How to Paint a Room - Basic Painting Tips

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Ready for a change? A quality paint job is one of the least expensive ways to transform

your home and make any room look good.

The first step, and the key step, is prep. You need to do this. Watch our How to Prep

for Paint video.

Don't run out of paint in the middle of your project. The general rule when buying paint

is one gallon will cover about 400 square feet. Use the old length times height equation

to get the square footage of each wall. For the trim, use length—in feet—and .5 for

the width. If you're not sure about how much paint you'll need, head to

for help.

So here's the general plan: work from the top down. Do the ceiling, then the walls,

and finish with the trim.

If you're using more than one gallon, mix them in a 5-gallon bucket to ensure color

consistency. This is called boxing. A smaller cut bucket works great for the edges.

Painting the ceiling is a similar process to how you'll paint the walls—brush the

edges then use a roller. Remember--to avoid spatter don't roll too fast. Once it's dry

you can mask off the edges with painter's tape and start on the walls.

To paint the edges, or cutting in, dip the brush about a third of the way into the paint

and TAP it against the sides—no scraping. Holding the brush like a pencil, paint with

smooth strokes, feathering out the edges to prevent runs. Getting a little bit on the

trim won't matter since you're painting that later, but try not to be super messy.

Now for the roller. If you're using a bucket, you'll need a roller grid. For pans, use a