The Best Order to Paint a Room in

The Best Order to Paint a Room in by Valentin | Last Updated: May 23, 2021
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Stop me if this sounds familiar. You started painting a room and while you are painting you realize that you just dropped some paint on the window frames that you just painted a minute ago and then some paint drops on the skirting boards that you also painted just a few minutes ago and now you have to repaint them all over again. You can avoid all of these issues by painting the room in a specific order that will ensure that even if some paint drops it won´t matter at all.

As a whole, a room should be painted in a specific order. First, clean the room and cover everything that should not get any paint on it. Then Paint the ceilings followed by the walls. After that, paint details like the skirting boards and then the windows and door frames. And finally, paint the Doors.

Now you should not use the same paint for each part of the room. Walls and skirting boards, for example, need different kinds of paints for an optimal result.

But don´t worry, I will explain each painting step in more detail in this article where I also mentioned what kind of paint you need for each step and other important things to keep in mind.

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Prepare the Room for Painting

In this first step, all you want to do is prepare everything for painting the room. So if you have furniture in the room then move it away from the walls in the middle of the room and cover them in some plastic sheeting that will protect them from paint stains.

You can also use old sheets or you can simply buy painter´s plastic cheeting right here on Amazon.

Then either use some masking tape to protect plugs and light switches from paint stains or remove them entirely.

You also need to either temporarily remove lights on the ceiling or you have to mask them.

This is also the time where you can fix holes, cracks, or other damaged parts on the wall or ceiling before painting it. You can use some drywall repair putty (get it here on Amazon) for that. Simply apply it directly to the damaged wall end then even it out. Once it is dry simply sand it flush with the wall.

You don´t need to prime the wall or the ceiling for painting if they were previously painted with water-based paint. But you should apply a primer if the new paint’s color is significantly different than the old one. A primer will help you to cover the previous paint easier and with fewer coats of paint.

If you want to use water-based paint, however, and they were painted with oil-based paint then you need to apply a primer. But most walls are painted with latex paint nowadays, which is water-based.

Finally, cover the floor with some plastic sheeting and use masking tape to make sure that they don´t slip during the painting process. You are ready to start painting the room now.

Paint the Ceiling

For painting walls and ceilings I would recommend using latex paint. Latex paint is affordable and it will allow the paint to “breathe”. This will help hinder any fungus development. Latex paint is also water-based so it will not smell as much and it will dry faster than oil-based paints.

You can buy latex paint at your local hardware store or right here on Amazon.

You will also need a soft paintbrush, a paint roller (here on Amazon), and some cold clothes that can get paint stains on them.

You might also want to have a ladder around or an extension pole for your paint roller. Depending on your preference. I personally prefer the extension pole.

Then put some paint on the paint tray and you are ready for painting the ceiling!

Paint the ceiling with at least two coats of paint and let the paint dry before moving on to painting the walls.

Paint the Walls

Next up is painting the walls. This is pretty straight forward just apply the paint evenly with your paint roller. Start applying the paint from top to bottom and use a fine paintbrush for smaller areas where the paintbrush is too big to reach.

I would recommend applying at least three coats of paint. This will ensure that the paint covers properly. Let the paint dry in between layers and wait until the paint is fully dry before moving on to painting the Skirting Boards.

Paint the Skirting Boards

When painting the skirting boards you should consider which paint to use.

You can use the same paint that you used for the wall but it is actually recommended to use a high sheen glossy paint (most of the time oil-based). These types of paint are more durable and easier to clean. This is really old-school though and nowadays it´s more common to use highly durable satin paint.

In the end, you can use an enamel paint (an oil-based and high gloss paint) or something similar if you prefer the glossy old-school look or you can use a satin paint with a topcoat or special skirting board paint.

For painting skirting boards you should first use some masking tape to isolate the skirting boards. Then use a soft paintbrush to apply multiple thin coats of paint to the boards.

It’s always better to apply multiple thin coats instead of one thick coat.

Let the paint dry inbetween coats!

You can apply a topcoat if you chose to paint the skirting boards with regular latex paint. This topcoat will further protect the paint and make it easier to clean.

Finally, remove the masking tape carefully.

Paint the Windows and Door Frames

And next up is painting the window and door frames. Again, before you start painting you should first mask the Frames off with some masking tape to ensure that no paint goes on the freshly painted walls.

You can choose to use the same paint you used for the walls or you can use some oil paint that is a little bit more durable.

Apply the paint with a soft paintbrush. You will need to apply between three and five coats of paint until the paint covers fully.

Let the paint dry in between coats and remove the masking tape once you are done and the paint has dried.

Paint the Doors

And finally, the last step, painting the doors.

This step is really just optional because you will most likely not need to paint the doors but I wanted to have this step in here anyways for completion sakes.

You can paint doors without removing them but I would generally recommend removing them to make it a little bit easier to paint them.

Make sure to either sand the doors or apply a primer to make sure that the new paint will stick to the surface properly. You can use latex paint or acrylic paint or any other water-based paint for painting the doors.

Make sure to apply at least three coats of paint.

You can paint door hinges if you want to. You can read more about painting door hinges properly here.

Once you are done painting the door simply put the door back in its place and you are done. Now simply remove all the painter´s sheets and move your furniture back in place and you are done!

Hi, I am a passionate maker and professional prop maker for the entertainment industry. I use my woodworking, programming, electronics, and illustration know-how to create these interactive props. And I share my knowledge and my experience on this blog with you so that you can become a maker yourself.