A common question asked by many homeowners “How to paint a room like professional”. Painting doesn’t’ have to be as daunting as you may think. If you follow the steps that I have laid out below in the correct order, I can guarantee that you will achieve the same finish as a professional painter.
PRO TIP : Never purchase the colour for your room directly of a colour chart. Purchase tester pots and test patch the colour, then look at the sample colours over a 24 – 48 period before making your final decision.
Prep a room for painting
Clear as many items from the room your are intending to paint. These would include (curtains, curtain pole, pictures, furniture, electronics). Try and think of a blank canvas, if you are unable to move large items out of the room, then move them into the middle of the floor and cover with a Polyethylene-Backed Dust Sheet, this will ensure that no paint ends up on your furniture.
If your replacing the carpet then I advise that you remove it. Having a wooden or tiled floor fitted? then book your floor fitters first, decorating is the last link in the chain.
Once the room is cleared, cover anything that is not intentionally being painted. I highly recommend using Scotchblue painters masking tape to tape of any areas that may get covered in paint, this may include (skirting boards, architrave, plug sockets, wall lights, smoke alarms).
Repair Cracks, Holes and Dents
Now that the room has been cleared and everything that is not being painted has been masked off. It’s now time to fill any dents, scrapes, cracks and holes that are visible on the walls or ceiling.
PRO TIP : Use a torch, shining the light upwards against the wall or across the surface of the ceiling to highlight, dents, scrapes, cracks and holes. When it comes to choosing a filler, I recommend Toupret Interior Filler, used by most professionals, mixes effortlessly, sands easily and doesn’t flash.
Mix the toupret filler using a Flexible Mixing Bowl, once your finished, simply squeeze each side to remove the dried filler and your ready to reuse your mixing bowl.
Once the filler is mixed, use two jointing knives, Purdy 6 inch Flex Joint Knife and Purdy 3 inch Joint Knife. The larger knife holds the mixed filler while you use the smaller 3 inch knife to fill all discrepancies in the walls and ceiling. You should hold the torch and the larger filler knife in one hand while working with the other.
Sanding Walls Before Painting
All professional painters will thoroughly sand the walls, ceiling and woodwork before painting. This is a key element that must not be missed, there are several ways that this can be achieved.
- Hand Sander with 120 grade sandpaper, this will get the job done, but is pretty labour intensive.
- Pole Sander with 120 grade sandpaper, gives easier access to all areas of a room and is faster than a hand sander.
- Mirka Deros Sander, used by professionals, one of the best orbital sanders on the market.
PRO TIP : Sandpapers are commonly graded as Coarse (40 to 60 grit), Medium (80 to 120), Fine (150 to 180). For walls, ceiling and woodwork, 120 grade is perfect for the job. Coarse sandpaper will only scratch the plaster which can show through your freshly painted walls.
What Painting Tools Do I Need
Now that the your room has been thoroughly prepared, the next stage is painting. First you will need to ensure you have the right painting equipment for the task at hand. Below is a list of essential painting tools.
- Purdy Power Lock Extension Pole
- Purdy Adjustable 12 – 18 inch Roller Frame
- 15 Litre Paint Scuttle
- Purdy Pro Extra Angular Glide Paint Brush
- 12 Inch Hamilton Perfection Roller Sleeve
- Hamilton Soft Grip Mini Roller Frame
- Hamilton Perfection 4 inch Mini Roller Sleeve
- Caulking Gun
I personally use the painting tools above daily to achieve a professional finish on all interior painting jobs. How to paint a room like a professional hinges in my opinion on three key elements. 1) Rigorous preparation 2) Professional painting tools 3) Quality paints.
What Order To Paint A Room
There are several trains of thought when comes down to the correct order to paint a room. Rather than cause confusion, this is how I achieve a professional finish
1) Ceilings first, this will ensure that any paint splatter does not end up on your freshly painted walls. You will also find it a lot easier cutting in the walls to the ceiling.
2) Woodwork is next, sand using a Foam Sanding Block 120 grade, caulk all edges between the skirting and wall so there are no visible gaps. Next undercoat the skirting and architrave and leave to dry, approximately 2 hours for water based undercoats.
Give the woodwork a light rub with the sanding block and wipe with a damp cloth to remove dust. Apply the first top coat of paint, usually (gloss, satin or eggshell). Wait until top coat is dry and repeat the previous step before applying the final top coat to all woodwork, then leave to dry for 24 hours.
3) The following day tape of all edges of skirting and architrave using Scotchblue Painter’s Masking Tape let the masking tape hang over the skirting acting as a paint shield stopping any spray from the walls.
How To Cut In Paint Like A Pro
4) Using your Purdy Pro Extra Angular Glide Paint Brush cut in the edges where the walls met the ceiling, skirting boards and architrave. Using an angled paint brush makes for cutting in simple, dip the brush into the paint and tap on each side of the paint kettle.
Place the brush 1/2 inch away from the ceiling and work upwards until the brush is in position. Then simply follow the edge of the ceiling to achieve a perfect straight line.
Before moving onto the next section, ensure that you back roll the freshly applied paint to remove brush marks before moving onto the next section. Use your Hamilton Soft Grip Mini Roller Frame with Hamilton Perfection 4 inch Mini Roller Sleeve.
5) After you have cut in all the areas around the ceiling, skirting boards, architrave, window and radiator, your now ready to apply the first coat of paint to the walls. When rolling the walls, slightly overlap each section of paint applied. Use an even pressure with long fluid strokes from top to bottom
6) Once the paint has dried, approximately 2 hours for most emulsion paints, check the walls using your torch for any flaws that may have been missed during the preparation phase. Fill any imperfections with your Toupret Interior Filler and leave to dry before sanding.
7) The final stage is to apply the finish coat of paint to the walls, generally a slight thicker coat of paint is applied. Check for roller marks left by the edge of the roller which can be easily removed by removing pressure from the roller.
Interior Painting Tips and Tricks
- As you are learning how to paint a room like a professional I recommend that you only cut in one wall at a time. Then roll the wall before moving on, this will keep a wet edge and help to blend the paint.
- Although not required as Toupret Interior Filler doesn’t flash when painted, I personally think it’s good practice to prime any fresh areas of filler with a light coat of paint before applying the final coat.
- Painters Acrylic Caulk is extremely useful for filling and smoothing out uneven edges around skirting boards, architrave and ceilings. Please note that you cannot paint over painters caulk with emulsion paint, it will always crack giving a unprofessional finish. Use a primer, Zinsser 123 Bulls Eye or an undercoat before applying emulsion paint.
- Avoid purchasing cheap brushes and roller sleeves. A good paint brush and roller sleeve make all the difference to the end finish.
How Long To Paint A Room
Assuming that the walls, ceiling and woodwork are structurally sound and do not need any major repairs. The average sized room 16ft x 12ft would take 2.5 – 3 days to paint professionally. This includes sanding walls, ceiling and woodwork, both the ceiling and walls would be given two coats of paint (minimum). Woodwork would be undercoated and two top coats applied.
Painting over dark colours will generally require an additional coat of paint. If your planning on using any designer paint brands, (little green, farrow & ball, designers guild, laura ashley). I recommend using a cheap contract emulsion to base coat the entire room before painting your tops coats of emulsion paint.
Any bare wood would also need to be primed prior to undercoating. The primer will help to seal the wood and stop knots from bleeding through.
Best Paint Brands
When purchasing paint, try locate one of the well known manufactures, Crown, Dulux, Johnstons. Avoid purchasing cheap paint that may be on offer from your local home depot store. If you have the budget, I highly recommend Little Greene Intelligent Matt Emulsion and their Intelligent Eggshell for woodwork. One of the best washable paint finishes available in a beautiful range of colors.
I run a small painting firm Clear Cut Painting in Northern Ireland where I pride myself on delivering professional painting and decorating services. I hope you found plenty of useful tips and tricks on How to paint a room like a professional.
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