Step 1: Clear the room. Move furniture to the center of the room and cover it with plastic to protect against paint splatter. If you can, remove furniture from the room altogether so you have more space to move around. Use a drop cloth, an old bed sheet, or kraft paper on the floor to protect hardwood, tile, or carpet when painting.
Step 2: Clean the walls. Scrape away any cracked or flaking paint and smooth out small bumps with sandpaper. Next use a large cellulose sponge to remove dust and dirt from the wall before painting. If you're painting in the kitchen or an area where you may have grease spots, use a small amount of mild dish soap or laundry detergent to clean the spots. Then, rinse the wall with clean water to remove residue. Let the walls dry completely before proceeding.
Step 3: Using blue painter's tape, tape off trim, windows, doorframes, and light sockets and switches.
Step 4: Prime the walls. A quality primer helps hide imperfections and gives the finished coat of paint a more uniform look. Use water-based primer on new drywall that has yet to be painted. For walls that may have stains or have been painted with a dark color, use an oil-based primer. Oil-based primers are also ideal for painting over wood paneling.
Step 5: Test out your colors. Chances are the paint swatch you saw in the store won't look exactly the same in your home. The natural and artificual lighting in your room can change the appearance of the paint color. To ensure you love the color throughout the space, purchase small samples and paint different areas of the room with all of the colors you're deciding between to see which you like most. Once you've decided, paint over the areas with primer to get ready for the final coats!
Step 6: Begin applying color to your walls with a small brush. Your paint roller won't be able to reach everywhere, so use a brush to "cut in" or paint tight areas, like around trim and corners. Using this smaller brush (a two-inch angled brush is ideal) extend the paint out about three inches.
Remove tape immediately after painting before the paint dries. If you wait until the paint has dried to pull up the tape, you risk peeling the paint off with the tape.
Step 7: Use the W technique. Start in the corner of a wall and roll outward in a "w" pattern that is 3 feet by 3 feet wide. Fill in this section without lifting up the roller. This technique helps to hide seams and areas where you stop and start rolling. Using the "w" pattern results in a smoother and more even paint job, compared to simply going up and down with the roller.
Step 8: When the wall paint has completely dried, tape off where the trim meets the wall and paint all of the trim (including door and window frames) using a two-inch angled brush.