Painting is not as easy as you may think. In order to achieve the best possible results you must learn how to paint a wall properly. Preparation is key to a perfect finish and a lasting end result.
Prepare the wall
If you’re walls are smooth and free of imperfections, your painting job will be much easier than if they are not. In most cases, walls are not perfect. Chipping, peeling paint, holes and even wallpaper or other things can be stuck on the walls and must be dealt with first, according to This Old House.
- Holes. For small holes use spackle or joint compound to fill the holes. Let the compound dry completely before sanding the area smooth with fine grit sandpaper or a damp rag. Calk any gaps like at places where trim meets the wall.
- Large holes. Larger holes in the wall will require a bit more prep. The wall may need a patch before spackling or joint compound can be used. A fine mesh tape or paper tape and a piece of wallboard cut to fit will help fill a large hole. Let joint compound dry and reapply new coats if necessary. This may need to be done several times to get the best result.
- Uneven surfaces. Take down any high spots in the wall with a sharp putty knife and sand the area smooth. It’s important to smooth the wall thoroughly prior to paint, which will enhance a wall’s imperfections.
Prime the wall
Use a good quality primer before you paint the wall. Primer prepares the wall to accept the paint and offers good adhesion. Primer is also useful to even out wall color and darken or lighten the wall before a major color change. If your wall is highly stained or will be subject to peeling as in a bathroom, it may be a good idea to use an oil based primer or other high hiding tough primer.
Paint the wall
The final step in painting the wall is actually the part that takes the least amount of time. Thoroughly mix the paint and pour it into a smaller container. Cut in around edges, windows and door openings by using a small angled brush. Once the cuts are complete you can pour the paint into a roller tray and use a soft, clean paint roller to apply the color onto the wall. Be sure to protect the surrounding areas with drop clothes and painters tape where necessary. Roll out the color in small areas using a z or n pattern. This technique helps spread the paint evenly. If necessary, let the paint dry and apply another coat onto the wall.