A woman painting a wall.
Michele Lee Willson

Stuff You'll Need

- Plastic sheeting
- Canvas drop cloths
- Screwdriver
- Ziptop plastic bag
- Spackling or joint compound (if necessary)
- Dishwashing detergent, bucket of water, sponge, and rubber gloves (if necessary)
- Fine-grit sandpaper (if necessary)
- Painter's tape
- Primer (if necessary)
- 1 1/2-inch to 2 1/2-inch angled paintbrush
- Paint roller
- Roller covers
- Ladder
- Extension pole (if necessary)
- Paint
- Plastic cup
- Paint tray with disposable liner
- Stir sticks

A paintbrush in a paint can.
Michele Lee Willson

Time and Talent

Preparing the room takes more time than painting it. Set aside a good portion of the day to inspect and repair walls and ceilings, and to apply painter's tape. Then you'll fly through the painting in a couple of hours.

And Another Thing ...
To remove lint from a roller cover, roll it over the sticky side of a taut piece of painter's tape a few times.

1. Thoroughly stir your paint to ensure it's mixed. Pour a small quantity of paint into the plastic cup. This will be your cut-in paint.

2. Dip one-third of your paintbrush into the paint. Lightly slap the brush on the inside edges of the cup so it's not overly saturated. You don't want to wipe the brush on the cup's edge.

A paintbrush angled on a wall.
Michele Lee Willson

Getting Started

3. Angle the brush so its bristles line up with the masked-off border and steadily draw it across the edge. As the paint starts to trail off, lightly draw the bristles away from the edge. Then reload the paintbrush and pick up where you left off.

A paintbrush in a paint can.
Michele Lee Willson

Keep on Rolling

4. Before the cut-in paint dries, you'll want to fill in the walls with the roller. Make sure you get plenty of paint on the roller, then use the dimpled shallow part of the paint tray to roll off the excess so the roller isn't dripping. Working in 4-by-4 sections, use a W or M pattern to roll on the wall paint. Start in a corner, close to the ceiling border, and work your way down. Make sure to overlap all the areas where you cut in with the roller.

5. Repeat the process across the wall, top to bottom. Try to maintain even pressure. If you press to hard on the roller you can get edge marks. If this happens, just roll over them.

6. Let the paint dry completely before assessing whether or not you'll need a second coat (you most likely will to get an even finish). Once you're done painting, remove masking tape and clean up.

From JoAnne Liebeler's Do It Herself

For more easy home improvement projects, purchase JoAnne Liebeler's Do It Herself.

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