How to Paint a Room - Page 2

  • Step 3 : Caulk joints

    Caulk joints before painting

    Fill small cracks between trim and wall surfaces with 100% acrylic latex caulk. Cut off just the very tip of the nozzle at a 45 degree angle because you want a very small bead for these fine cracks. Smooth the caulk with a wet finger. Wipe caulk off your finger after every pass and favor the wall side of the joint so you don't push caulk onto the trim, unless it gets painted, too.

  • Step 4 : Make minor repairs

    Fill small holes in walls

    Use all-purpose joint compound to fill small holes. Apply the compound with a taping knife, going in one direction for the first pass and smoothing it with a clean knife. Then in a second pass, apply the compound perpendicular to the first. Use fine sandpaper (150-grit) on a rubber sanding block to smooth the areas when it's dry. Wipe the walls with a damp sponge to remove the sanding dust and vacuum up. Apply a spray stain-killing primer on any stained areas.

  • Step 5 : Apply masking tape

    Mask surrounding areas

    Protect surfaces you don't want to paint with painter's masking tape or pre-taped plastic drop cloths.

  • Step 6 : Cut in the ceiling

    Paint the ceiling first. Instead of masking the ceiling/wall juncture, cut in a 2-inch wide border of paint on the perimeter of the ceiling with an angled sash brush or with a special paint pad, which has rollers that ride against the adjacent surface (in this case, the wall). Cut in along one wall and a few feet down the adjacent two walls. Then start rolling before the paints begins to dry.

    Use a step stool or ladder to bring you closer to your work. You'll see better and have better control. Paint with plenty of light and inspect your work for drips, ridges or missed spots as you work. It's much easier to go back and correct problems at this point that it will be after the paint dries.

  • Step 7 : Roll the ceiling

    Paint ceiling with a roller

    Wear goggles, and a scarf or hat to keep paint out of your hair. Thread an extension handle onto the roller handle to make it easier to reach the ceiling and apply even pressure as you roll. Start rolling along the area that you cut in, going slowly and as close to the wall as possible. If you don't overlap most of the cut-in area, there's usually a noticeable difference in texture between the pad- or brush-applied paint and the rolled-on paint. Paint a 6- to 8-square-foot area at a time: First, roll on the paint in an "N" or "W" pattern and then paint in one direction until it's evenly spread. Make your final strokes lightly with a nearly dry roller; and overlap the previously completed area. Cut and roll your way across the room.

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