Painting a room on your own can save money and give you a sense of satisfaction. At the same time, you want the room to look like a professional handled the job. From preparation to the order of when to paint trim and cut in walls, Jaeger Lumber in New Jersey has tips and tricks to keep in mind as you embark on your DIY project.

Supply List

Before you get started, it’s important to make sure you have all the supplies you need. Compiling everything you need ahead of time will save you time and help avoid any headaches when you’re further into the project. The supplies you should collect ahead of time include:

  • Screwdriver
  • Drop cloths
  • Kraft paper
  • Rags
  • Trisodium phosphate (TSP) cleaner
  • Paint brushes and paint roller with an extension handle
  • Paint tray and liners
  • Caulk and caulking gun
  • Painter’s tape
  • Ladder
  • Putty knife
  • Spackling
  • Sandpaper
  • High-quality paint and primer (if needed)

Preparation Is a Must

Any good paint job takes thorough preparation. Most professional painters have a process they follow to work efficiently. Skipping important steps could result in a room that looks less than professional. Always clean the walls thoroughly and wipe with a damp rag to remove any cleaning residue before you start. Gather smaller tools and materials and put them in a clean bucket. That way you’ll know exactly where they are when you need them. Unless you’re painting a particularly dark or stained wall, you may be able to avoid priming by using good-quality paint with primer already mixed in. Jaeger Lumber offers a complete line of interior and exterior paints from Valspar in a countless array of colors and finish options to help you keep your home looking its best.

Protect Floors and Furniture

Move all furniture to the middle of the room and cover it with plastic or drop cloths. The best way to protect floors is to tape down kraft paper along baseboards. This brown paper can be bought by the roll, so you’ll have plenty to put down. Then spread canvas drop cloths on the floor. Plastic is slippery and can tear, so investing in reusable fabric drop cloths is well worth it.

Remove Switch Plates

Once you have furniture situated and the floors covered, remove all plates from plugs and light switches. As you take each one off, put it and the screws in a bag and label its location. Stow in a safe place.

Spackle, Caulk, and Sand

Fill any holes with spackle and smooth them as much as you can with the edge of a putty knife. Let the spackling dry completely and then sand until smooth. It’s also a good idea to lightly scuff the walls and trim with sandpaper, especially if you’re painting over a glossy surface. Make sure to remove sanding dust with a vacuum then wipe it with a damp rag. If there are any small cracks or gaps around the trim, fill them with a little caulk and smooth it out with a damp rag. This will give your paint job a seamless, professional look.

Paint the Ceiling

If you plan on painting the ceiling (you should), it’s best to do it before the walls and trim to avoid splatters. First, paint the perimeter using a brush and use an extended nap roller to paint the ceiling from one end of the room to the other. Always roll on paint in the same direction, one row at a time, overlapping the previous row. If it needs a second coat, do so in the opposite direction.

Apply Painter’s Tape

In most cases, it’s best to paint any trim or molding, let it dry, and then paint the walls. Once your trim is fully dry, apply painter’s tape along the edges of the trim, the perimeter of the ceiling, and any other areas you want to protect. Tearing off about six inches of tape at a time and using a straight-edged putty knife to gently press the tape down can help create straight, clean lines. Make sure to use painter’s tape and remove it before the paint is totally dry. Do not use masking tape since it will be harder to remove and can leave a sticky residue.

Cut in Your First Wall

If you want your paint job to look professional, cut in one wall at a time and then use a roller to paint the rest of the wall. This helps the cut-in areas blend much better. To cut in, use a 2.5-inch angled paintbrush around any trim and the perimeter of the ceiling.

When taking a break, be sure to rinse excess paint from brushes and rollers and then wrap them in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to keep them from drying out between coats.

Paint the Walls

Stir the paint and fill your roller tray about half full. After loading the roller, roll it onto the wall from the baseboard up to the ceiling. Roll straight back down. Load more paint onto the roller and start a new row that slightly overlaps the other one. Edges of the roller usually leave lines, so roll over those to blend the paint. Continue until all walls are done. Then remove any painter’s tape before the walls are completely dry so that you can achieve clean straight lines.

More Professional Painting Tips

  • Dump all cans of paint into one five-gallon bucket to ensure an even color
  • Gather all tools and supplies before starting your project
  • Always thoroughly stir your paint for a few minutes before using
  • Make sure you have proper lighting. Natural daylight is best
  • Thoroughly clean brushes and rollers with hot soapy water and wrap tightly with aluminum foil or keep them in a sealable plastic bag
  • Take a photo of paint labels to save the information in case you ever need to buy paint for touch-ups

Contact Us to Learn More About Painting Like a Pro

For more than 80 years, Jaeger Lumber has provided quality materials and top-notch service to builders, contractors, and homeowners throughout New Jersey. We’re ready to serve you from any of our eight convenient locations. We offer friendly, personalized service so you never get lost in the shuffle. Contact us today to get more tips and tricks, learn more about Valspar paints, and find out about the other products and services we offer.

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