Painting the Walls
It is best practice when painting to finish a whole wall before stopping to rest. This ensures that the painted portion of the room will not lose its wet edging. After you have painted an entire wall, stand back and scan along the wall, looking for any smears or missed spots. Whether you choose to paint in individual sections from the top to the bottom, or from side to side, moving around the room, depends on your own personal preferences. It may be more convenient to actually start in a high corner in the room and use an extension on your roller handle, moving across the room in a series of zig-zag patterns. This method has an advantage: you will not have to continually change out the handle on the roller like you would need to if you painted in sections from the ceiling moving down to the floor. Start painting in a left-hand corner if you are right-handed. Inversely, start in the right-hand corner of the room if you are left-handed.
Painting the Ceiling
When you are rolling paint onto the ceiling, it helps to maintain wet edges at all times. This allows you to avoid creating ridges and lines. If you are using fast-drying paint, then you may need to work faster than you might have anticipated, avoiding taking a break. You can achieve both ease and speed by using an extension handle on your roller that allows you to paint from the floor in lieu of the alternative: climbing a step-ladder that you have to move around the room as you work. There are a number of different roller handles that have been designed specifically to accept an extension that screws in to the roller. If you don’t have one, you can invariably use the handle to your mop or broom.
Painting Tight Spots
Tight spots pose a specific challenge to painters. You likely will not have sufficient space to use the zig-zag technique when it comes to applying paint above doors, below doorways, and under and over windows. For these areas, it is often best to just roll the paint onto the surface in a horizontal fashion. For those areas that are narrower than your roller, you can find a mini-roller that is around four-inches in width. This small roller will give you the same finish that the rest of the wall has while being simple to fit into tight spaces. A brush is not a good choice if you have used a paint roller on the rest of the wall, since brushed on applications tend to be less even, and oftentimes leave behind telltale paint trails.
Trim & Baseboard Painting
Once you have the biggest portion of the work done, you are far from finished. You will also need to paint the trim and the baseboards in the room, and perhaps even the windows, wainscoting and doors, depending on the design of your room.
Some folks choose to paint the trim as they are painting the walls and ceiling. This can tend to slow you down, since you will need to paint the trim with a paint brush, so you will need to alternate between the brush and roller. Alternately, some people prefer to paint the trim, windows, and doors first before doing the walls and ceiling. If so, be sure to tape off the trim using painter’s tape or masking tape while you are painting the reset of the room.
As a rule of thumb when painting trim, paint just a section of trim at a time, and then look over your work to make sure that there are no spatters, dips, or edges that overlapped. Clean up all mistakes immediately. If you wait until the trim paint has set, the paint flaws may have had time to set, too. It is important that you do not paint the wood jambs in the door or window frame. When painting the frame, be sure to work from the top down to the bottom, and also paint the sill.
Stand back and admire your handiwork. Doing-it-yourself, whether the task is to put on a fresh coat of paint or some other project, can be quite liberating.