How to Paint a Room: Tips for Painting Interior Walls

Different Methods of How to Paint a RoomWhether fixing up a home in preparation to sell or personalizing one that was just purchased, a fresh coat of paint can bring your Bolinas home together and give it a new look. Here’s a glimpse at what it takes to get the job done on a standard interior wall.

The Paint

All paint is not created equally. One gallon of paint can range from $10 to $120, depending on the brand and finish. Fortunately, a high price tag doesn’t mean a paint is the highest quality. A $30 paint can work just as well, if not better, than the expensive stuff.

Aside from price, one important factor to consider when buying paint is the type. For the average wall in a bedroom or living room, an eggshell finish is always reliable, but there are other finishes to consider as well. There’s also the decision between oil and latex paints. 

Lastly, for most interior walls, getting a paint with the primer already mixed in will save time. These paints may be more expensive than the ones without primer, but they can result in fewer coats, which means fewer gallons to buy.

Prep Work

Now that the paint is picked out and mixed, there are still more things to buy before the actual painting can commence. These can all be found at a local hardware store.


  • 3-4” paintbrush
  • Roller brush
  • Paint tray
  • Paint stir stick (often available for free after buying paint)
  • Tarp(s)
  • Painter’s tape

Clear the room of any large furniture that obstructs the walls, such as bookcases, sofas, or dressers. Remove any outlet covers, light switch covers, and air vent covers from the walls and set them aside for later. Then, lay the tarp over the floor to protect it from any accidental drips. 

Open the paint can and stir it. This is vital, because the color can become uneven if it’s been sitting still for too long. 

Cutting In

Time for the most difficult part of painting. Cutting in requires a steady hand, a lot of patience, and some of that painter’s tape. 

Start by placing painter’s tape along the top of the trim as well as the ceiling to keep from accidentally getting paint on them. 

Next, take the paintbrush and carefully paint a 4” stripe along the edge of the wall to create a border. Do the same with the corners of the room to make painting with the roller easier.

Painting the Wall

Once cutting in has been completed, it’s safe to break out the roller. When applying paint to the roller, always be careful not to saturate the brush too much. This can lead to uneven coats and unsightly globs of paint on the wall. For the best results, always paint in one direction. Mixing horizontal and vertical strokes can make a wall look uneven.

Additional Coats

Here’s where buying that paint with the primer already added in will really save time. Turn on some lights to better see if there’s any of the old color peeking through the new—this is more likely to happen if the old color is much darker than the new one.

If there’s just one area of the wall that looks a bit patchy, just fix that one spot. If the entire wall looks that way, go for a second coat

Final Steps

With the paint on the wall set, the last thing to do is replace the light switch and air vent covers. But don’t forget to paint them first if that’s the desired style.

Now, the room should be done and look great as well. Whether it’s in preparation to sell or for an updated look, everyone should be able to appreciate that excellent paint job.

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