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Tips & How-Tos

How to paint the interior walls

1. Start
Start where the ceiling meets the walls. Using a 2" or 2 1/2" trim brush, 'cut in' by applying a 3"-wide strip of the coating along the perimeter of the wall/ceiling line, beginning at the corner of the room. It is recommended to cut in a section at a time, and alternate between cutting in and painting the ceiling. This maintains a wet edge on both the area being cut in and the rolled ceiling area and prevents a visible line between the cut-in area and the rest of the ceiling.

2. Painting the Ceiling
Cover a roller with paint and slowly roll it back and forth over the ridges in the tray to remove excess paint. Begin near the corner, blending the coating into the ceiling line painted previously. Paint across the width rather than the length of the ceiling. Do not stop until the ceiling is completely covered. An extension pole, preferably adjustable, is a great tool, as it will allow you to reach more of the ceiling yet keep your feet on the floor. Rolling in a motion across rather than along your body will help to avoid neck and back strain.

3. Painting Walls
When the ceiling is dry to the touch, return to the spot where you began coating the ceiling. Using a trim brush, carefully cut in the wall/ceiling line. If you do not feel comfortable cutting in freehand, allow the ceiling to thoroughly dry and mask off the edge with low-tack painter's tape. Let dry for a minimum of 24 hours before applying low-tack tape to fresh latex paint (otherwise, paint can pull off); certain drying conditions, such as humidity, will increase this time interval.

Coat along the baseboard and around the door and window trim. Paint one wall at a time.

If you are painting with a partner, one person should cut in and the other follow, applying paint with a roller. Paint one wall at a time in order to avoid "hat banding". Hat banding looks like a stripe running around the border of the painted area; it occurs when the paint you cut in dries before the paint you roll on.

4. Painting a Double-Hung Sash
Remove the sash lock. Lower the upper part of the sash and raise the bottom sash out of the way. Coat the window sash, then the rails. Do not paint the sash tracks. Return the upper sash to a near-closed position, lower the bottom section, and paint in a similar fashion. To complete the window, coat the rails, frame, and sill. The best tool for work of this kind is a 2" or 2 1/2" angular sash brush, which is suitable for flat trim work as well. Leave the upper and lower sash slightly open until paint has dried completely. When dry, remove any paint smears or spatters from the glass with a razor blade, taking care not to scratch the glass.

Source: Benjamin Moore 2002