How to Paint a Room Like a Professional


The best way to paint a room will of course depend on your home, your tastes and the look and feel that best fits. The best way to paint a room will of course depend on your home, your tastes and the look and feel that best fits. There are countless home painting ideas and products available for you to choose from, whether that’s using specialist paints, artistic wall painting techniques or textured, non-standard finishes. The world is your oyster.

Do a good job and you’ll be a DIY hero, but make mistakes, take shortcuts, make poor choices or fail to prepare and the results can be messy, costly and time-consuming.

The secret is preparation. You should before anything else, draw up a detailed plan and ensure you have all the materials that you’ll need for your decorating project to hand. There’s nothing more frustrating than running out of something or realising you never had it half way through a job.

As well as paint and brushes, ensure you have all the dust sheets, cleaning products, masking tape and rubbish bags you’ll need before you start. A tidy job is a happy one.

Key to moving forward is understanding how to professionally paint a room from the first moment’s inspiration to a completed job. It is why we’ve created this quick guide. Whether you are new to the task or know how to paint a room like a pro, we think you’ll find some useful insights here.

If none of this is for you, then remember Red Box painters and decorators can do the job for you. It might cost less than you think too.

The Challenge Of Painting A Room

The easiest way to paint a room is to read the interior painting guidelines from your chosen paint supplier alongside following professional painting and decorating tips like these. They will help you avoid common pitfalls and mistakes as you go.

When prepping a room for painting, a common mistake is underestimating costs or the time it will take to complete.

Remember coats of paint can take hours, days sometimes, to dry so knowing how many coats of paint on a wall is required is important.

Running out of paint is an avoidable frustration too. This is particularly important if you are using an unusual or bespoke colour combination that may not be kept in stock by your supplier.

Ordering more might leave a job half-finished for a while. It’s also worth taking the time to be sure you have measured your room carefully and triple checked any calculations.

Then it’s a question of making sure you have the time and space to complete the job. In our experience, children and pets make decorating a challenging task, so best to try and keep the family out of the house for a while perhaps.

Once you are ready to start, it’s important to make sure you have the right tools for the job.

Choosing The Right Equipment

The best painting and decorating tips are all about selecting the right equipment. If you are looking to learn to paint and decorate, one of the most valuable lessons from professionals is that cheap brushes and rollers are a false economy. Cheap paint brush bristles fall out and inexpensive rollers fall apart. It is sensible to invest in the highest quality options you can afford to give you a better, cleaner finish whatever the job.

If you’re taking on a large painting job or you fancy a more professional approach, you may want to try a paint spray gun and air compressor.

They may be the best way to paint a room efficiently but using them is a skilled job not to be taken lightly. We would definitely recommend a dry run before attempting major painting and decorating using these tools.

Other equipment you will need to consider includes ladders always prioritising your safety, plumb lines and spirit levels, decorator’s edges, dust sheets and masking tape, filling and a filling knife, sandpaper or sanding blocks, paint buckets, pails or trays, paint thinners and cleaners and paint stirrers and mixers. You might want to consider overalls, to protect your clothes, and breathing masks to protect you from paint fumes.

There are bound to be other jobs that come up while you are decorating so keeping a standard tool-kit nearby too is probably worth it. Like the Boy Scouts, painters and decorators ought to always be prepared.

Selecting Your Paint

The most important of all painting wall tips is selecting the right paint for the job. It can seem like the range available is bewildering but, relax, we have some guidance for you here. They should help you understand how to professionally paint a room

The most common types of paint are divided into two main types: oil based and water borne. While oil-based paint has traditionally been seen as tougher and more durable, today’s water-borne paints are nearly as durable. They don’t have the painstaking cleanup, smell, yellowing and environmental hazard that you get with oil-based paints either. This is why water borne paints are by far the most common for home applications.

Which finish to have? Paint in most family homes takes a bit of a bashing from children, pets and, being honest, clumsy adults too. That’s why hardy paint finishes such as egg-shell and satin are generally better home painting ideas.

Once you’ve selected your type of paint, the thorny issue of colours springs to mind. Interior designers suggest you don’t rush into choosing colours but think more broadly about the ambience you are looking for, the type of light your room gets, the style of your home and, of course, your personal style and tastes. This should lead you to a colour palette that you can experiment with. We would suggest that, whatever wall painting techniques you plan to use, you start with a tester pot!

It’s worth working out which direction the main window in the room faces and whether you will get morning or evening sun. Will you get sun at all? Or is it shade? What colour will make your room brighter? What colour will make your room feel bigger?

As a general rule, lighter paint will reflect natural light and open up a room. Darker hues will make any room feel cosier and more intimate. The best painting tricks are about using this knowledge to your advantage,

You should, we hope, now be full of ideas for painting your house interior. It’s time to prepare for the work itself.

Preparing The Room For Painting

How to prepare a room for painting? Our experts have helpfully broken down the process of prepping a room for painting into four handy steps.

Firstly, mask the room up ensuring you cover everything you don’t want splashed with paint. You can do this by buying a poly-wrap film that has the advantage of being slightly sticky or using more standard dust sheets.

Secondly, wash the walls you intend to paint with sugar soap, which you can buy from DIY stores cheaply. Add it to a little warm water and then wash the wall with a sponge, wringing it out regularly.

This gets rid of any grease and grime on the walls that will interfere with the paint’s finish. Once complete, let that air out and dry off before phase three.

You need to check the walls for any holes or cracks that need repairing, If you use a filler, this will need to dry and be sanded smooth before painting.

You can use 180 grit sandpaper for most things, but large repairs might need something coarser initially.

Finally, once the wall is properly prepped, wipe it down again with either a dry or damp sponge and vacuum the area to make sure there’s no excess dust laying around and you are all ready to go.

The Correct Order To Paint A Room

The advice, like many things in life, is always to start at the top. Painting a ceiling first means you don’t have to worry about spraying or splashing on the other walls. Once that challenge is complete and dry, the logistics become much easier to manage.

We would suggest painting the walls next, leaving the detail of skirtings, window frames and door frames to last. If you are painting multiple rooms, having a routine you can master will mean work gets quicker as you become more confident.

Cutting In And Edges

The best way to cut in corners when painting into corners is to carefully create a straight line using masking tape, paint up to the tape and then peel it off. You can get a range of tools to help you keep a straight line if you are worried about your eyes or steady hands.

The challenge is avoiding seepage through the tape and peeling off the original paint-work. One of the more useful ‘paint cutting in’ tips is to paint the masking tape itself with the original colour so it forms a more rigid and impermeable barrier before using it.

There is really no easy way to cut in, so we would suggest you practice before launching into any major project or you might want to consider getting professional help from the team at Red Box of course.

Dealing With Spillages

If it all goes wrong, don’t panic. Most waterborne modern paints can be cleaned with hot soapy water and a standard scouring pad. As long as the paint hasn’t dried it should come up with a bit of elbow grease. Dry paint should be attacked with rubbing alcohol to break it down.

If you have spilt or splattered small amounts of paint on a tiled or laminated floor it may be better to let it dry fully and chip it off gently.

If you follow this advice we trust there won’t be any disasters though. If you want to avoid the risk altogether it might be worth contacting Red Box for a no-obligation quote. Our painters and decorators are Which? Trusted Traders and Professional Decorating Association members.

Red Box Painters and Decorators

The Red Box painting and decorating team can advise you on all the practicalities of styling your home from picking colours to choosing the right finish. If decorating your home is a task you would like the professionals to help with, get in touch. We would love to hear about your ideas.

The Red Box painting and decorating team can advise you on all the practicalities of styling your home from picking colours to choosing the right finish. If decorating your home is a task you would like the professionals to help with, get in touch. We would love to hear about your ideas.