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How to paint your walls & how long to wait before hanging up pictures

A new coat of paint can bring new life to a rundown room. You can completely change the look of a room cheaply without needing to buy new furniture. Change the colour of the walls from a neutral to a bright colour or vice versa. Light paint colours can help bring an airy spaciousness to small rooms, while dark colours lend a dramatic air to a room but may make it look smaller. Painting a room is a simple yet intricate project.

Cover the walls and furniture with a dust sheet.

Tape around windows, doors and trim. This is not essential but protects paint from spreading onto the wrong surface. If you feel like you have a steady hand, consider using an angled brush to paint corners instead of taping them. Remove all electrical covers and tape over the sockets with masking tape.

Sand the walls to get rid of excess paint and create an even surface. Make sure to wear a mask while sanding. Wipe down the walls with clean water and vacuum the dust.

Paint the walls with a primer base. A primer creates an evenly porous surface that the top coats of paint can stick to easily. Let the primer dry and sand the surface again.

Empty the coloured paint into paint pans and buckets. Start painting the corners first using long, even strokes. Filling in the corners first gives the roller more room to manoeuvre. Paint an even line around all edges along the floor and ceiling and around door frames.

Paint the entire room using a paint roller. Roll the roller across the paint pan to saturate it with paint. Place the roller on the wall and make an "M" or "W" shape on the wall. Fill in the gaps between the peaks. Let the paint dry and repeat this step if a second coat is necessary.

Paint the trim around the room using an angled brush.

Allow two to four hours of drying time for water-based paint. Oil-based paint dries in up to eight hours. To be safe, allow at least 24 hours before hanging up pictures and wall decorations.

Things You'll Need

  • Masking tape
  • Dust sheet
  • Paint
  • Primer
  • Paint pans
  • Paint rollers
  • Paint brushes in various sizes
  • Sandpaper
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About the Author

Nicole Carlin is a registered yoga teacher. Her writing has been published in yoga and dance teacher training manuals for POP Fizz Academy. Carlin received a Masters of Arts in gender studies from Birkbeck University in London and a Bachelors of Arts in psychology from Temple University, Philadelphia.