How to Paint Your Walls Like a Professional

Painting your walls is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to give any drab room a facelift. The best part? We’re giving you the tips and tricks you need to make your DIY paint job look like a seasoned pro did it.

What You’ll Need to Paint Your Walls Like a Pro

Canvas Drop Cloth

Use canvas drop cloths to protect your floor and furniture. If you tip over your paint, you’ll be glad you did. Canvas drop cloths stay in place so that you don’t have to tape it, unlike plastic drop cloths. In addition to not staying in place, plastic drop cloths are very slippery.

Masking film

  • Masking film is a thin plastic sheet that’s comparable to plastic wrap, except heavy duty. Use this to drape off windows, doors, walls, cabinets, and pretty much anything else that you’d prefer not to get paint on.

Natural or synthetic brushes, paint rollers and a paint tray

  • Which brush you should choose will depend on the type of paint you’re using. Paintbrushes with natural bristles are made for oil-based paint, and synthetic bristles are made for water-based or latex paints. You can get an extendable paint roller to avoid having to use a ladder. You’ll be using the paint roller for the majority of the time, but the brush will come in handy when you’re painting around trim and baseboards.

Primer or a base coat

  • The paint application will be smoother if you use a primer or a base coat. You can even get a tinted base coat to match your surface paint color, meaning you’d need to apply fewer surface paint colors.

Painter’s tape 

  • The waxy coating of painter’s tape keeps paint from seeping through and gives you a straight edge for painting.

Spackle and sandpaper

  • If you have any holes in the walls, you’ll need to use spackle to fill them. Then, you’ll smooth them using sandpaper. If you want a genuinely perfect paint job, sand the walls from ceiling to the baseboard with fine-grit sandpaper on a sanding pole. Then, smooth the walls horizontally.

Steps for Professionally Painting Your Walls

Prepare and protect the room. 

  • Lay your drop cloths on the floor and any furniture you didn’t move. Next, use painter’s tape on the baseboards, moldings and window frames. If you’re using masking film, put it on anything that you’re worried may get paint on it. Remove all of the light switch and outlet covers.

Prep the walls

  • Fill in any holes with spackle, and then use sandpaper for sanding the area until it’s smooth. Then, wipe down the walls with a damp cloth to remove any dust.

Keep your space ventilated. 

  • Open windows and turn on fans to keep the area well-ventilated. The fans will also help the paint to dry quicker.

Cover your paint trays for an easier cleanup. 

  • Paint trays are notoriously hard to clean. Before you fill the tray up with paint, line it with foil to make cleanup a breeze.

Prep your rollers

  • Inexpensive paint rollers often have fuzz on them. To remove the fuzz, use packaging tape like a lint roller on the paint roller. Even paint rollers make paint jobs look far more professional. To avoid this step altogether, invest in a nicer paint roller. Douse your paint roller with a bit of warm water. Doing this will help the paint absorb on the wall, giving it a smoother finish.

Tips from Professional Painters for Perfect Walls

  • Keep the color consistent by boxing your paint. 

When you’re purchasing paint, get a salesperson to help you estimate how much paint you’ll need. Then, buy it all at once and put it in one container. This practice is called “boxing” paint. Alternatively, you can refill your half-full can of paint and mix it.

  • Paint the walls from top to bottom. 

Starting at the ceiling and going downward by rolling back and forth in a V and W shapes allows you to paint over any drips or splatters.

  • Rollover recently painted areas before moving on. 

Before putting more paint on your roller and painting the next section of the wall, roll over what you’ve just painted in a smooth, continuous line. Doing this covers up lines and tracks. Make sure you do this before the paint dries.

  • Avoid the stench.  

Mix in a tablespoon of vanilla extract per pint of paint and stir thoroughly. The vanilla won’t negatively impact the color, and it’ll smell like vanilla instead of paint fumes.  

  • Prep the walls with a Swiffer. 

Cleaning your walls with a Swiffer is the quickest way to remove dust and debris from your walls. Just attach a damp cloth to your Swiffer and wipe the walls.

  • Use plastic wrap to keep your paint from drying out. 

If you want to preserve your leftover paint, put some plastic wrap on top before placing the lid on.

  • If you’re painting more than just the walls, start with the trim. 

It’s easier to tape off the trim than it is to tape the walls, so start there and then move on to the ceiling and walls.

  • Press your painter’s tape with a putty knife. 

To ensure that you don’t have to scrape off paint from the baseboards, adhere the tape with a putty knife for a good seal.

  • Finish one wall before moving on to another. 

Brush the corners and trim in a room and then roll the wall. Doing this one wall at a time makes the brushed and rolled paint blend together seamlessly.

Whether you’re choosing paint colors to sell your home or painting to spruce up your living space, the Colonial Van Line’s team wants to help by providing tips that will make your walls look their best.

Whether moving or home owning is a part of your life, let’s keep it as high quality as possible. Start your DIY paint job today and call Colonial Van Lines for a free rate quote. We keep it stress-free, straightforward, and affordable.

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