Paint Like a Pro: 5 Steps to DIY Walls

Bringing new life to a room can be as simple as rolling a new color of paint on the walls. You’ve chosen the hue that compliments your space (if you haven’t done that yet, get some helpful hints here), but that’s just the start. Although painting a room on your own isn’t difficult, there is a right way to do it. Follow these five steps to paint your space like a pro.

Gather the tools

You don’t want to get half a wall into your project and discover a needed item you failed to buy. Before you get started, gather your supplies. 

Prep the space

That fabulous color you selected will look best on a clean, smooth surface. Take time to clean the wall with a damp sponge and mild dish washing detergent. Patch holes and scrape off any flaking paint. Large pieces of furniture should be moved into the center of the room and covered with a drop cloth. Place painter’s tape around your room where the wall meets the trim. You should also remove outlet covers and other wall fixtures. Before you open the can of paint, cover the floor with a drop cloth or other material to protect it.


Primer is a given when you’re talking about new drywall. What about an existing wall? If you’re not covering a darker hue with something light, you may be tempted to skip this step. Don’t. Primer will give your finished coat a more uniform finish regardless of your final color.

Bring on the paint

Grab a two-inch brush and load it with paint. Be sure to lightly drag the brush across the edge of the can in order to remove the excess paint. Using long, steady strokes, apply the paint to the areas around your taped off trim and the corners of your room. Then, pour some of the paint into a tray and load up the paint roller. Work on 3-4 foot sections of wall at a time and apply your paint in an overlapping “W” pattern. Without lifting your roller, go over the same space with horizontal strokes.  Plan on applying two coats of paint for a smooth, even finish. Before you call it a day, remove the tape. 

Finish it off

Once your walls are completely dry, tackle your baseboards and the trim around windows and doors. Apply tape to each section of wall that borders the trim. Reach for your two-inch angled brush to paint the trim. 

Enjoy your beautiful new room!

by Anjie Cho