I know everyone has their own way of painting, but I’ve done a lot over the years and I’ve come up with a few of tips and tricks to paint a room like a professional. It all comes down to choosing the proper products, having the right tools, and taking your time. This is week 4 of our One Room Challenge, where we are building some custom beds for our two sons, with a reclaimed wood desk built in. This week is all about painting, but if you go to the end of my post I have a few other exciting updates!

Week 1: The Plan | Week 2: Building Cabinets | Week 3: Painting Cabinets

one room challenge guest participant

The best tips to paint a room like a professional

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I May get a commission From purchases made through the links. This bedroom makeover is also sponsored by the HOME DEPOT CANADA, who provided me with products to complete this space.*

1. Take your time choosing a color

When I painted this room the first time, I did not take my time choosing a color. I went to the store, picked a blue, brought a gallon home and just started painting. I always felt like there was a bit of a purple undertone and was never quite happy with the color. My best advice is to take your time choosing a color. Bring home a pile of paint chips, tape them to your wall, look at them at different times throughout the day before making a decision. I knew I wanted a very light blue with a neutral undertone. I narrowed it down to two options and let Tony make the final decision. Fortunately, he chose the right one, which is CIL Fostoria Glass Blue. This also happens to be the same color we painted the kids bedroom in our last house, so I knew I would like it.

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2. Remove plate covers

This may seem like a simple piece of advice, but please remove your electrical outlets and switch covers. It will make it so much easier to paint around them, and then you don’t risk getting paint on the covers.

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3. Patch and prep the walls

If there are any holes in the wall, patch them with some drywall mud or spackle. Once the mud is dry, make sure to sand it smooth.

If you’re starting with new drywall you’ll have to prime first. If you’re starting with a previously painted room, then start by giving the walls a rough sand with a drywall screen. Once you’re finished sanding, wipe down the dust from the walls using a damp cloth.

4. Choose good quality paint

I’m usually the type of person that chooses the cheapest paint. But for this room, time is money and I decided to buy a higher quality paint so I’d only have to do one coat. The Behr marquee paint is guaranteed one coat coverage if you choose from the marquee paint line. I chose a CIL color, but since it was such a similar shade to what I had on the wall I took my chances that it would cover in one coat.

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5. Edge around walls and trim

The next step for painting a room is to edge around the walls and trim. I never tape when I paint, but that’s just my preference. I find taping takes so long, and it’s never really perfect. If you have the right tools, a steady hand, and just take your time, you can have perfectly painted lines. I like to use a small angled brush, a handy paint pail, and a small step stool to make edging easier.

How to paint a room


6. Roll the paint

I have painted a lot of rooms, but it was only in this last house that I found out that there’s such a thing as an 18 inch paint roller!! This made such a huge difference in the time it takes me to paint. If you do a lot of painting, you should invest in an larger paint roller.

When I roll paint I like to apply it in a W to disperse the paint over about 3 or 4 feet. Then I do a W along the bottom of the wall. After that I light roll the wall from top to bottom to get rid of any paint lines, always trying to keep a wet edge.

top tips for painting a room

And there you have it! Those are my best tips on how to paint a room. If you have to do a second coat, lightly sand the walls with a 220 drywall screen, clean the dust off, then edge and roll the paint. I got great coverage with one coat so I didn’t do a second. I know this room looks like quite a mess, but over the next two weeks we’ll put it all back together! Do you have any other tips for how to paint the room? I’d love to know if you do anything different.

Other updates for the One Room Challenge

Electrical – You may have noticed in the pictures, but Tony moved the electrical outlet that was in the way of the drawer bank, and at the same time he installed a wall sconce above the loft bed. I had such a hard time finding a small wall sconce that I liked, so I ended up just getting an $11 outdoor jar light, but I think it works perfectly!

Cabinet Hardware – I found the cabinet hardware for the bed drawers, but still have to install them.

black rectangle bin pulls

Desk top – We installed the desk top, and it looks amazing. Next week I’ll go into the full details of how we built this desk top.

reclaimed wood desk top

Window treatment – I bought a simple light grey roller shade for the window. It’s not a blackout shade, just light filtering, but that’s exactly what we wanted for this room.

light grey roller blind

Zip-up bedding – I got all the fabric for the bedding I’m going to make, now I just need to sew it.

blue green and grey boys bedroom

Dresser – And I started refinishing the dresser I bought at a thrift store. I will be using grey chalk paint to update it.

painted mid century dresser

Still to do

  • Mud and sand all the joints in the cabinets, prime and paint the bed
  • Paint trim and doors
  • Move the electrical outlet and install a wall sconce
  • Touch up the walls with drywall mud
  • Repaint the room
  • Build drawer boxes
  • Install drawer slides and drawer boxes
  • Find cabinet hardware for the bed
  • Finish the desk top
  • Install desk
  • Make a platform for the loft bed
  • Install drawer fronts and hardware
  • Make railings for the bed
  • Refinish a dresser
  • Find a window treatment
  • Make matching bedding
  • Make floating bookshelves
  • Hang some picture frames

*UPDATE: Check out the final room reveal here*

Check out some of the other room makeovers at www.oneroomchallenge.com

19 thoughts on “Six tips to paint a room like a professional: One Room Challenge Week 4”

  1. Love the color of your room. And absolutely love Behr paint…especially Marquee. Your room has great bones…those windows!! It’s going to look great. ~~ Susie from The Chelsea Project

  2. I never use tape either I feel like it take so much longer! I love the colour you chose, good luck with finishing the rest of the room 😊
    Lianne | Makes, Bakes and Decor

  3. Oh Jessica! This is going to be amazing! That DESK…whaow! I had no idea there was a such thing as 18″ rollers either. Thanks for that tip, as I have a room that needs painting. I can’t wait to see the reveal

  4. Jess that color is gorgeous! So clean an crisp looking and I love the simplicity of the roller shade. Your boys are going to have the coolest room!!

  5. I’m impressed that you didn’t use a drop cloth on those great floors. I’ve been painting for years, and always use one, maybe because I’m a clutz.

  6. what was the shade of white for your woodwork. also…..dumb question and i used to know….which comes first woodwork or walls….woodwork?

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