You’ve decided to paint a room in your home. You’re excited and a little nervous! Don’t worry! With the right tools, paint and techniques, this renovation task is doable, even for a novice. Before you begin, it’s important to learn the basics. Following is advice to help you create a perfect paint job.


Select the right tools: Quality tools will make your paint job easier and help ensure success. You’ll need:

  • High-quality roller sleeve and handle;
    • a 3/8-inch sleeve for most finishes
    • a 1/4-inch sleeve for glossy finishes
    • a thicker, 1/2- or 3/4-inch sleeve for rougher, textured walls
  • Paint tray
  • Extension pole
  • Stepladder
  • Sandpaper
  • Painter’s tape
  • Drop cloths
  • Tack cloth
  • Paint brushes
  • High quality paint such as Benjamin Moore’s Aura®, Regal® Select or ben® Interior (specifically designed to help DIY-ers with quick-fix drips and smooth touch-ups)


Prepare the surface: Preparation is critical to a successful paint job.

  • Wash the walls using a sponge and warm water.
  • For tough stains, use TSP
  • Scrape chipping paint.
  • Fill holes.
  • Lightly sand patched areas, starting with a 120 or 150 grit and finishing with 180 to 220.
  • Wipe with a tack cloth to remove dust.


Tape and protect: Don’t forget to protect those areas you’re not painting.

  • Use painter’s tape to protect baseboards, moldings, door casings, light fixtures, window sills and switch plates.
  • Move furniture out of the room or cover with plastic/canvas tarps.
  • Protect the floor with a drop cloth.


Cut in: This refers to painting along the ceiling line, corners, windows, door, molding, outlets and switches.

  • Begin about an inch away from the area you’re cutting in.
  • Hold the brush horizontal with respect to the floor and ceiling,
  • Paint a roughly 12-inch stripe on the wall.
  • Use a downward stroke when painting at a corner and a sideways stroke when working along the ceiling, baseboard or trim.
  • Turn your brush 90 degrees so that it angles into the wall and go back to the beginning of your stroke.
  • Using long, even strokes, cut in a thinner line of paint that gets right up to the trim or wall corner.
  • For drips, wrap a damp cloth around a spackling knife and run it along your paint line to remove excess paint.
  • Cover four foot sections of ceiling line and corner. Then use a roller to fill in the wall space.
  • Work quickly so the cut in portion does not dry before the section is complete.


Roll on the Paint: You’re ready to make headway!

  • Pour paint into your tray.
  • Load your roller by rolling along the raised roll-off area of the pan.
  • Touch the paint, but do not immerse the roller sleeve.
  • Roll each section of the wall from top down.
  • Use long strokes in a W pattern.
  • Overlap each row about 8 cm.
  • Use light pressure.
  • Paint manageable-sized areas to maintain a wet edge.


Dry and recoat: Be patient! Proper drying is crucial to a good finish.

  • Check your paint can for recommended drying times.
  • Allow paint to dry.
  • Brush on a second coat.


Clean-up and storage: You’re almost done!

  • Remove painter’s tape, drop cloths, furniture covers.
  • Clean brushes and rollers.
  • Hammer the lids onto the leftover paint.
  • Mark cans with colour, date used and surface painted.
  • Store paint in a cool dry area.

That’s it! You’ve successfully painted your walls. Sit back and enjoy the beauty you’ve created.

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