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how to paint a room(ARA) - Are you tired of staring at four neutral-colored walls? Have you noticed that the 'mauve' you painted your room several years ago is no longer en vogue? Whatever your reasons, a new coat of paint is the fastest, easiest and least expensive way to add some pizzazz to your home. With the bold palette of colors available today, there is no better time than the present to pick up the roller and get to work.

Although painting may be simple, what's not always easy is knowing what supplies to purchase and how to properly prepare the walls. According to many professionals, the key to success is what you do before you even put paint on the wall. Let's look at the tools you'll need, the best type of paint for your project and ways to ready a room.

High-Quality Application Tools

Visit any retailer and you will be confronted with a myriad of product options. Remember, the quality of the paint job depends on the selection of applicators to provide a professional-looking finish.


Quality brushes not only spread paint evenly over the surface, they also have the ability to hold more paint, making for a quicker job. In addition, better quality brushes have a tapered end, giving the user more control, and will not shed bristles like inexpensive brushes.

There are generally two types of brushes -- synthetic and natural bristle. Synthetic brushes are the best choice when using latex paints. Natural bristle brushes should only be used for oil-based paints since they will absorb the water in latex paint, causing them to become limp.

For the average paint job, a homeowner should purchase two brushes -- a 3-inch or 4-inch wall brush for larger surfaces and a smaller, tapered brush for cutting in and trim work.


The best rollers will have a steel frame and a threaded handled which can accommodate an extension pole. When it comes to roller covers, follow the same rules as for brushes -- use only synthetic roller covers for latex paint.

For drywall or smooth plaster walls, select a 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch short nap roller cover. Light textured or poured concrete surfaces require the use of a medium nap 3/8-inch to 3/4-inch roller cover.

To test its quality, squeeze a roller cover. A quality cover should quickly return to its original shape. Count on better quality roller covers to spread paint evenly and not leave fuzz on the wall.

Ready to Roll

One of the latest products to simplify painting is the new Ready to Roll project-sized paint container from Dutch Boy. This container comes with paint and a convenient built-in roller tray so pouring to a separate, messy paint tray is no longer necessary. Just dip the roller in the paint at the bottom of the container, roll it along the built-in tray and you are ready to paint. And, the Ready to Roll paint container makes clean up easy since it is disposable. For storage, the unit features a re-sealable, airtight lid. This project-sized container holds 2.5 gallons, the typical amount needed to paint an entire project.

Foam Pad Applicator

In addition to rollers and brushes, purchase a few foam pad applicators for edging and reaching into tight areas. Their flat surfaces make them perfect for this type of work, and they provide a smooth finish and a professional look.


Why do some masking tapes cost more? Well, painter's tape may be a little more expensive than standard masking tape, but it is designed to be easier to pull off and will not mare the surface of the wall. Some types of tapes even have a strip of brown paper attached to the tape providing extra protection against drips.

Room Preparation

A good looking, long-lasting paint job is only as good as its preparation. Before painting, start by removing any loose or peeling paint from the surface and then sanding down rough edges to blend them into the surrounding area. Spackle any holes or cracks in the wall and sand those areas to a smooth finish. You will also need to sand any glossy areas to assure that the new coat of paint will adhere to the surface correctly.

Next, clean all the walls with a non-abrasive cleaner. Once the walls have dried, test them to see if they need to be primed. To do this, sprinkle a small amount of water on the wall, if it soaks in, a primer coat is needed. Drywall should always be primed and sanded.

Before starting to paint, remember to remove door hardware and cover plates and make sure the floors are covered with a non-slippery surface such as a canvas. Tape off trim and windows with the painter's tape described above.

Quick Painting Tips

Now you are ready to paint. First cut in trim edges, the ceiling, corners and baseboards. Then, working in a 2-foot by 2-foot area, use the roller to apply paint in a V shape. Fill in the center of the V with horizontal strokes and then smooth the painted area with vertical strokes. Paint from the top down starting at the ceiling followed by walls, trim, cabinets and doors.

To finish trim and corner areas, another option is the use of a quart container, such as the plastic Twist & Pour quart container from Dutch Boy. Quart containers are easier to work from as you can hold the container in one hand and use a 2 1/2 inch or smaller brush to finish or apply touch ups.

With a coat of new paint your room will soon have the pizzazz you crave!

For more information or to locate a Dutch Boy retailer, log onto, or call (800) 828-5669.

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