If you have a work table this will make the project easier and save you from constantly bending to get things from the floor. Cover it with plastic. A sheet of plywood on two sawhorses is good. You’ll need the following:

  1. Utility knife and razor blades for scraping paint from windowpanes. No matter how carefully you paint the window trim, getting paint on the panes is almost inevitable, but it’s easy to remove when dry.
  2. Clean rags.
  3. Natural bristle brushes for oil paint, nylon or sponge brushes for latex paint. You will need these to paint baseboards, window and door trim, and the top and bottom of the wall area that can’t be painted with a roller. You will need 4-inch brushes for doors and top and bottom wall areas, 2-inch brushes for window trim and baseboards, and a narrow brush for window sashes.
  4. Roller and tray (buy a roller for each color paint).
  5. Painter’s gloves.
  6. Plastic or cardboard paint buckets.
  7. Coffee cans for soaking wet brushes.
  8. Stirring sticks.
  9. An extension pole to attach to the roller handle if you’re painting the ceiling. Also good for high walls.

How to Do It

  1. If the walls have any imperfections, you first must sand them smooth with a fine sandpaper, such as #200 grade. Clean up any sand dust with a damp rag or vacuum.
  2. If there is any grease on the walls, they should be washed with warm water and detergent. If there is any mildew on the walls (black-green splotchy stains), add chlorine bleach or mildew disinfectant to the water. Some paint professionals recommend adding a mildew detracting agent to paint before applying it to walls, especially in the bathroom and kitchen. Ask your paint dealer about this when buying your paint. If there are residual cigarette smoke stains on walls or ceiling, apply a coat of paint.
  3. Apply the first coat, which is your primer. Let dry according to directions on the can.
  4. Professional painters usually open all the cans of paint, mix them thoroughly and pour them into one large bucket. Then they mix them all together and pour the paint back into the cans, so there is no variation in color from one can to the next. This is the way to do it right. However, if you don’t do this, mix the opened can thoroughly. When I open a fresh can of paint, I use a ham¬mer and large nail to make a few evenly spaced holes around the inside of the rim where the lid was removed. In this way, when I draw the paintbrush from the can, the excess paint that usually collects in the ridge all around drips back into the can. When I put the top back on the can, it seals more firmly and keeps air from spoiling the paint.
  5. Pour a small amount of paint into the roller tray.
  6. Paint the ceiling first. Use the brush to paint from the edges out about 3 inches and continue rolling the paint on, blending the brushed-on areas while they’re still wet.
  7. When the ceiling is finished, do all the walls the same way. Always start with the wall opposite the doorway.
  8. Paint all trim last, using the appropriate-size brush.