How to Paint a Room
Painting a room can be a task that takes a couple of hours, a half day, or more. It all depends on what and how much you decide to paint. You can freshen up a room by giving a door or cabinet a new coat of paint in just a few hours. Or you can break it into smaller jobs and spread them out over a week or more. Whatever the size of the job you decide to tackle, the painting techniques remain the same.
In this article, we’ll take you all the way through the process of painting a room. From prepping to cleaning up, we have the job — and your room — covered. We’ll start at square one, with how you should use your painting equipment.
When you embark on an interior painting job, you’ll soon discover how easy it is to use brushes and rollers competently. Even so, there are a few techniques that will help postpone fatigue and provide a neater job.
The grip you use depends on the brush you’ve chosen. Trim and sash brushes with pencil handles are grasped much as you would a pencil, with the thumb and the first two fingers of the hand. This technique gives you excellent control for intricate painting. With beaver-tail handles on larger brushes, you’ll need a stronger grip because the brushes are wider and heavier. Hold the handle with the entire hand, letting the handle span the width of your palm as you would hold a tennis racket. This technique works best when you’re painting large, flat surfaces.
The goal of loading a brush is to get as much paint on the wall as possible without dribbling it all over the floor and yourself in the process. It will take you only a few minutes to be able to gauge accurately how much paint your brush will hold along the way. Meanwhile, start the job by dampening the bristles of the brush (with water for latex or the appropriate thinner for other types of paint) to condition them and make them more efficient. Remove excess moisture by gently striking the metal band around the handle’s base against the edge of your palm and into a sink or bucket.
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How to Paint a Mural
Learn how to paint a mural in acrylics! These pages will cover all the common questions you might have if you want to paint an indoor mural, such as:
What type of paint should I use to paint a mural?
What other materials do I need to paint a mural?
How do I prepare a wall before painting a mural on it?
What are some mural painting techniques?
How do I finish or seal the mural?
What type of paint to use for an indoor mural
When you paint a mural, you’ll have two distinct stages of painting, just as when you paint on canvas: first you’ll create an underpainting to block in main areas of color and outline the general composition, and then you’ll paint in the detail.
To paint large blocks of color (such as a stretch of blue sky, green hills, etc), use interior household paint, also known as latex paint. This is the kind of paint you would normally paint walls with. Painting large blocks of color with latex paint is more economical than trying to cover the entire wall with the artist quality acrylics that you buy from art supply stores. You will get better coverage from interior household paint and save yourself a ton of money in the meantime as you learn how to paint a mural.
Interior household paint comes in four different sheens: flat, eggshell, satin and semi-gloss. An eggshell sheen works best for mural. Steer away from satin or semi-gloss sheens, because they will be too shiny. The flat sheen is also not the best choice because it cannot be scrubbed. Eggshell, however, is just right, because it can be cleaned and it can safely accept layers of paint on top of it.
To tackle the detailed work on your mural, use your tubes and jars of artist-quality acrylics and proceed just as if you were painting on canvas. Most brands of acrylics will work well for indoor mural painting
Unique Interior Paint Ideas That Show Personality
One of the things that makes a home truly yours is showing your unique style. Interior paint is one of the best ways to do this, and even a small change can showcase exactly who you are. There are a number of ways you can use interior paint in unique ways to create a space people will ooh and ahh over.
The most obvious choice for paint is adding color to your walls. Don’t be afraid to use a color a bit outside the norm, especially if you plan to live in the house for a while. If you’re planning to flip the house or sell soon, neutral colors are often best.
If painting walls a unique color isn’t your thing, then choosing a bright color and painting an end table, dresser or table might be the way to go.
White cabinets with black granite countertops might be the current rage, but what if you thought outside the box a bit? Instead of painting old, builder’s grade oak cabinets white, what if you went with a color that was unique? More distinctive trends include cabinets in a deep navy blue with gray tiles on your backsplash.
One trend that has been growing in popularity is adding a pop of color to a ceiling and keeping the walls a neutral color. This tends to add a fresh color without overwhelming the room. If sitting with friends and visiting, the color is barely noticeable, but it does make a statement when someone walks into a room. Consider white walls and a pop of orange or lime green on the ceiling.
Easy Fixes for Interior Painting Mistakes
Painting a room can be an easy and inexpensive upgrade, whether you’re freshening it up or dramatically changing the color. With a little planning and a few expert tips, this do-it-yourself project can be as quick and easy as it seems. Consumer Reports’ paint pro offers foolproof ways to prevent goofs and make flawless fixes.
The goof. Blame this painting mistake on the lighting, fatigue, distraction, or spreading the paint too thin.
The fix. Good thing you kept the leftover paint (in a tightly sealed container, or course). After the paint dries—usually about 4 hours—touch up the missed spots with a brush. But if you do it before the paint dries completely you’ll mess up the paint surrounding the spot. As for spreading the paint too thin, a roller dipped in paint should cover a 2-by-2-foot section of the wall. See the video below for how to ace it.
The goof. Perhaps you’re using a long-napped roller, loading too much paint on the roller or brush, or not spreading the paint well.
The fix. Once the paint dries, use fine sandpaper to remove the run, then retouch the area with a brush and a little paint, feathering the edges.
The goof. A cheap roller with obvious seams could be the problem, and the paint makes a difference too.
The fix. Synthetic short-napped roller covers (1/4 inch) work best on most walls, ceilings, and trim. Use longer-nap roller covers for textured walls, or walls that have a very uneven surface from patching, for example. Rollers with steel frames and lots of tines are sturdier and stiffer than ones with just caps on the ends, and those sealed ends keep the paint on the roller cover.
Before using a new roller cover, use a piece of painter’s tape to remove loose lint. As for the paint, be sure to check out the smoothness scores in our interior paint ratings. They indicate whether marks from roller, brushes, or runs are obvious once the paint dries.