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Painting Tips & Tricks: Painting Walls

Wall Painting TipsJust as in painting the ceilings, it’s best to remove as much furniture as possible to avoid the possibility of getting paint on them as well as the danger of tripping and falling. Furniture that remains can be moved to the center of the room. It’s not necessary to cover the entire floor since you’ll be working near the walls. I use 4’ X 12’ drop cloths when I’m painting walls as they are easier to handle, yet provide protection to the area where I’m working.

Remove all window treatments, area rugs, pictures, mirrors, heating/AC registers, and switch and receptacle covers. (Don’t try to hide switches and receptacles by painting them with wall paint. Doing so creates a potential electrical hazard and makes removal of the covers extremely difficult. If you feel you must paint them, remove and paint the covers only.)

Walls are much easier to paint than ceilings, but do require the same attention to detail since they are more visible. Once again you’ll need to do some cut-in prior to rolling the areas around trim, ceilings, doors, or windows. Just as you did with the ceiling, cut in only enough area that you can roll before the paint dries. Don’t try to cut in the entire room and then roll; doing so will make the work more prone to showing the differences in texture between the rolled and brushed areas. You’ll also need to cut in corners as the roller won’t cover them properly, but just do the corners in the area where you are working, doing the others as you work around the room. After I cut in the ceiling, I begin by working from my ladder and rolling horizontally across the area near the ceiling, creating a 9” swath. This allows me to roll over most of the “cut-in” area, and minimizes the possibility of the different textures (brush and roller) being visible once the paint has dried. Then, it’s easier to roll the remainder of the wall without concern for accidentally bumping the ceiling.

If there are areas that must be masked—along base boards, or around other trim—apply the tape before beginning. I use very little masking tape, and depend upon a steady hand for most of my cut-in work; and if I plan to paint the trim also, I’m not concerned if a little wall paint gets on the trim.

Paint from the top of the wall to the bottom. Using the extension handle will make it easier and faster to coat the wall, but care must be taken as you approach the ceiling to make certain you don’t get wall paint on it. If you do get some paint on the ceiling, just allow it to dry, and then touch up the area with ceiling paint.

Paint as you did on the ceiling, with a “W” pattern first, then rolling over the area in straight lines. Work small areas at a time, making certain to roll out any “ropes” that appear at the roller edge. Roll as close as possible to cut-in areas to minimize the visibility of the differences in texture. Continue working your way around the room until complete.


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