How To Paint A Room: Save Money On Your Project!

Don't start your next paint project before reading this guide


You want a beautifully painted room, but you don’t have the money to pay a professional painter. Have you thought about turning that burning desire into a DIY painting project? It’s a great idea, but before you slap on that first coat of paint, read this overview of how you should go about completing your project. 

Choose your color

Choose the right paint color for the emotion you want in the room. Different hues have different impacts on your mood, so choose shades that create the right atmosphere for you. Use a paint visualizer to see your ideas in real time.

Calculate your amount of paint

Use our Paint Calculator for a proper estimate of how much paint your DIY project will require. It's a simple and quick way of making sure you're properly prepared (and not overbuying). Once you know know the amount of paint you need, stop by your local retailer to pick it up. 

Organize the room

Remove any furniture and decoration that can be carried (or pushed) from the room. If things are too heavy, or you don’t have any room for the larger pieces elsewhere, move them to the center of the room and cover them with plastic or cloth.

Clean your surfaces

Clean the walls of any dirt or dust with an old towel or rag. Pay close attention to the corners and creases. You want to remove any foreign agents from the surface you wish to paint. A clean surface allows for good contact with the fresh paint or primer. 

Cover what's left in the room

Lay cloth, plastic or paper sheeting over the ground. This will act as your protective base layer. Cloth and paper absorb paint, which will help you avoid dragging dripped paint around the room. Plastic is better than nothing, but it won't absorb like cloth, so keep that in the back of your mind while painting if you choose a plastic layer.

If you moved furniture to the middle of the room, cover that section as well. You want to make sure any hardwood flooring or carpet is safely covered. Accidents can happen, so it's easier to spend a couple extra minutes during preparation, instead of many more minutes cleaning undesired spots and drips after the job is done. 

Tape off edges

Thoroughly tape off the edges of the surfaces that won’t be changing colors with this particular coat of paint. These surfaces can include:
  • adjacent walls
  • window and door trim
  • moulding
Flatten any bubbling edges and fix any folds. Don't hurry through this step. Cleanly taped and pressed edges will allow you to breeze through the actual painting process. You won't need to worry about creating messy edges because your tape will do that work for you. You can focus on applying smooth, even coats, not hitting the trim. 

Prime if necessary

Some surfaces will require you to prime before painting. If this is the case, apply primer to the edges surrounding windows, door frames and the ceiling. Use your paint brush to apply an even coat to these hard-to-get areas. Once those tighter areas are primed, use your roller to apply an even coat of primer to the rest of the surfaces. Let the primer dry according its directions. 

Apply fresh paint

If you applied a primer, it is dry by now. If not, your edging tape is securely pressed to its surfaces and your floors, as well as any remaining furniture, is safely covered by your drop cloth.

Now you’re ready to paint. Use the same application order described above for the primer step.
  • Start with your edges and hard to reach areas
  • use your brush to apply an even coat
  • Use your roller to apply the fresh paint to the rest of the larger, flat surfaces
  • Blend in these rolling strokes to your previously applied edging 
Let your first coat of paint dry for the amount of time specified by its directions. You may need a second coat at this point. If so, use the same order as the first coat. Let dry and then repeat if necessary. 

Once your paint is applied to your room, it's only a matter of time and drying). Once finished, enjoy your fresh new room and take pride in knowing you did it all yourself (for a lot less than the alternative). A beautiful, professional-looking room doesn’t need to cost an arm or a leg, especially with a DIY pro like you handling the job.

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