While you don't have to be a pro to learn how to paint like one, there is more to a good paint job than just slathering some color on the wall. That's where we come in. On the following pages, This Old House technical editor Mark Powers shows how to coat your walls expertly in one weekend, from the first scratch of the pole sander to the final feather of the brush. And you won't be wasting time taping off every corner or backtracking with the touch-up brush like an amateur. As long as you stay organized and methodical, you'll be able to get on with the satisfying business of transforming your room—and with it your whole outlook.
Walls: Clarksville Gray (HC-102) in eggshell; trim: Abingdon Putty (HC-99) in satin; both from Benjamin Moore
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Cordless drill, for removing and replacing door and window hardware
Paint roller for painting walls and ceilings
Paint pan, for loading roller with paint
Telescoping extension pole with pole sanding head for reaching ceilings and the tops of walls without using a ladder
Caulking gun, for filling gaps between the woodwork and wall
Brush, roller spinner, and wire brush, for cleaning brushes
Hammer and nail set, for recessing nail heads
Synthetic-bristle brushes (2 ½-inch blunt, 1 ½-inch angled sash, "throwaways" for touch-ups), for painting molding, doors, and windows
Putty knife for applying spackling compound
5-in-1 pinter's tool for cleaning roller covers
for cutting tip of caulk gun
Window scraper and razor blades, for removing paint from window glass
Drywall sander, attaches to shop vacuum for sanding joint-compound patches
Paint strainer, for removing impurities when paint is poured from can into pot
Bucket, to fit with liners and hold paint
Wet/Dry Vaccum with broom attachment
A gallon of paint covers about 400 square feet. To figure how much you need, add up the lengths of all your walls, then multiply that sum by the room's height. Subtract 20 square feet for each door and 15 for each window. Divide the result by 400 to get the number of gallons you'll need for one coat. Most walls will need two coats.[BR][BR] For the trim in most rooms, one or two quarts should suffice. If your room has a lot of molding, you may need more. If you think you'll need more than two quarts, it is almost always more cost-effective to buy a gallon.
2. 120-Grit silicon-carbide sandpaper
Get about a dozen sheets and cut them to fit the pole sander or fold them for hand sanding.
3. Sanding sponges
Get three coarse-grit and three fine-grit sponges.
4. Large cleaning sponge
5. latex painter's caulk
Get one tube per room.
6. Patching compound
To fill holes.
One quart will cover patches, but you'll need more to prime entire walls.
8. Painter's tape or blue tape
for protecting hardware and trim.
9. Bucket and tray liners
10. Roller covers
Use a shorter nap 3/8 inch) for latex paint on smooth walls; a longer nap ([FRACTION 12]-inch and up) is best for rougher surfaces.