Wall Painting 101

How to Paint Walls

Painting walls? Well, you found the right place. There are a lot of different types of walls that can be painted, drywall being the majority of the types.

 

I’ve been painting walls for 25 years. I'm going to walk you through the steps for painting walls like a pro. As well as show you some wall painting techniques.

White Living Room

Wall Painting Tools

The only tools you’ll need for painting walls besides Paint.​​ For a complete list of every tool a professional painter could ever own Download our "Complete Painting Tool Guide."

  • Roller Cover

  • Extension Pole

  • Paint tray

  • Dust Brush

  • Rags

  • Vacuum

  • Ladder

  • Sanding Block   

  • Painter’s Tape

  • Drop Cloths

  • Paintbrush

  • Roller Frame

Best Paint For Walls

There are some great options for wall paint. With great brands like Behr, Sherwin Williams, and Benjamin Moore, not to mention different paint finishes they offer.

 

Typically walls are painted with an Interior Latex Paint in a Flat or Satin finish. We use Sherwin Williams the most but honestly, the 3 brands mentioned above are the top brands, and I stand by them all.

How Much Paint For Walls?

Depending on the type of paint and texture of the wall, a gallon of paint cover 300-400 sq.ft. To calculate your walls square footage simply multiply the length of your walls by the height of your walls. Divide the total by 350 and you will get how many gallons you need for 1 coat. You may want to double that amount because you will need 2 coats.

We discussed this is more depth in our article, “How to Paint a Room in 5 Steps.”

Protect You Things

If you are painting walls near other rooms, furniture or nice floors you will need to move or protect these with plastic or canvas drop cloths. Painting only walls doesn't require as much protection as painting a room would need. Just a few feet out from the walls.

Prepping Walls

Preparing a wall for paint is probably the most important step in painting the perfect wall. Hopefully, there are not many imperfections on your walls and if there are any large repairs, refer to our article on, “Drywall Repair.” The end results lie in your repairing skills. Make sure you remove any switch or outlet covers before beginning. There are 2 repairs you may need to make when painting your walls.

 

  1. Nail Pops- Over the course of time, it is normal for drywall screws or nails to loosen. As this happens, the drywall moves, pushing the head of the nail or screw outward, which causes a bubble or blister in your drywall. This is known as a “nail pop.”

  2. Cracks- Drywall tape is inserted at the seams of drywall boards and speckled over. Usually, this is where you will notice cracking. You may need to replace or repair the drywall tape. We show you how to do this in more detail in our article, “preparing a room for paint.”

Sanding Walls

After your repairs are complete you’ll need to use a sanding block to sand the spackle smooth. Be careful not to sand too much, just feather out the edges and smooth the middle. Use your fingers to feel if the area is flush. Spackle can be really difficult but practice makes perfect.

Taping Walls

Make sure you dust everything down, vacuum or sweep your area especially the top of the baseboards. Unless your planning to paint your baseboards, use painter’s tape to protect them from paint splatters.

Painting Walls

  • Painting Walls With a Brush- Use a QUALITY 2 ½ “ angled sash brush to cut in the edges of your walls. Starting at a top corner near the ceiling. Load the brush with paint and slap the excess paint off the bristles in the container. Push the brush into the corner an inch or so away from the ceiling. The idea is to push the brush and paint slowly into the wall bringing the tip of the bristle right to the ceiling line. Wiggle the brush slightly to release the paint better. Decide which direction you want to paint and drag the brush along the ceiling line. Reload the brush every 6-12 inches depending on your brush size and experience.

  • Painting Walls With a Roller- After the walls are cut in it’s time to roll. Use some masking tape to remove the loose lint from the roller cover. Load the roller and spread the paint evenly making "W" motions then roll across one side to the other.

 

Lay off the paint is a technique professional painters use to even out the paint. With a dry roller, after the wall is coated, but before it begins to dry, go back over the entire area top to bottom with very little pressure.

Painting Textured Walls

To paint textures wall you may need to use a slightly thicker roller cover nap. In most cases, a 1/2 “ roller nap is all you need your textured walls. If it is stucco try a full 1” nap. Cutting in the edges of a textured wall might be frustrating, try slightly shaking the brush to release the paint better.

Painting Wood Paneling Walls

In most cases, wood paneling will need to be primed with oil based primer to seal in the wood tannins and prevent the wall from turning yellow. Wear respirator masks and use mineral spirits to clean up. Sand the primer before applying your top coats.

Painting Plaster Walls

Painting plaster walls is the same exact process as painting drywall walls except for making repairs.

Painting Concrete Walls

You may need to use a primer depending on the style of concrete wall your painting. In many cases, painting a concrete wall is the same as any other wall. Just make sure to buy quality paint or use Masonry Paint, a specially formulated paint made for concrete.

Wall Painting Techniques:

  • Sand in a circular motion and sand the entire wall, not just the repaired areas. This allows for a much more consistent look.

  • For higher walls try using a Pole Sander, the best one is the Radius 360.

  • A high-quality brush makes a huge difference in your painting experience and results. Don’t be cheap on your brush.

  • Using a more dry brush will allow a clean cut line.

  • Paint 1 wall at a time to keep a wet edge when rolling.

Conclusion

Painting walls isn’t a complicated job but if you want a high-quality paint job you must focus on each step carefully and use quality materials.

 

I hope this article helps you in your wall painting ventures!

Related Articles:

"How to Paint a Room in 5 Steps"

"How Long Does it Take to Paint a Room"