How to Paint a Room

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how to paint a wall

You can use brushes and rollers to paint your interior walls.  Or, you can learn how to paint a room with a paint sprayer.

When you get it right, the look of paint applied with a paint sprayer is flawless.

Not only do you receive uniform coverage and color consistency, you also get the job done quicker than using other painting methods.

Using a paint spray gun isn’t a grab-and-go process. If you’ve never used one before, then it is important to practice your application technique.

You can make your interior walls look terrible just as easily as you can make them look fantastic.

If you have a single wall to paint, you might still consider one of the best indoor paint sprayers as there’ll always be a use for it in the future.

For whole-home support, a paint spray gun is a definite must-have. Here’s the Top Spray Guns for Painting Walls you can buy to get your paint DIY done fast with professional results.

Top Spray Gun for Painting Walls

Top 5 Paint Sprayers Editor's Choice Reviews

Fuji Semi Pro 2

fuji semi pro spray paint gun

Instead of giving you a fast ticket to a mess, the Fuji Semi Pro 2 HVLP Spray Paint Machine gives users a painting system that they can use almost immediately thanks to its comprehensive design.

Although it comes with a premium price, we found that you’re going to receive premium results.  If you want to paint a room fast, this is the sprayer for you.

The tradeoff for a little noise is worth it. The Fuji Semi Pro 2 is a bit on the noisy side, so hearing protection is a must if you’re using this sprayer indoors.

On the flip side, this negative is easily offset by how accurate your results can be.

You can quickly create the perfect atomization levels, minimizing your overspray in just seconds.

Honestly, we’re generally reluctant to recommend a siphon feed system of spraying for most jobs.  However, this particular model does an excellent job of giving you control over the final results.

Although the pollution to the surrounding atmosphere is minimal, there is still a bit of a mist that occurs while you’re working with this spray system.

Your cleanup is always quick and painless, especially if you’ve taken the time to mask off before getting to work.

Graco Project Painter Plus

graco project painter plus

This tool will take the paint directly from the can for you so that you can get started painting immediately.

It works with both 1 gallon and 5 gallon cans thanks to a paint supply hose that is flexible instead of rigid like other models with a similar design.

Weighing 15 pounds, you can also take this unit just about anywhere and achieve professional results.

We also appreciated the easy-to-access adjustable pressure controls that are on this Graco unit.

Everything you need is placed on a dial that is easy to turn, even while working, and the symbols for each setting are placed in such a way that you can easily see them so you don’t have to guess at what you’re doing.

Krause and Becker

krause and becker paint sprayer

What do you do if you don’t want to mess with the hassle of an air compressor?

And what do you do if you don’t want to invest a small fortune into an airless sprayer?

The compromise you make might just be on this Krause and Becker 5/8 HP 3000 PSI airless paint sprayer.

With a built-in filter right in the gun and easy-to-use pressure controls, you’ll find that this lightweight spraying option is one of the best paint spray guns around.  You will get your job done pretty effectively.

Earlex HV5500

Earlex 5500 best spray gun

What we really liked about this Earlex Spray Station was the fact that the spray pattern adjustments come with a push and click type of design.

Instead of fiddling with difficult knobs or dials, you simply push to receive the pattern adjustments that your next project requires.

It gives even contractors the power they’ll need to get some of their jobs completed on time.

This pro spray gun is able to generate up to 42 CFM thanks to its 650w turbine, giving you consistent coverage on your shutters, trim or similar medium-sized projects.

Get yourself the specialized Earlex Spray Gun Cleaning Kit to get your unit super clean after use.

Fix Kit Paint Sprayer

Fix Kit best paint gunEntry-level models typically receive poor reviews for three common reasons:

1) they are built cheaply;

2) the paint globs coming out of the sprayer; or

3) it requires a viscosity so thin that it can’t spray most paint types.

All of that goes away with this brilliant little sprayer. It offers a 1000ml detachable container, a durable plastic housing, and enough pressure to spray even properly thinned latex.

If you’re shopping on a tight budget and need a good paint sprayer to finish a project, then give this one a closer look.

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What do I Need to Paint a Room?

Make sure that you gather all of your equipment before starting to paint. Here is the complete list of items that you’re going to need to paint a room properly with a paint sprayer.

You can always wear some old clothes and be fine while painting.

When using a paint sprayer, however, a pair of painting coveralls with a hood is a good investment. You’ll protect your hair and clothes without worrying about what happens.

DuPoint makes a Tyvek coverall suit that is extremely affordable and includes shoe protection as well that is available on Amazon.

How to Prep a Room for Painting

Paint spray guns atomize the paint, so it can be applied to the wall. This means that spray guns add air to the paint so it can be sprayed.

That is how you get the nice fan-like spray that comes from the nozzle. When paint is atomized, it will begin to float along the air currents in your home.

Every home has air currents. Maybe you have a window open. Your heating or cooling system could be turned off.

Atomized paint will find its way to those currents and leave droplets in places you wouldn’t expect.

That’s why you must take time to set up your room before painting to avoid a big mess.

Bring your painting supplies into the room. Then close the door if one is available. If not, hang a piece of plastic that covers the entire door jamb, so the paint droplets cannot go outside of the room.

Wall Preparation Before Painting 

If you want to know how to paint a room professionally, it all begins with your prep work.  Painting Walls with a spray gun will give you amazing results, but you have to be diligent.

Giving your walls a light sand before painting will make sure that the new paint bonds with the old paint. 

If you’re going from light to dark or vice versa, consider a primer.  Using a primer gives you longer lasting results with deeper richer colors.

If you’re painting interior walls like your kitchen, which may have grease on it, definitely degrease the walls first, then sand, prime and paint.

Painting My Room: Mask Off Everything!how to paint a room

Then you’re going to need to mask off everything that isn’t going to be painted in the room. And by everything, we mean everything. The paint mists that you’re going to be creating with the sprayer will settle on any objects within the room.

If you have furniture in the room, remove it if possible. Remove any light fixtures if you can as well. Then cover the items with a plastic drop cloth.

Make sure you use painter’s tape to seal any fixtures or furniture that remain in the room. If it is not sealed with tape, there is a chance that the paint mist can find a way through.

Drop Cloth

You will also need to lay a drop cloth over the entire floor. Seal the drop cloth along the edges. If you can afford it, use a canvas paint tarp to protect your floor. It’s heavier than plastic and stops the paint from running upon contact.

A 9’x12’ all-purpose canvas cotton drop cloth is your most affordable option and available on Amazon.

As a final step, you’ll need to make sure your windows are covered with a plastic drop cloth as well. Don’t use canvas here because you’ll likely need the light from the window to work.

Make sure the tape you use is wide enough to cover the woodworking, trim, and sill around the window.

If there are walls, baseboard trim, or other components that will not be painted in the room, then these must be covered as well.

Give yourself a couple of hours to ensure that your masking work is done the right way.

It only takes one drop of paint to start a mess and a paint spray gun creates millions of drops of paint when you pull the trigger.

Now You’re Ready to Begin the Painting Process

what do you need to paint a room

How to paint a room begins with the prep.  Once you’re dressed and the room is properly masked off, you’re ready to break out the paint.

The first thing you’ll need to do is strain the paint. You’ll want to take the paint and run it through a paint strainer to remove any small globs or spots that could clog the paint spray gun.

Just run the paint out of its container through the strainer and into a clean bucket.

Once the paint is strained, it’s time to get into your preferred clothing. If you’re wearing the disposable coveralls, get them on now. Put on your goggles and respirator or mask.

PRO TIP

Not every paint spray gun is compatible with every type of paint.  A furniture paint sprayer may not be able to spray latex paint, while a commercial paint sprayer can paint everything.  

Always read the manual to make sure the paint sprayer you purchase suits your painting needs.

Now fill the reservoir of your spray gun with the paint that you’ve strained into the bucket. Make sure the tip you’re using is compatible with the paint you’re using.

Different types of paint require different spray gun tips, so refer to your owner’s manual and manufacturer recommendations for best results.

Once you’ve got the paint loaded into the gun, test your spray pattern on a test board. Use a scrap piece of plywood or cardboard that is lying around somewhere.

In a pinch, you can even use the paint can.

Adjust the spray until you receive an even pattern that provides consistent coverage. You can turn the spray into horizontal or vertical patterns based on how you adjust the tip.

8 Painting Tips When Using a Paint Spray Gun: How to Paint a Room Fast

best way to paint a room

#1. Different types of paint require different levels of spacing between the nozzle of the sprayer and the surface being painted. Start by holding the paint sprayer about 12 inches from the surface that you wish to paint.

#2. Then begin to use strokes that move from side-to-side. It will be tempting for you to use your wrist to create this movement. Resist the temptation. You’ll receive a better result if you move your entire arm for the stroke. This will also prevent wrist fatigue from occurring.

#3. Work in a space that is about 3 feet by 4 feet. Begin with a horizontal pattern, creating sweeps with the paint back-and-forth. Then move to a vertical spray and repeat the process. If you move too slowly, the paint will dry on your surface and you’ll create overlapping marks in your paint that you’ll need to fix.

#4. It is helpful to begin your arm movement for each stroke before you begin to paint. If you start at one spot and then move, you’ll have a thicker area of paint at your beginning point.

#5. Try to stop the paint spray before you end your stroke as well. If you do not, your painting project will look more like a connect-the-dots series than a good painted surface. This is called an “understroke.”

#6. Once you get the hang of painting, you can also try to overspray your strokes to prevent paint buildup. If you depress the trigger just before your stroke hits the area being painted and let go just a moment after your stroke ends, then you’ll have a wider area being painted with the same consistency.

#7. Understroking can take longer to complete a project. It will also provide beginners with an easy way to enhance their consistency. With practice, overspray is going to be your better option.

#8. Plan to apply multiple thin coats of paint for best results. One thick coat with a paint spray gun will not usually provide the good results you want. Take your time on the project, especially since everything is masked off and protected. It is better to get the job done right the first time around, so you’re not stuck going back to fix problems day after day.

Cleaning Up After You’re Done Working

Once you’ve finished spraying your project and you’re satisfied with the results, then it is time to clean your sprayer.

Your paint spray gun must be the first item you clean after your project.

The paint can dry very quickly within the mechanisms of the sprayer. Once it dries, removing the paint is a time-consuming process.

If you have an air regulator with your sprayer, remove it first. Make sure any compressed air is disconnected before removal, so you don’t splatter paint everywhere.

Then open the lid for your paint cup. Pour out any unused paint that may be in there through your paint strainer. Some of the paint can harden while in the cup, creating globs that you don’t want to have in a clean bucket of paint.

Now take some paper towels and wipe up the leftover paint that remains coated to the surface of the cup. There may be paint on the lid as well that you can clean up with the paper towel.

By wiping out the excessive paint first, you’ll use less paint thinner, and the job will go a bit faster.

Now place the paint thinner that is recommended for your spray gun into the cup. Some sprayers may have a connection for a garden hose, with the recommendation that only water be used for cleaning.

PRO TIPS

Do not use a paint thinner on your paper towels as the chemicals can degrade the paper materials and leave you with more of a mess.

Learn how to use paint thinner in our latest post so you get it right the first time!

Shake your paint sprayer quickly and as hard as you can without having it impact against a solid object. This will ensure the thinner or cleaner is able to get through the gun, so it can be removed or dissolved.

Then run the waste produced by the cleaner or thinner through the fluid nozzle. Squeeze the trigger as if you were going to apply some paint.

It can be helpful to have the sprayer pointed downward for this process, so the fluid can move its way toward the nozzle if there are tough clogs within the gun itself.

You may be asked to take apart certain components of the spray gun. Do that now. You may need to wash these components individually or soak them in paint thinner.

If your gun has a hose attachment, disconnect the water source before taking the sprayer apart to prevent having a huge mess on your hands.

Steps to Disassemble Your Sprayer

As you disassemble the sprayer, follow these steps if there are no steps recommended in your owner’s manual.

  1. Remove the fluid needle. This will prevent you from accidentally damaging it or being it as you remove the other components.
  2. Remove the air cap. You will be turning it counter-clockwise. Then use your key to remove the fluid nozzle underneath the air cap.
  3. Depress the trigger. This will help you to remove any remaining fluid from the interior of the sprayer.

As you remove components, you may discover that there is paint on them. Clean each component before moving onto the next step.

Once fully washed, you will want to wipe down every component until it is dry.

You do not want the paint sprayer to air dry unless the manufacturer specifically recommends it.

Now keep repeating the cleaning steps until you are satisfied that you have removed all the paint from the sprayer.

Then reassemble your paint sprayer.

This process may take up to 60 minutes.

PRO TIP

If you get any spray paint on your hands, we've got you covered on how to get spray pants off your hands fast and without nasty chemicals.

Conclusion

Paint sprayers require a lot of preparation time and a lot of cleanup time. That means they work best for large projects with big spaces to paint. If you have a small project to do, a traditional paint roller or even a paintbrush might be a better option.

If you do decide to use a paint sprayer, then be sure to keep this guide handy as you get to work. That way you’ll be able to prepare with ease, paint with confidence, and cleanup like a pro.

And be sure to have some fun while you’re working.

Quick FAQs

In what order do you paint a room?

Prep work such as sanding and filling imperfections in your walls.
Prime and paint the ceiling first. Then prime and paint your walls. Trim and doors are last.

What are the steps in painting a room?

Lay down plastic sheeting, a drop cloth or newspaper in the areas you want to protect from paint, lightly sand your walls, then apply two coats of primer. Once dry, apply your paint.

How do you prepare a room for painting?

Repair imperfections on the walls and sand down any lumps or bumps. Redo any caulk that is old and apply new caulk to any cracks. Once dry, sand the walls.

How long does it take to paint a room?

When paint a room with a paint sprayer, it will take much less time than brushing or rolling. After masking off your area, a standard sized room should take about 10-20 mins to paint 1 coat (this doesn’t include drying time).


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