Painting Procedures

Whew! Now that the paint prep is out of the way, we can begin the painting procedures, and get on with the actual work in the most effective and efficient manner possible.

To assist you, I’ve compiled a brief description of painting a general room such as the bedroom. The following synopsis concerns the basics of the ceiling, the walls, and the trimwork.

Start With the Ceiling

Before you begin with painting procedures, double-check your preparation to make sure that have:

Filled all the holes in ceiling, removed any fixture globes and glassware (tape off the remaining part of the fixture), and make sure all drop cloths are in place.

Cutting-In
Take your paint brush, and carefully cut-in around the fixture first (since you’ve got blue masking tape surrounding the fixture itself, you can afford to be a little messy). Next, with your paint brush in hand, cut-in, or paint a strip (2′ – 3″ wide) around the perimeter of the walls. Don’t forget, since you’re going to paint the walls later, you can afford to be – shall we say – a little messy here with this painting procedure as well too, but just a little!

painting preparation

Rolling the Ceiling
Fill roller with paint. Make several practice strokes in the pan so that you can get a feel for the roller itself. Also, to let the roller cover absorb some paint. Roll a 3′ – 4′ section. Even though it may seem like you still have plenty of paint on the roller, fill again, and repeat another 3′ – 4′ section. Repeat this same process until ceiling is covered.

By refilling roller cover often, you prevent ‘dry-rolling’. This is, in effect, rolling with little-to-no paint left in the cover itself, even though it looks like your rolling paint on. When the paint begins to dry, you’ll notice areas where paint simply didn’t reach, hence the ‘dry rolling’ effect. Remember to keep the roller filled often, as it will mean more re-work for you later.

Proceed to the Trimwork, Doors, and Baseboards

There is some argument as to when to paint the trim and baseboards – after you paint the walls, or before. For the sake of efficiency, I like to paint the trimwork and baseboards before the walls. Some painters like the other way (walls first – then trimwork) according to their own painting procedures. I simply prefer to paint trimwork first. In the end, it doesn’t really matter as it is more of a matter of personal prefernce.

Again, since you are going to paint the walls after you paint the trim, you can be somewhat messy with your brush strokes on the trimwork. Speaking of brush strokes:

  1. Always paint in short (8″ – 10″) strokes
  2. Brush in the direction of the wood grain of the object you’re painting.

For example, you should paint a door jamb and trimwork vertically, as the grain of the wood will be running up and down. Likewise for baseboard, you should paint horizontal, as the grain in the base will always run horizontal.

Finish Up With the Door Jamb/Window Casing

When painting door jamb and window trim and casing, always start on the inside in the upper corners, and work your way down. Paint the inside joints, and then work your way out (toward you) so as to keep your strokes fresh. Paint corners and right angles the same way. Cover detailed reveals first, and then the longer runs (outside of trimwork) second.

Let the base and trim dry for at least 24 hours. In some cases, I’ll let the trim dry for a period of two days (when I’m painting with oil) – just to be on the safe side. When you’re done with the base, trim, and doors, tape off for protection when painting the walls.

Lastly, the Walls

Cutting-In:

  • Cut-in at the edges of the where the wall meets the ceiling. You can do this free-hand, or, if you’re less steady in the hand, use blue painter’s tape, and tape off you’re newly painted ceiling. (If going this route, make sure you’re ceiling has had ample time to dry. Just read the manufacturer’s label for details. It will probably be in the 12 – 24 hour range.
  • When cutting in, always refill you’re brush after 10 or less strokes. It’s kind of the same principal as dry-rolling. Since you’re brushing the paint on, the mere act of applying pressure to the surface with the brush will spread the paint thin, so keep your brush filled with paint as much as you can
  • Do these painting procedures to all the corners of the walls as well. If you’re painting a light color over dark, you’ll more than likely have to do this procedure twice. (same with the edge of the ceiling)

Tip
If you’re planning on painting over really dark or bold colors with a lighter color, you might try spraying the corners with primer/stainblocker (the same stuff you use to get rid of scruff marks) to cut down on the amount of cut-in that you might do otherwise. The thick stainblocking agent in this oil-based primer will greatly help to cover the dark paint color.

Rolling the Wall
This painting procedure is very similar to the technique we emplyed when rolling a ceiling. The only difference is, we are going to roll vertical strips (as wide as the roller you are using) on the wall.

Start at (or near) the middle of the wall, roll upwards toward the top, then roll downward until you reach the bottom. You might have to fill your roller at leat one more time to fully paint a nice even-covered strip.

With the remaing paint in the roller, you can then start upwards with a new strip. Just keep repeating this painting procedure until all walls are done. The one thing you definitely want to do is overlap your rolls, to smooth out paint lines created by the rolling motion itself. Also, try not to press down too firmly on the roller when painting your strips. Just let the roller that’s full of paint do the work.