this, you could leave them to soak in white spirit for a few hours, before thoroughly cleaning and rinsing out both the paint and solvent. You can then store the brushes away and they’ll be ready to use again the next time decorating is required.

Ideally you’ll want to put protective gloves on when washing paintbrushes to protect your skin. Latex gloves are perfect for this job and you can throw them away right after.

So there you have it. Hopefully you can now go away and start painting your room. You won’t need to call in the experts, can save some money and still achieve a professional finish.