how to5 min read

How to paint a room

Lick paint colour consultant Tash painting wall

WordsMaha Elley


Simply changing the color or shade of your walls can go a long way in updating the interior appearance and atmosphere of your home. Painting your walls is also a relatively easy way to freshen up a tired-looking decor without spending huge amounts. And no, you don’t necessarily need to choose bold splashes of neon or bright yellows to transform the mood of a room. 

Professional paint application is just as important as the color you choose, but luckily it’s not something you always need to turn to an expert for (well, unless you want to that is). Whether you’re a DIY expert or a total newbie, teach yourself how to paint a wall professionally with a little bit of patience, time and experience. Shake off those nerves, gather your tools and give it a whirl using our mini-guide on how to paint a room.

The tools you need to paint a room

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

How to prep your room for painting

The key to a seamless finish lies in the prep. Kick off with the simple preparatory steps below and you’re good to go: 

  1. Start by clearing your working area to give yourself ample painting space. Put away your favorite furniture items and anything you don’t want to get splatters or splodges on.
  2. Put a protective dust sheet down to save your flooring and any furniture that’s too heavy to move. Newspapers and bedsheets won’t be sufficient here, but either a canvas or a plastic drop sheet should work equally well.
  3. Examine your wall for any flakey areas or little bumps. Use filler and sealant to fill up any cracks or holes or a scraper to even bumps and flaking paint. Don’t skip this step if you want to achieve a smooth and professional finish.
  4. Next, get your painting surface ready. Clean your walls thoroughly but gently using a soap and water mixture. Wipe clean and leave to dry.
  5. Once the surfaces are dry, use painter’s masking tape (the best tape for painting) or good old-fashioned masking tape to cover any sockets, switches, and skirting boards in the area (check out more about the best paint for skirting boards and how to paint skirting boards). Line up the edges of the tape with precise care to avoid a lopsided paint job.
  6. Time to prime. Apply a smooth and even base coat of primer using a roller. Work into smaller crevices using the tip of your paintbrush. Leave to dry for a few hours before starting to paint.

Do I need to prime before painting?

If you happen to be using a Lick paint, then 1) great choice, and 2) you can skip the primer step - our paint has been carefully developed to ensure you only need two coats, and no primer base either.

Watch our tutorial below

How to paint a room: painting instructions

  1. Start by stirring your paint thoroughly for an even texture.
  2. First, use a paintbrush to tackle the edges and corners - this is known as cutting in (learn how to cut in when painting). Load enough paint to cover the brush halfway up the bristles. Tap your brush on the side of the can and get rid of any excess paint before brushing.
  3. Next, get to work on the main surface areas in the middle using a paint roller. Dip your roller into the paint can and start to paint your wall in ‘W’ or ‘M’ motions for even distribution.
  4. Leave the first coat to dry for a couple of hours before you apply another coat. Most walls shouldn’t require more than two coats of paint. Top tip: remove the tape from the wall whilst the second coat is still wet.
  5. Leave to dry for at least 24 hours and remove your dust sheets to reveal your brand new wall.

Et voilà- you’re done!