6 Beginner Tips for Painting a Wall

6 Beginner Tips for Painting a Wall

I have finally finished painting the dull brown trim and matching doors throughout our house a beautiful gleaming white (not without a few hiccups along the way … see here). Now my attention has turned to the walls themselves.  While the paint work is in pretty good condition, it hasn’t been touched for about 20 years … plus yellow really isn’t my colour. It’s time for an update and a refresh! Having never lifted a roller before starting, I have been surprised how easy painting a wall can be. So to get you started, here are 6 beginners tips for painting a wall.

6 Beginner Tips for Painting a Wall

1. fill in any holes or imperfections

While banging new picture hooks into a freshly painted wall (that you have spend hours labouring over!) can be slightly “traumatising”. I like to remove most of the picture hooks, nails etc before painting. Although I do leave those that have been anchored on with wall-mates.

I then fill in any holes, dents etc on the walls with ready made filler. Once the filler is dry, sand smooth with a fine grade sandpaper (210 grit).

6 Beginner Tips for Painting a Wall

Remember my experiment with the painters tape? I hoped repainting the walls would cover up this debacle.  Just to be sure, I sanded the area with a fine grade sandpaper to try and create a smooth surface … this seemed to work!

6 Beginner Tips for Painting a Wall

2. Wash the walls with a grime remover

I always wipe the walls down with a grime remover. This will remove any traces of dust from sanding, as well as dirt, marks and sticky fingers that have built up over time. As always, I turn to my trusty solution of sugar soap and water.

6 Beginner Tips for Painting a Wall

Removing any dirty, grime and grease before painting will help help the paint bond with the surface and ensure a lasting finish … hopefully for the next 20 years.

3. cutting in with a paint brush

Before picking up the roller, use a paint brush to paint or cut in to the area a roller can’t get to … such as the ceiling line, door or window surrounds, along the trim and corners.  I like to apply 2 coats to ensure good coverage and the old paint wont show through.

6 Beginner Tips for Painting a Wall

I chose the colour “Salt and Sand” by British Paints

4. Take the time to Use a small roller along the edges

Even through you have just used a paint brush near the edges and corners, there will be a noticeable difference in texture.  Brush on the paint and then immediately use a small 3″ roller, in the same diameter as your large roller, to go over the paint before its dries. This will help with a consistent texture on all areas of the wall.

small roller

5. Feather the paint to avoid lap marks

There are techniques to keeping a wet edge and thus avoid lap marks. I have found that by feathering out the paint along the edges.  This also works well if you have a very tall wall such as a stairwell. A thinner, feathered coat of paint will avoid the build-up of paint that causes a visible lap mark.

Feathering is rolling a nearly dry roller in different directions along the dry edge … “feathering” out the paint as you go.


The colour I used on our walls was didn’t show up against the older paint. Please see The Family Handyman for an excellent example of feathering (plus some awesome painting tips)

6. roll the full height of the wall

I like to finish the section of wall that I am working on by rolling the full height of the wall. That is one long, smooth continuous roll up and down the wall. I have found this helps avoid the lap marks that can occur half way up the walls.

6 Beginner Tips for Painting a Wall

While painting the interior walls of a fully furnished home can be described at the very least as fiddly, the affect of freshly painted walls really is worth the hassle. The room feels fresher, brighter and somehow more “finished”.

Unfortunately there were no disasters or painting debacles that I can share with you … which is rather fortunate for me! The worst that happened was an odd splatter of paint, I like to think that this speaks of my improvement in home DIY.

Like the trim, I am very slowly making my way through the house … paintings the walls room by room. No rush … plenty of other projects to keep me busy!

Do you have any great tips for painting a wall to share?

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10 responses

    • Remove the mesh first and after cleaning down the frame and giving it a very light rub with a soft sandpaper use a spray can in your colour of choice (maybe 2 coats). When dry, either wash down the old mesh or replace with new mesh and rubber. Kits for this are available from your hardware store.

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