How to Paint Your Walls (A Step-By-Step Guide)

Painting a wall is painless, and mistakes are easy to fix. Learn how to paint your walls to brighten or darken the look of your home.

Paint roller brush with white paint.

Preparation and planning

Before you get started, it’s important to make a plan. Start by gathering ideas and envisioning how you want the walls to look when you’re finished.

Related: How to speed clean your home

Decide on the color that you want to have. There are many colors and tones that you can choose from. Before you choose a color, try different ones.

Get several samples or a large-scale paint swatch of the colors that you like, and test them out. At different times of the day, it can change the look of a room.

You’ll also want to ensure that the color you choose complements your furniture and other items in your home.

Once you select a color, you’ll have to determine how much paint you need. In general, a one-gallon can of paint can cover up to 400 square feet. Often, two gallons is perfect for an average-sized room.

It may take more time preparing than painting, and that’s fine because it’ll be worth it.

Tools and materials

Although the tools you pick will depend on your project, the following are common tools and materials that you’ll need:

How to paint your walls

Now that you have a plan and the tools, you’re ready to paint your walls. Take the following steps to paint your walls from start to finish:

  1. Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.
  2. Remove light switches and outlet covers.
  3. Remove all furniture from the room.
  4. Lay drop cloths on the floor.
  5. Inspect your walls for cracks or holes.
    1. If you find a hole, fill it with paste and a putty knife.
  6. Wipe the wall with a damp cloth to ensure that it’s clean.
  7. Apply painter’s tape to mask off your windows, doors, and moldings.
  8. Mix your paint with a wooden stick.
  9. Prime your walls, unless you’re using paint and primer in one.
    1. If you prime your walls, allow it to dry, and sand away bumps.
  10. Use a paintbrush to paint the edges of your walls and around the door.
  11. Use a roller to paint your walls, working from top to bottom.
    1. If you want to do a second layer, wait at least two hours for the paint to dry.
  12. Once the paint is dry, remove your painter’s tape, seal the cans of leftover paint, clean your brushes, and bring the furniture back into the room.

Note: Make sure there’s ventilation in the room. One of the best ways is to use a window-mounted box fan. If the fumes are strong, you can also wear a mask.

Frequently asked questions

Can I just paint over old paint?

It may be tempting to paint over old paint. However, it’s best to remove the old paint or use a primer to cover it.

Can I paint my wall myself?

Yes, painting the walls of a room is one of the most common do-it-yourself projects, which you can do by yourself.

When painting a room where do I start?

If you’re painting the entire room, start with the ceiling. Then, work your way down to the walls.


Painting your walls is a project that can be completed by committing a weekend to it. Learning how to paint your room gives you the ability to transform the look and feel of your home. It’s something that you can do on your own and feel proud of.

More resources:

Featured image courtesy of Unsplash.

Portrait of David Em.

About David Em

David Em is the founder of Nola and Luna, the destination for home improvement and decor. He launched Nola and Luna to share DIY how-to’s, inspiration, reviews, shopping guides, and expert advice to help you create a beautiful home.

About Nola & Luna

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