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    Painting a room

    Summary: Learn how to decorate a room, paint a ceiling, paint walls, paint a window, paint a casement window, paint a sash window and paint skirting and trim.

    If you are intending to finish wooden surfaces or wallpaper an area, get your painting done first. Any areas you do not wish to paint over should be covered, and wooden skirting board or moulding should be protected with masking tape where it joins the wall being painted. If you need to break overnight, place cling-film over your paints and clean your brushes and store them in foil or cling-film to prevent drying out.

    What to paint first

    Paint the room in the order given below:



    The easiest way to paint a ceiling is with a roller on a pole. Remember to wear safety goggles to prevent paint drips entering the eyes.

    • Apply paint in sections of about 1 metre sq (9 sq ft) in a zigzag pattern to ensure even coverage.
    • Lay off the paint before moving on to the next section so each area blends in.
    • Feather the edges of the sections while the paint is wet to blend the whole ceiling.
    • Roll on a second coat of ceiling paint in the opposite direction to the first coat.
    • Use a paintbrush to cut in along the edges of the ceiling where it meets the top of the wall.


    • Place masking tape around borders to give you straight, neat lines.
    • Cut in around the ceiling with a small brush.
    • Cut in strips about 50mm (2in) wide around the skirting, doors, windows etc. You may be able to cut in some areas with a roller by sliding the roller cover away from the spindle.
    • To cover the rest of the wall, use a large brush or roller held at a 45º angle to the wall.
    • If you are painting multiple coats, or want to spread the paint more thinly, paint in diagonal strokes first to spread the paint and then apply paint in horizontal strokes to neaten up.
    • If you are using a paint that only requires a single coat, paint in vertical strokes with the roller or paintbrush, laying off areas of wall before the paint dries.
    • At external corners, make horizontal strokes over the edge of the wall and then go over the area with vertical strokes.


    • Remove the window furniture (handles etc.) to give you access to the frame.
    • Prepare the surface by removing old paint and sanding and priming if necessary.
    • Place masking tape on the glass to protect it.
    • Use a 25 or 50mm (1or 2in) brush to apply paint in the direction of the grain.

    Casement windows

    • Open the window to paint the top, bottom and sides of the frame.
    • When this is dry, paint the crossbars and rails.
    • Finally, paint the sill.

    Sash windows

    Be careful not to clog the tracks or get paint on the cords.

    • Raise the lower sash and pull down the top sash until you have an overlap of about 150mm (6in) to paint the bottom section of the top sash.
    • Nearly close the sashes to paint the top section of the top sash.
    • Paint the bottom sash.
    • Paint the frame and sill.

    Skirting and trim

    It is easier to paint and lay off wooden skirting following the direction of the grain. Paint the skirting in sections, applying paint to the middle of the skirting first and then the top and bottom, cutting in to the edges. 

    Painting a room video

    Painting a Room - lets-do-diy.com

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    Tools Needed
    • Paintbrushes
    • Paint roller and tray
    • Screwdriver
    Materials Needed
    • Masking tape
    • Gloss paint
    • Emulsion
    • White spirit
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