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Painting a room can be made easy by following
a few processes, not all rooms are the same but in general the same process
should apply for each room. The following steps are a guide on how to
paint a room.
Have your colour chosen or at least having a
good idea on what colour scheme you want, it can be a task in
its self choosing colours.
Make sure you have all the
tools you require to complete your painting project, including
patching compounds, gap sealants (caulking) and sandpaper. Trips
to the store will take up valuable time, time best spent
completing your project.
Once you have organised every thing that you need its time
to empty out the room you want to paint. Take out as much as you can
as working in an empty room is much easier and you will complete
your room quicker because your not having to negotiate your way
around things. However some larger pieces of furniture may be to
hard to move out the room so if necessary just move them to the
centre of the room and cover them with plastic or cloth drop sheets.
that the furniture has been removed cover the floor with drop
sheets, always use cloth drop sheets as plastic ones can be slippery and unsafe to work on. If you are on a tight budget then use
cardboard rather than paper but make sure you tape it down well.
To wash or not to wash the room, in general all
bathrooms and kitchens should be washed. Bathrooms will have soap
splash residue around and also in some cases mould and the kitchen
will have oil splashes from cooking and its surprising how far they
travel. Other areas that could need
washing are the living room if an open fire place is present or if
the house is occupied by a smoker. Cigarette smoke is damaging to
paint work, it should be washed
off and generally it will
still leave paint work with a permanent stain.
Most bedrooms are ok besides some marks that may need to be
washed off. Use common sense and if you are unsure just try washing a
small area, if you donít notice the surface looking any cleaner then
it will be fine to leave as is. If your paint work is chalky ( run
your hand over the wall, if you have dry paint dust on your hand
then the paint work is what we call chalky ) then you should wash
all the walls and a coat of sealer/ primer would be advised.
Now comes the fun part, all the preparation. One of
the first things I do is fill all the large cracks in the room,
normally they will need to be filled at least twice and will take
the longest to dry, if you can manage to fill them the day before
then this may save you some waiting around time. Once they are
filled I will sand the ceiling and walls with a pole sander, this
will remove lumps, dust and cobwebs from surfaces. This can still
be done by hand but will take a lot longer to do, during my
apprenticeship that was the way we did it, by hand. While sanding
the ceiling and walls have a pencil handy and circle any
imperfections that you want to fill, this will make it easier to
find them later, you can also use small pieces of tape as markers
too but I find these can get in the way during the filling process.
Now go around and fill all the areas that you want filled in the
ceiling and walls, while waiting for your patches to dry start your
Most if not all house will have gaps around the
cornice (moulding) caused by movement over the years, make sure you scrape any
loose filler or loose paint from this area and sand before gap
filling. If square set ceiling (no cornice) treat the same as
explained. Once this is done gap fill around windows , door frames
and skirtings, if you are going to be painting the woodwork (trim) make
sure you sand the edgeís that meet the wall before you gap fill and
once again remove any loose filler etc before you fill.
Now go around and second fill any cracks or
imperfections that you think require a second fill. I prefer to fill
things twice rather than over filling and creating a lot of sanding.
While waiting for the filler to dry you can sand the woodwork and
fill any imperfections in the woodwork that you see.
Once the filler on the walls and ceiling is dry,
sand and seal (prime) all patches. If you are painting a previously
painted room the chances are that you wonít need to prime all the
You will have a few choices next, you can either
undercoat woodwork first or start painting the ceiling then the
walls. If you are using oil based undercoat on woodwork then I would
suggest you undercoat woodwork first as oil based paint needs 16-24
hours to dry were as acrylic (water based) only needs from 1-3 hours
to dry depending on temperature, so its all about time management at
this stage. In
general, first coat your ceiling, first coat your walls, then first
coat woodwork, remember when the first coat on the ceiling and walls
is dry check for any areaís that you missed filling, you can still
fill these areas but remember to seal them and coat with one coat of
top coat to bring them to the same stage as the rest off the room.
Now finish coat your ceiling and walls, then paint your woodwork
leaving the skirtings to last because when painting skirting it is
easy to pick up grit or carpet fibres and you donít want to spoil
all your good work by transferring these to a door or window. However, in some case's when time is running out quick and you can see
you won't finish your painting project then maybe paint your
skirting first (once walls are finished) as this will allow you to
place furniture back into the room, windows, door frames and door's
can be done at a later date. If possible store the paint you used
for painting the skirting (baseboards) in a different container or
strain back into original tin, as like explain you don't want to
have grit in your paint when it comes to final coat on doors and
A few things to note when Painting
Depending on weather conditions you may decide to
use a heater or fan to help the paint dry, do not use them while you
are painting, wait until you have finished each area before using.
The reason for this is you don't want the paint drying too quick,
you will need some time to work with it, so once again use common
sense. As for open window's that will be your call, generally I
close them while painting walls and woodwork but open them again to
allow airing of the room, you may want to keep them open because of
the fumes. The reason I close them is same as a fan or heater, the
breeze coming through the window can make the paint go off too quick
reducing your working time with it.
When purchasing tools and equipment take in to
consideration how many rooms you have to paint and how often do you
think you will be painting. Buying equipment can be a long term
investment so think about what your long term needs are and perhaps
you are better of spending a little more on good quality tools and