Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Stewart

Painting a room can seriously transform it, making it look so much better than it previously was.. Painting a wall can give it a fresh look.  Regardless if it’s your first time doing it, or you’re just wanting some extra tips or tricks, my guide will give you all the information you need to properly paint a wall.  

If you follow the steps I’ve used time and again, you’ll get a finish that looks as though a professional has done it.

Get Your Materials and Tools Ready

It’s crucial that before you start painting that you’re fully prepared. This includes having the correct tools and also supplies.

Aside from the paint of your choice, you will also need the following items:

  • A high quality paint roller. Depending on the size of your room, you may wish to use an extendable pole for this. This will mean that you don’t need to climb up a ladder to get to the ceiling.
  • Painters tray. These come in a variety of sizes, which you can then choose from depending on how big your room is and how much you’ll be painting.
  • Plastic or Cloth sheets. These will be used to protect the flooring and furniture.
  • Painters tape. This will be used to mask off parts of the room.  
  • Paintbrush. Whilst this is a guide on how to paint a wall with a roller, a paintbrush is still needed, which will be discussed below.

Preparing The Wall

Before starting, it’s crucial that the wall is fully examined for any cracks in it, or any imperfections. If there’s some slight imperfections in the wall, it can be sanded down so that’s it’s a more uniform finish.

Any paintings should also be removed before the wall is painted. Likewise, a damp cloth over the wall should be enough to remove any surface level dust. If this is not removed, it will result in this being in the finished wall, which can look unsightly.

Protecting Surfaces In The Room

It’s important that before painting that the floor is protected. Regardless if it is matt or gloss paint, getting this onto carpet or a wooden floor would be disastrous. With respect to protecting floors, I would always recommend that a cloth sheet is used.

The reason for this is that it will not cause any friction when standing on it. However, if a plastic sheet is used on the floor, it can be a slip hazard.

At this point, I would also recommend that the painters tape mentioned above is also utilized. This would involve taping up the skirting boards, as well as using the tape to cover up the light sockets and switches.

I always prefer doing this as opposed to taking off the switches and sockets. It is much more convenient to tape them up than it is to isolate the power and remove these fixtures.

You should also use sheets to cover any other furniture in the room that you cannot move. Ensure that they are fully covered, and if necessary, tape the covers up so that the covers don’t pose a trip hazard.

Cut Into the Edges

As mentioned above, a paintbrush is normally necessary, even when using a roller. A paint brush will allow you to cut into the edges with the paint. This is especially true when you’re at the edge between the top of the wall and the ceiling.

Whilst you may get a good finish in this area using a roller, my personal preference is to use a brush here instead.

The same is true in tight spots, as well as at sockets and light switches. If you don’t think you can get  a good finish in this area using a roller, switch to the brush instead.

Loading The Paint Tray and Roller

Now that the prep work is out of the way, it’s time to get down to the painting!

In order to prevent the paint from drying out, I always recommend that a small amount of paint is poured into the tray at a time. On the tray, you’ll notice that there is a section with a recess in it, and also a section with ridges on it. The paint needs to be poured into the recess.

Once a small amount has been poured in, dip the roller into it, and ensure that it is covered evenly. Before applying it to the wall, however, excess paint on the roller needs to be removed. This is done by pushing the roller over the ridges on the paint tray.

By removing the excess paint, it will ensure that there will be an even coverage on the wall as well as stopping you from dripping paint on the cloth sheets, thereby wasting it.

Painting The Wall

You’re now at the point that you’re ready to start painting the wall with the roller.

Using the roller, paint either an “M” or “W” on the wall. This may sound strange, but doing this helps to prime the wall and also ensure that the paint is fully even on the roller.

Once you’ve done this, you can now start from one side of the wall, moving the roller from top to bottom in a straight line. A light to medium pressure should be used whilst doing this. If you press on the roller too hard, it will result in line marks. Depending on the colour of the paint, this can be very noticeable.

It is also important to always have a wet edge when you’re painting a wall. This will allow you to know where you have last painted. If you let the paint dry out, and then go back to it, it can result in a patchy finish if you’re not entirely sure where you left off.  When doing one run to the next, I always like to have a small overlap so that I am sure that the entire wall has been covered.

The alternative is to stop at a focal point in the room, such as a door or window.

Add A Second Coat

Generally speaking, a second coat of paint will be needed. This is especially true if you’re going from a darker colour to a lighter one.

With respect to the second coat, the same principle of painting the wall is the same as mentioned above. The time in which you need to wait between coats is dependent on the paint purchased.

I strongly recommend that you wait until the paint is fully dried before applying a second coat. Not doing so can result in a horrible, patchy finish which will require you to redo your work.

Finishing Up

Once the necessary coats have been done, you can now remove the painters tape. With respect to high quality painters tape, this can be kept on for several weeks, which is ideal for those that need to apply several coats of paint but can’t do it all in one day.

All sheets should be carefully removed. With respect to cleaning the tray and the roller, the manufacturer guidelines on the paint tin should be followed.