Priming Walls for Painting

Do you want to change the look and style of a particular room in your home? Why not give it a fresh coat of paint? It can make a big difference for relatively little cost. Watch this video to learn how to prime and paint a room just like the pros do it.

Tools

Steps

  1. Priming Walls for Painting - Step 1

    To prep the room before painting, watch our video.

  2. Priming Walls for Painting - Step 2

    Scrape off excess paint from the paint brush into the paint pail. This will minimize dripping.

  3. Priming Walls for Painting - Step 3

    Paint a band around the edges where the roller can’t reach. For trimming, slowly slide down the edge line with the brush.

  4. Priming Walls for Painting - Step 4

    Paint large areas with a paint roller. Paint in small sections in a series of angles resembling an ‘M’. This provides best coverage.

  5. Priming Walls for Painting - Step 5

    Let it dry and give the entire room a light sanding.

  6. Priming Walls for Painting - Step 6

    Rub dust off with a tack cloth.

  7. Priming Walls for Painting - Step 7

    If the color isn’t even, apply a second coat.


Read Video Transcript

Painting a room is one of the easiest ways to add a fresh look to a room without the expense of remodeling or redecorating. Perhaps that’s why interior painting is one of the most common do-it-yourself, home improvement projects. With a couple gallons of primer and paint, and the right tools and know-how, you can give a fresh look to any room in your house in just a few hours.

While in the last video you learned how to Prep a Room for Painting, in this video, we’ll take you through the steps of priming and painting a room, which require the same basic procedures. We’ll teach you where to start the process, and share some tools and techniques used by professional painters that will help you get the best results possible. So let’s get started.

The place to start any painting project is by cutting in a border between the ceiling and the walls and between the walls and any trim, such as baseboards and window and door casing.

To cut in a straight paint line, you need the right tools. Cutting in is brushwork, and the brush you need depends on the type of paint you’re using. Today we’re using both a latex primer tinted to the finish color as well as latex paint, so we’ll need a brush with synthetic bristles. My tool of choice is a 2-inch angled sash brush because it fits my hand. However, you might prefer a 2-1/2” or 3-inch brush with either angled or straight bristles. It’s all a matter of preference, so choose what feels right for you. For more information on choosing the right paint brush, see our list of Frequently Asked Questions specific to this video.

You’ll also want a paint pail with a comfortable hand strap grip. This helps me keep the paint near the work area to speed the process along. It also has a disposable liner for convenience.

When dipping the brush in the paint, cover the bristles about half way to the metal ferrule, then blot the excess paint on the side of the pail wall before smoothing away any additional excess paint on the lip of the pail. This loads the brush with the proper amount of paint for cutting in.

The trick to cutting in a straight line is to sneak up on the line while the brush is moving. First, start brushing about an inch away from the trim line. Then work your way in to the line while keeping the brush moving along the line. This is a technique used by pros, so if you aren’t completely comfortable, mask first with masking tape. But use the same technique, even if you have tape in place.

Your cut-in needs to be at least 3-inches wide … enough to allow you to keep your roller a comfortable distance away from the ceiling or trim.

With the room cut-in, now it’s time to start rolling on our primer coat. Again, the right equipment makes all the difference. Here I have a roller frame, a roller cover with a 3/8-inch nap, and a roller pan with a plastic pan liner. I also have an extension pole that screws into the fame of the roller, easily extending my reach to the ceiling without having to be on a ladder.

Like loading a brush with paint, loading a roller with paint also takes some practice. Start by rolling down the paint tray ramp into the paint. When you get one side of the roller covered in paint, lift it up and continue rolling down the ramp into the paint until the roller cover is loaded with just enough paint. Don’t saturate the roller cover. Roll off any excess on the paint ramp.

Whether you are priming or painting, when using a roller the best place to start is in the center of a wall so you can work your way to the edges, making sure to stay within your cut-in line.

The technique I’m using here is rolling a series of angles resembling the letter M. This quickly spreads paint to a larger surface area, which avoids putting too much paint in one spot. Next, go back and fill in the voids, loading the roller with more paint as needed. Work in smaller, manageable sections, filling in one area before moving on to the next. And finish one wall completely before starting another.

If you have too much paint in the roller or if you press the roller cover against the wall with too much pressure, you’ll see paint marks along the outside edges of the roller. Try to avoid this. If you do get paint lines, roll them out immediately applying less rolling pressure.

When you’re finished rolling on the primer coat, let it dry, then give the entire room a light sanding with a fine grit sanding sponge. Don’t sand too aggressively, you’re just trying to remove any primer blemishes and smooth the surface for the first coat of paint.

Go over it with a tack cloth to remove any dust and repeat the same procedure using paint instead of the primer. Depending on the color you choose and the quality of paint, you may need two coats of paint in additional to the primer coat. Just be sure to lightly sand between each coat.

There you have it. There’s nothing that looks better than a fresh coat of paint.

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2 responses to “Priming Walls for Painting”

  1. DAVID CONNOLLY says:

    As a professional painter with 40 years of experience and having perused a few DIR/ how to web sites, I’ve never seen so much misinformation on painting walls. Primer is needed over old paint only if the new color is one that won’t cover in one coat. In any case, there is no need to sand wall primer or wall paint. That is patently absurd, along with wiping walls down with a tack cloth. And to avoid roller marks from rolling into semi-dry paint, you want to start in a corner and work your way around the room.

  2. You clean ,you sand,you clean,you prime 1 coat,you caulk,you throw on 1 coat of finish,then while that’s drying hit the trim,and base,then throw on your finish coat,then hit the trim,and base again.if the ceiling is getting painted hit this with 2 coats of flat before you start the walls,then when you check it out ,and think it’s all covered,you clean,then the room is done

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