Paint 101

Understanding color concepts and painting techniques will help you pick the right hues the first time -- and apply paint in a way that will last. Here are some tips to get you started.
Surface Prep
Brushes Roller Tape and Swatches On Yellow Background

Painting a wall is an easy way to add color to your rooms.

Here are some hints designed to help you achieve painting perfection.

Before you apply the first coat of paint, be sure the surface is clean, smooth, and dry.

Woman paint edge by blue tape

  • Sanding: Use 80-grit sandpaper to smooth out blemishes and surfacing compound to repair dings. Always sand the surfacing compound once it's dry and remove any dust.
  • Washing: It's a good idea to wash wall surfaces before you begin, especially if you have sanded and need to remove the dust.
  • Paint only dry surfaces. In damp weather, run an air-conditioner or dehumidifier or wait for more favorable conditions.
  • Use a 2-1/2 or 3-inch flat brush to outline walls and ceilings and an extension roller to fill in the rest of the space.
  • Paint ceilings before walls. Textured ceilings might require a sprayer.
  • Load a brush by dipping the bristles one-third of the way into the paint. Lift the bristles out of the paint, then gently tap (don't wipe) them against the can's rim. The point is to load the brush just short of dripping on the way to the wall.
  • Load a roller by dipping it into a tray full of paint and rolling it up the tray's ramp until the cover is saturated. Work in small sections (4-foot areas), rolling paint onto the wall in an overlapping W motion to prevent roller marks.

Current Issue Color Schemes
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