Painting Walls

This story covers the basics for painting walls.

Painting Walls

Painting a wall shouldn't tire you as quickly as painting a ceiling because you're working more at shoulder level (if you stand on a platform) or just slightly above, with a roller and extension handle.

The procedure for painting walls follows the same general principles as painting a ceiling -- cutting in the edges with a brush, then filling in the balance with a roller.

Because the surface texture of brushed paint looks different than rolled paint, try to get the roller as close to the edge as possible to minimize what will be a noticeable difference.

Painting a wall (or ceiling for that matter) is a task made to order for two people, one with a brush, cutting in the corners in sections, and the other following with a roller and filling in. That way, tandem painters will eliminate any lap marks caused by applying rolled paint to an edge that's already dried.

A brush is the common tool for cutting in, but you may find using a paint pad easier. Paint pads leave a thicker coat of paint, so be careful the paint is not overly thick as it comes off the edge of the pad.

Prestart Checklist

From 4 to 8 hours for a 10x12-foot room, depending on your experience and skill

Brushes, rollers, extension handle, ladder, paint buckets

Using brushes and rollers

Prep and prime surface as necessary


Step 1

If you're painting the wall the same color as the ceiling, you don't need to mask off the ceiling. Different colors on the two surfaces, however, require you to mask the edge of the ceiling with 2-inch painter's tape. Make sure the ceiling paint is completely cured before masking it. Otherwise you risk pulling the ceiling paint off if it's too fresh. Starting in a corner (usually, but not always along the bottom of the wall) and using a 3-inch brush, cut in a band of paint about 2 inches wide, extending it 3 to 4 feet horizontally and vertically.

Step 2

Using the same technique, cut in any window or door on the wall that is close to your first cut-in area, masking the trim and cutting in the paint around it.

Step 3

Starting at the cut-in window or door or the cut-in edge of the wall, roll the paint into the area between them, always painting to a wet edge.

Step 4

Once you've filled in the area, finish it with light vertical strokes to smooth the paint and remove roller marks. Alternate between cutting in and rolling until you've completed a wall. Don't take breaks or start a new can in the middle of a wall -- you'll create a noticeable lap mark.

Comments (7)
artc0748 wrote:

we started painting the bedroom color white over a medium dark gray.After 4 coats of white paint you can still see the medium dark gray. What is my next step

8/25/2017 02:50:41 AM Report Abuse
essl3234 wrote:

Is it possible to paint over vinyl wall covering as long as it is securely fastened to the wall?

3/28/2011 01:16:27 PM Report Abuse
cnpesser1 wrote:

Yes but do not begin paint until you have spackled all of the joints-not the paneling groves but the paneling sheet joints as well as the top and bottom joint lines to any and all trim

2/23/2011 07:28:56 AM Report Abuse
anonymous wrote:

Oh yes, but prime first.

1/21/2011 08:59:17 AM Report Abuse
shared456 wrote:

When re-painting my bathroom walls and cabnets,is it recommended to paint the walls or the woodwork and cabinets first?

10/26/2010 01:19:22 PM Report Abuse
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