Paint a Room Like a Pro
Ask This Old House painter Mauro Henrique teaches a homeowner the basics of painting a room perfectly
- Before starting work, remove or protect any furniture in the room with drop cloths. Protect where the floor meets the wall with painter’s tape.
- When painting, always start at the top of the room and work your way down. Always pour paint into a separate container.
- Paint the ceiling with a matte paint and the roller.
- Paint the trim, including window trim, chair rails, and door casings, with a semi-gloss paint and a 1 ½” synthetic paint brush. Start from the top and work down.
- For painting around windows, apply a liquid mask to the glass with a paint brush instead of using painter’s tape. The liquid acts like a spot primer if it gets on the sash, and it will protect the glass while painting.
- Once the mask turns clear, add a second coat and wait for that to turn clear as well.
- Paint the window frame, starting from the inside closest to the glass, and work your way out. To keep paint from getting into the cracks between the window and the jamb, slide a putty knife in the crack and drag it down as you paint. Add a paint additive if necessary to thin out the paint being applied around the windows.
- Once the window frame is painted, paint the casing, then the window sill. For the side of the casing, keep the brush parallel to the wall and drag the brush all the way down the side of the casing.
- Apply a second coat to the window trim, chair rails, and door casings.
- Paint the walls using eggshell paint in most rooms. In low-traffic rooms, like a bedroom, you can use a matte finish.
- Cut in the edges around the walls with a 2 ½” synthetic brush. Carefully drag the brush in a motion away from the ceiling and trim to prevent it from spilling over.
- Paint the rest of the walls with a microfiber roller.
- Before applying the final coat, using paintable caulking to fill in any gaps between trim, baseboards, etc.
- Apply a second coat to the walls.
- Clean up the drop cloths and painter’s tape. To remove the liquid mask, cut around the glass with a utility knife and peel it back slowly.
All the painting supplies Mauro used on this project, including the brushes, rollers, drop cloths, and paint additive, can be found at The Home Depot.
Mauro painted the room using Behr Marquee paint. The top of the wall used the color Stargazer, and the trim and the bottom of the wall used the color Bit of Sugar. The trim had a semi-gloss finish and the walls had an eggshell finish.
Mauro demonstrated Masking Liquid H20, a water-based clear coating that can mask window panes when painting a window. It is manufactured by Associated Paint Inc.
Expert assistance for this project was provided by Mauro’s Painting.