How to Paint a Room Like a Pro

Did you know paint was magical?  I promise it is.  You can change the look and feel of a space just with paint.  Painting is not hard but if it isn’t done well or with a few key tricks in mind it can look like it was done by your toddler.  Let me show you the steps I take to paint a room like a pro.

The first time I painted a wall I had no clue what I was doing.  I used the brush for the edges and the roller for the rest of the house.  It went well and I think I have a bit of a gift for painting.  A professional painter came into our home that I was painting. It was a new build and we were doing a huge portion of the work.  He looked around and commented that I knew what I was doing.  That made me feel good and I was glad to know that a professional approved my work.  It gave me the lift I need to keep at it.  Painting has become something I love and makes me feel good because I have really mastered my painting and the results are immediate and amazing.  

Step 1: Wall Preparation is Key

This is my least favorite part about creating a beautiful space with paint. I want to just to it and not do the boring wall preparation. It’s not my favorite but it makes the biggest difference in the end look.  It will make you look like you’ve painted like a pro.

Step 1: Remove everything from the room and clean the walls.  I like to clean the walls with a rag and soapy water or a mop with a removable pad. If the room has been loved and there are markings use Mr. Clean Magic eraser to get all the marks off.  Even though you are painting you will want to get those dark marks off.  Mr. Clean magic erasers really are magic. They will remove marks that soap and water will not touch.  

Step 1 B: After the walls are clean it is time to fill all the holes.  There are so many options for filler.  This is what I have used and love.  It goes on pink and dries white.  

hole filler

Step 1 C: After the fill dries sand all the holes you’ve filled so they are nice and smooth. If you buy the kit you it will have a sanding sponge which is all you need. The sanding is a nice light process.  You don’t want to remove the paper on the drywall.  

Step 2: Painter Tape

Painters tape is key for a beautiful professional finish.  Depending on your room you may have a lot or a little to tape off.  I always add tape to the top of the baseboards. The Frog painters tape is a little more expensive but gives the best results.  

painters tape

I just run it along the baseboard close to the edge.  I’ve seen people tape off the ceiling but I never do that now.  When it has been done I find it bleeds through the tape or even pulls off the ceiling finish because it is usually a flat paint. 

I find my steady hand does a better job than taping the ceiling.

You may want to tape around the door frames and windows.  If the paint will matches the door frame you can get away without taping it off.  If it is a darker paint you will want to run tape down the frame. 

Step 3:  Cutting in with a Paint Brush

You walls are prepared and you’ve got the room taped it’s time to get painting.

Not all brushes are created equal.  This would be the time when you want to spend a little extra and get a good quality paint brush.  Using a brush with an angle cut on the bristles is very helpful for trimming out a room.  I have found I really like the ones with shorter handles.  Because my hands are small it is just nicer to work with. The bristle width I like to use for trimming a room is 2 1/2″ 

These pro grad paint brushes are really good. 

My favorite paint brush I received at an event.  The Stinger brush is a little large and heavy but the results are amazing.  I was surprised how much better it worked for me.  It did a great job holding the paint plus it cleaned so well.  The angle on the bristles is just a little different than other brushes, I’m not sure how to explain the difference it makes but it really is worth the investment.

paint brush

Step 3 B: Start at the top and work your way around the room

I always start trimming the ceiling.  You will also need to paint in the corners. So while I’m on the ladder I paint around the ceiling then down the wall.  When I’ve gone as far as I can reach I move my ladder out of the way and paint the rest of the way down the corner then trim along the baseboard. 

I have a drop cloth that I lay on the floor under the ladder.  When I am done on the ladder I move it off the drop cloth.  Then paint along the baseboard.  When I’ve reached the end of the drop cloth I put my paint brush down, move my drop cloth and then place the ladder on top.  Making my way around the room.  

Step 4: Rolling

This is where you really begin to see a difference. I love love love using a painting pole or broom stick.  This gives me leverage and I can paint the entire space without getting on a ladder again.  This is a great painting pole.  I love how it extends and is also compact 

painting pole

Step 4: Run your roller in the tray then start rolling the wall.  You will want to paint in sections.  I usually make a ‘W’ with my paint going up and down.  When I am done a small section I have cover topped to bottom.  



Step 5: Back Rolling

Here is a key step that really makes a difference.  After you finish one section of the wall back roll from top to bottom

Step 5: This is done by starting at the top with a paint free roller.  (it will have paint but you haven’t added more paint to the roller) Start at the top and roll in a straight line down the wall.  This helps create a smooth finish you are always after.  When you add paint to your roller again and begin the “W” application overlap where you finished just a little.  Then overlap again when you back roll. 

back rolling 

Step 6: Trim and Roll Again

I have never used a paint that only requires one coat.  It usually requires 2 coats and sometimes 3 if you are covering a darker color.

Trim and roll again as you did in steps 3 – 5

Step 7: Remove the Painting Tape

You will want to remove the painting tape as you finish your final coat of paint.  Removing it before it dries is what you want.  As soon as you have the wall back rolled start removing the tape.


Step 8: Let the Paint Cure

Letting the paint cure is key.  You don’t want to start decorating and bringing in furniture before the paint has had a few hours to cure.  The last thing you want is to damage your beautifully finished walls.  The curing time is a few days but the paint will be dry to touch after a few hours.

Painting is something I love to do.  I find it to be a quick, easy and inexpensive way to update a space.  You can see the difference paint made in this guest bedroom Here.  

Step 9: Touch Ups

I like to go in and take a good look around the room the next day and do any touch ups if necessary.  I’m usually too tired to care after I’m done painting but the next day I’m ready to spend a few minutes a clean up any errors.

This may be paint bleeding through onto a baseboard, hitting the ceiling or getting paint somewhere I don’t want to.  I will bring in the trim color paint and wall color paint and use a small paint brush for the intricate details.  A set like this would have all the sizes and shapes you would need.  

paint brushes

Decor to the Door

 You have a beautifully painted room and you are in need of some super cute decor.  If running from store to store isn’t your thing I’ve got the perfect solution.  Check out my shop Decor to the Door and see what’s available.  There are so many cute pieces that work well together.  You will love it all.  



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I am passionate about cultivating home. Whether you like DIY, design, decor or organization I want to help you cultivate the best home for you. One space and step at a time. Small simple to maintain changes with big results.