Step 1: Remove wall art, furniture, and all other pieces from the room, lay canvas tarps (more absorbent and less slippery than plastic) over the furniture and on the floor. Using painter’s tape, fasten down the edges. Unscrew all switch plates and electrical outlet covers, and tape over the remaining switches and holes with painter’s tape. Tape around any other hardware that can’t be removed.

Step 2: Using a pole sander fitted with 120-grit paper, sand the walls (make sure to wear a dust mask). from the top down. Apply medium pressure, and take care that the head doesn’t flop and gouge the wall. Change the paper whenever the grit gets clogged with dust.

Remove all bumps and drips with a scrapper, and make sure to finish and smooth out the surface with a sanding sponge. Once complete, clear up all the dust from the walls and floor with a wet cloth and vacuum.

NOTE: Sand and paint the ceiling before you begin the walls.

Step 3: Fill in all gaps and holes with caulking, patching compound or joint compound. Caulking is to fill up gaps in molding, Patching compound is used for plaster, and joint compound for drywall.  Remember to sand and smooth out the surfaces and wipe clean with a  wet rag.


Step 4: Using a 2.1/2 inch brush go around the corners and edges of the room, in order to create the border for your roller. Make sure to go all the way around (ceiling, walls, molding).

Step 5: Once you’ve cut in around an entire wall area, use a roller to fill in the field. Dampen the roller before using it (with water for latex paint or paint thinner for oils). Dip the roller in a tray filled with just enough paint to reach the grate. Roll it back against the grate to distribute the paint and squeeze out the excess. Make sure the roller is covered completely before painting with it.

Step 6: Roll a W or M shape on the wall to distribute the bulk of the paint. Then use overlapping vertical strokes to spread paint evenly between the lines. Continue painting the wall in this manner until it is covered. Overlap a bit of the cut-in edges to blend away any visible brush marks.

If a second coat is necessary, wait until the paint is dry to the touch, then repeat Steps 5 and 6.

TOH Tip: When the roller makes a peeling sound on the wall, it’s too dry and should be reloaded.

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