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.

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