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Paint a Room

The Martha Stewart Show

In theory, we all know how to paint a room. Dip a brush or roller in a color and spread it over the wall. But painting neatly and efficiently is a skill most of us could brush up on. We have a basic guide to the essential tips and techniques to get the job done.

Step 1: Filling the Cracks
- Fill cracks with caulk and immediately smooth out with sponge before it dries.
- Fill holes with spackle and let dry completely. Sand using a medium-grit paper.
- Repair cracks with self-adhesive fiberglass mesh joint tape, apply joint compound, and lightly sand.

Step 2: Cleaning the Walls
- Wash walls with a damp sponge.
- Remove dust by wiping baseboards and floors.

Step 3: Priming the walls
- Use white primer for light-colored paint.
- Use tinted primer for dark-colored paint.

Step 4: Using a Brush
- Paint part of a corner or around the trim with a 2-inch angled brush. This is called "cutting in."
- "Cut in" with brush 4-foot sections at a time to avoid marks when paint dries.

Step 5: The "V" technique
- Pour paint into reservoir of your roller tray and dip in one edge of the roller. Move back and forth until it's saturated but not dripping.
- Paint a two-foot "V" and fill it in with tight vertical strokes.
- Repeat, working top to bottom, until you've completed the wall.

Step 6: Storing the Leftover Paint
- Transfer leftover paint to smaller airtight plastic containers, as leaving paint in an open cans dries it out.
- Create labels with the name of the room in which the color was used, and keep the paint on hand for touch-ups.

Comments (2)

  • 26 Nov, 2008

    Plan. Plan. Plan. Take time to prepare the room. Remove all hardware: doorknobs and plates, electrical socket plates, switch plates, window latches, etcetera. Use painter's tape or some type of guard if you don't paint professionally. Buy quality brushes and paint. Don't paint angry. Don't have a "paint party" unless all your friends are professional painters. And for the love of fresh air, do not seal your windows closed with paint.

  • 28 Aug, 2008

    Using a 2-inch brush to "Cut in" 4-foot sections? I think 4 inch sections would be sufficient. On left over paint: besides the room name I would also put the formula, paint name and the paint company's name, in case I needed more paint later.