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See all Interior paint how-to »

How to Paint a Wall

Skill:  Novice DIY'er

Walls are the most obvious, and therefore perhaps the most important,  element of an interior painting project.  The proper painting techniques can ensure a quality result.

For Best Results:

If you need to stop or break during your paint job, stop at a natural break in the wall.

When you are nearing the end of one container of paint, find a natural break in your project. Open a second container and mix it into the paint from the first container. Stir well.

Clean spills and drips using a damp cloth while the paint is still wet.




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Suggested Supplies
  • Brush (2"-2½")
  • Bucket
  • Bucket Grid
  • Extension Pole
  • Vinyl Gloves
  • Ladder
  • Paint Can Opener
  • Paint Tray
  • Paint Tray Liner
  • Rags
  • Roller Cover and Frame
  • Sandpaper (150-220 Grit)
  • Stir Stick
  • Drop Cloths
  • Plastic Sheeting
Colour Used in This How-To
  1. Step 1

    To paint a wall with a roller, start at the top corner of the project area, where you have cut in a three-to four-inch wide area around the perimeter with a brush.

    Remember to smooth out the cut-in area by lightly brushing the tip of the bristles over the newly painted area to create a feathered edge.
  2. Step 2

    Working in a three-by-three area, roll a "W" onto the wall. This will help place an even distribution of paint onto the wall. Continue rolling from the top edge of the wall to the bottom, filling in the "W" as you go.

    The "W" should not be any wider than one arm-length, which is typically twenty-four to thirty-two inches.
  3. Step 3

    Repeat the "W" process until the entire wall is covered.