How to Paint a Room & Why I Did Mine This Way

DIY, Featured

the blog:

You know the saying, ‘do as I say…not as I do.’ We all know how to look beyond that. As part of my One Room Challenge Farmhouse kitchen makeover – I decided to paint everything. There are basics in how to paint a room…but, this is why I did mine as I have done.

painted wall a delightsome life

Dearest did ask, ‘why are you painting the room?’ Well, you know that domino effect. Bring something new into a room…and it makes everything else look dull or out of place. Changing over the countertops I know will do the same thing. AND, well, I cleaned the walls, cabinets, countertops  – everything…and the wear I couldn’t overlook.

If you want to refresh the look of any room - paint is the quickest and easiest way to go about it! Painting Basics on A Delightsome LifeClick To Tweet

So, I’ll share the basics in a moment, but here’s the why for how I began this paint project. There are a few ways to create concrete counters. We are electing to cast in place. This means a cure time of about 48 hours. I won’t be able to reach over these spots to paint…so, these areas came first – from top-to-bottom.

how to paint walls and ceilings

How to Paint a Room

The basics. First of all paint selection. There are several different paint sheens from flat to high gloss and very good reasons for each to select your type:

  • Flat – good for surfaces like ceilings – doesn’t shine or need cleaning as often
  • Eggshell – this has a bit more sheen and is washable. This is good for low traffic areas like living rooms
  • Satin – more sheen actually may give a room a slight glow. This is good for high moisture-high traffic rooms like bathrooms and kitchens
  • semi-gloss – this has even more sheen and will reflect a bit of a shine – this is best used for doors and trims – washable
  • high -gloss – this is quite durable, with high sheen – best used for areas that get touched almost daily such as stair railings.

paint colors in the kitchen

Select Your Paint Color

This step is so important. Because when you look at pictures or at paint chips at the store – how this color will actually look in your room may be quite different. Color also has different undertones and cast. Some could be warm with a more yellowish undertone, while others may have a more cool – bluish undertone. You’ll want to coordinate the right undertone with the accessories and decorations in the room. Also, you’ll want to see how this color looks in your room under all light considerations. That’s why I recommend at least four options. Get samples of your favorite shades and paint swatches. Then watch over time from early morning until night…do you still love that shade?

here I cleared everything that was on top of the cabinets…another side effect of redecorating and painting…not all decorations will go back.

Prepare Your Room

This is the time to remove from the room all you can. If you can’t remove all of the furniture. Bring it together to the middle and cover with plastic or cloth tarp. You really want to protect your decor – spills and drips most likely will happen.

Clean the surfaces before painting. Especially if you’re cleaning in the kitchen – there will be dust and grease on everything – whether you realize it or not! Check for areas you need to repair. If you’re not rehanging your wall decor in the same spot – fill the holes. Allow to dry and sand smooth. Caulk any area that shows gaps such as around the baseboards or moulding in the rooms.

painted walls and ceilings

Top to Bottom-Left to Right

When I paint – I have learned to begin with the room’s trim around the ceiling, the doors, and the baseboards. This way you can quickly paint over the walls or ceilings then cut in when you paint them later. Then start from the top – if you’re painting the ceiling. The first step is to cut in the edges with an angled brush. If you’re not comfortable with painting straight lines – use painter’s tape on the trim – make sure it’s thoroughly dry first.

using a paint stick

When painting ceilings I like using extendable poled paint rollers or fillable paint sticks such as Homeright’s Paintstick Easy Twist. This gives me the ability to quickly and easily paint the ceiling. Which if you’ve done it before – you know – is taxing on your head-neck and shoulders. And if you don’t have to go up and down a ladder often – a bit easier.

painted walls in kitchen

Walls Last. After you’ve painted the room’s trim then the ceiling – now you can paint the walls. The first step is to cut in the edges. When I cut in I feather out the edge away from the trim so that if it dries – you don’t see a line. Then the walls. The best way is to roll or spray – if you have everything else taped off and protected. If you’re rolling paint in a small area – about 4 feet in diameter. Or, if you use a long-pole roller – you can paint straight up and down. The most important thing is to make sure your rollers have enough paint. Don’t try to do as I used to – paint until the roller is dry. This gives you uneven results. So, as you paint move from top to bottom – left to right. That way you complete a section at a time.

After the Room Has Dried

Survey your work. Give the first coat about two to four hours to dry. If you’ve done a good job – you won’t see light spots or the previous color. But, in some cases there will be some here and there. So, despite many paints now saying – one coat – I always give a second coat to make sure it’s completely – evenly covered.

painting a room

Paint needs to cure

Once you’re done painting – you typically allow the paint to dry to touch for about four hours. I would recommend, however, allowing the paint to completely dry – about 24 hours before hanging anything on the walls. Each paint type is different and may feel dry to the touch, but when something is on it – pressed to it- may still be wet enough to stick. It’s well worth all your efforts to wait! If you hadn’t cleaned all your wall hangings in the beginning – this is a good time to make sure they’re clean and freshened before returning to the walls.

My Favorite Tools When Painting and Caring for Them

this post contains affiliate links

After you’ve painted for a long time – you come to realize that a good paint brush is essential. I was awful at caring for my brushes. If you invest in a good paint brush – care for it! If the paint is water-based – it’s easy to clean. Thoroughly rinse and clean with lightly soapy water and hang to dry. You can get various paint brushes for your work – I love the 2 inch angled brush for getting to those corners and for cutting in edges. For tight spots – I love the short handled brushes!

paint sprayer – these things are the bomb when it comes to quickly painting with beautiful, even coverage.

Hand Carried Paint Pail- If you have to go up and down to edge and paint walls – ours are very tall and I do need to do this most often – especially when cutting in. So, decanting paint into a smaller handled container makes good sense. I love my HANDy Paint Pail.

Extendable Handle Rollers – Most paint rollers come where you can attach extenders. Using an extender pole just makes sense! This saves you effort and time! If you’d like to try the Paint Stick – Easy Twist, note that you should follow the directions – to ensure you have good coverage and in cleaning the tool. I found it quite handy in painting the ceiling – I didn’t have to reload the roller just twist the paint. It is a little heavy – so take care when on a ladder.

Five in One Tool

This is so cool. Dearest and I shy away from uni-tools – and this one has so may good uses while painting!

  • The sharp edge allows you to scrape – paint off windows or drops from the floor. You can also use this as a putty knife.
  • The pointed edge helps you clean out areas before caulking
  • The hole gives you a place to pull out nails!
  • The blunt side allows you to open paint cans or to loosen tops. You can also use this side as a hammer to close paint cans.
  • The rounded edge is perfect for running down the paint roller like a squeegee when cleaning

painter's tarp & tape

Tarp and Tape- these help you create a clean area and surface for painting. There’s nothing worse than having to go back and clean up all those tiny, tiny paint drops!

A Good Ladder- if you have to go up and down – make sure you have a good ladder – safety always, always first!

Paint Clothes – I am a messy painter and have ruined perfectly good clothes by forgetting to change out and getting paint all over them.

When done painting – wipe off the edge of the cans and make sure the lid is completely back on. You don’t want to struggle getting the paint can reopened or to accidentally knock over and spill paint!

This is Week 2 for the One Room Challenge! I am so delighted to be a part if this wonderful event this Fall – check out the other, inspiring room makeovers!

So there it is – the basics. Anyone can paint a room – it’s really one of the easiest DIY’s out there! And, I find it quite fun! I enjoy painting just about anything – and rooms are such a favorite! Paint can truly transform and create that perfect look that is essentially you! Do you like to paint? Is there a question you have or step you think should be added? I’d love to know!

One Room Challenge:

Week 1

One Room Challenge Mood Board

FREE resources


delightsome life on Instagram

let's share what inspires us together...

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.