Painting the rooms in your home is a relatively simple way to transform the interior of your property. It’s one of the most common DIY jobs that homeowners undertake and doesn’t have to cost a fortune. However, some guidelines for painting your home make the job easier and ensure the best possible result. 

painting the rooms in a house

Preparation is key

The most important part of any painting project is preparation, it may take more time than the actual painting but it’s necessary for a good finish. 

Ensuring you have enough paint is the first step so work out the size of the room you are painting and calculate how much you will need. Remember unless the paint states it’s a one-coat product, chances are you will need two coats so allow for this in your calculations. 

Clean all surfaces to be painted to remove any trace of dirt and grease. Sugar soap is best for this job. Rub down surfaces to remove flaking paint, paper or plaster and fill or repair any holes or cracks. When dry, use fine-grade sandpaper to smooth any filler and wipe down the surface with a slightly damp cloth or sponge to remove any dust. 

If the surface is new and previously unpainted, apply an appropriate primer e.g. for wood, new plaster or metal. You may be able to use a specialist combined primer/undercoat. Protect switches, sockets, light fittings, door and window frames with masking tape before applying any primer, undercoat or paint. 

Choose quality paint 

To ensure longevity and a good finish, choose a top-quality brand of paint for your walls and ceilings. These brands also give lots of advice on their websites for the type of paint to use for specific surfaces and projects so you know you’re using the right paint for the job. 

While high-quality paint will cost you more it also covers better, needs fewer coats and will last longer. So when considering painting a house costs this is something to bear in mind. Cheap paint is a false economy as you will need to use more, it will more likely drip when applied causing a mess and will not be as resilient as better quality paint. 

Painting a ceiling

The first area to tackle when painting a room is the ceiling. Make sure you carry out all the necessary preparation and protect your floor and any furniture that can’t be removed with heavy-duty drop cloths. Plastic sheeting is not good as it tends to shift as you move your ladder or platform and any paint drips will sit on the surface of the plastic and not be absorbed. 

Stir the paint well before use with a clean piece of wood to ensure a consistent colour. Using a paint kettle and paintbrush, paint a 50-75 mm strip around the edges of the ceiling where it meets the wall, this is called cutting in. Then transfer the paint to a tray and continue painting with a roller. 

If you don’t want to use a platform, an extension pole attached to your roller is effective. Begin in one corner and work outwards. Employ a W-directional movement to prevent tide-marks. If needed, when the first coat is dry apply a second coat in the same way. 

Painting walls

painting the rooms in a house

Painting your walls is done in the same way as the ceiling by cutting in first and then working with a roller for the rest of the surface. Work from the top to the bottom of the wall using the W-directional movement for even coverage. This method is the same for painting an undercoat and a topcoat. 

Painting woodwork

The woodwork i.e. skirting, door and window frames, architrave and doors should be painted after the ceiling and walls. Open any windows that you are painting to make sure the paint doesn’t seal them shut. 

New wood will need a primer and older wood should be properly prepared i.e. cleaned, sanded and wiped down before applying an undercoat followed by a topcoat. Once all the paint has dried you can carefully remove any masking tape.