how to paint a room like a professional

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 to painting a room below, I can guarantee that you will achieve a professional paint finish.

Painters 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. 

Preparing 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.

It’s always a good idea to fit any new flooring before you redecorate, apart from carpet which is fitted after.

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 includes (skirting boards, architrave, plug sockets, wall lights, smoke alarms).

Repair Cracks In Plaster Walls & Ceilings

Now that the room has been cleared and everything that is not being painted has been masked off. It’s time to fill any, scrapes, cracks and holes that are visible on the walls and ceiling.

Painters Tip: Use an LED torch, shine the light upwards against the wall or across the surface of the ceiling to highlight and gouges, scrapes, cracks and holes. When it comes to choosing good decorators filler, I highly recommend Toupret Interior Filler, used by most professionals, mixes effortlessly, easy to sand and doesn’t flash.

Pour some filler into a Flexible Mixing Bowl, and add a little water, mix until you reach a smooth consistency. The filler should stick to your flex knife when turned upside down.

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 any discrepancies in the walls and ceiling. You should hold the torch and the larger filler knife in one hand while working with the other.

how to paint a room like a professional

Sanding Walls Before Painting

Most reputable painters will ensure that all areas of a room (walls, ceiling, woodwork) are thoroughly sanded. This is a key element in preparing a room for painting, there are several ways to sand a room before painting.

Painters Tip: Sandpaper is commonly graded as Coarse (40 – 60), Medium (80 – 120), Fine (150 – 180). For sanding walls, ceilings and woodwork, 120 grade sandpaper is perfect for the job.

For woodwork I use a 120 Grade Foam Sanding Block as it molds to the contours the wood.

Related Article: Best Random Orbital Sander For Walls & Ceilings

What Do I Need To Paint A Room

Paint like a professional with the right tools, below I have comprised a painters tool list. I personally use all the painting tools listed on a daily basis to achieve a professional finish on walls and ceilings.

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 mixed opinions on what to paint in a room first. Below is how I achieve a professional paint finish.

1) Ceilings first, this will ensure that any paint splatter doesn’t end up on your freshly painted walls. You will find it easier to cut in the walls after the ceiling has been painted.

2) Sand all woodwork, (skirting boards, architrave, window sills) using a 120 Grade Foam Sanding Block. Brush away any dust using a Painters Dust Brush or hoover.

3) Caulk all the edges of skirting boards and architrave to hide any gaps left between the trim and wall.

4) Wipe down all woodwork with a damp cloth then prime using Zinsser Bullseye 123 Primer, wait until dry.

5) Lightly rub down all woodwork using a 120 grade foam block and wipe clean. Then apply the first top coat of paint, (eggshell, satin, gloss). Wait until dry and repeat the process applying a second top coat of paint. 

6) Leave woodwork to dry for a minimum of 24 hours, then tape all edges using Scotchblue Masking Tape.

How To Paint A Room Like A Professional

Woodwork taped creating a paint shield

7) Cut in edges around ceiling, skirting boards and architrave, then roller the walls to finish.

8) Remove masking tape and admire your professional paint finish.

How To Cut In Paint Like A Pro

A good paint brush is an essential part of cutting in, I highly recommend purchasing an Angular Paint Brush. Dip your brush into the paint and tap each side of you paint tin or paint scuttle to remove the excess paint.

Place your brush 1/2 inch away from your cut in line, apply a little pressure and gradually move the brush in towards the line. Once the bristles met the line, drag downwards or across with an even amount of pressure. The bristles on a good brush will naturally track the edge of the wall or ceiling.

Painters Tip: I find it beneficial to control breathing (shallow breaths) while cutting in paint.

After you have cut in a section of wall or ceiling, backroll the fresh paint using a 4 Inch Microfibre Roller. This removes brush marks and ensures an even paint texture.

how to paint a room

Cutting in paint tools

How To Paint Walls Professionally

Acquiring a flawless paint finish on walls and ceilings has a lot do with the type of roller used. Smooth, 3/8 nap roller sleeves are best for a smooth finish.

I would recommend either of the following paint roller sleeves. Minimum paint spray, no lint, fine finish.

When rolling a wall or ceiling it is important to remember to use long fluid vertical strokes. Start in the middle and roll to the top, then all the way to the bottom. Overlap each paint section you roll by about 6 inches.

Let the roller do the work, you don’t need to apply to much pressure, excess pressure and the edge of the roller will leave a line (streak).

If you notice any paint lines left by the edge of roller, before they dry. Place the roller over the line and with light pressure roll to remove. Leave the wall, ceiling to fully dry before painting your second coat of paint.

How To Paint A Room Like A Professional

Interior painting tips and tricks

  • Paint an area, (wall, ceiling) to completion without stopping, this helps to keep a wet edge and uniformed drying.
  • Use Zinsser 123 Bullseye Primer on bare woodwork or areas of flaking 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 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 primed and two top coats of paint applied.

Painting over dark colours will generally require an additional coat of paint. If your planning on using designer paint, (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.

Best Paint For Walls UK

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.

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Disclaimer

This blog is a personally written and edited by me (Andrew Firth). For questions about this blog, please contact andrew@clearcutpainting.co.uk

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