How to Paint a Room – Without Tape!

When I first moved into my house it was a hideous shade of yellow in almost every room. Since it was a big project to take on, my husband offered to help paint. I gave my husband a brush and he held the paint brush like a first grader, I instantly cringed and told him never mind I can do all the cuts instead.

If you are like me, you will find those imperfect lines while you are laying on the couch watching tv and you just keep staring at them while the sloppy lines stare back at you. Okay, so if you didn’t notice I am a bit “Type A” personality when it comes to my paint projects. I have since painted my entire house from top to bottom, so I learned some tricks along the way.

I have used painter’s tape in the past to cut in, but I have never had great luck with it for cutting in. The tape can take a long time to get in the correct spot along the ceiling because you need to keep moving a ladder around the room to place the tape.

Read on to learn how to paint a room like a pro, including the ceilings, baseboards, trim, and walls.

Painting Along Ceilings

paint color
When cutting in along ceiling, make sure to leave a little space along the top near the ceiling.
Then apply a light to medium pressure and work your way up toward the ceiling to use any excess paint before dragging the brush along the top of the wall.
painting along the ceiling
The paint color in this post is Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams in Satin. The brush is a Wooster Angled Brush.

I found the key to achieving a clean line is to have a good angled brush. A brush with an angle gives more control, and allows you to easily follow along the area that you are cutting in. I highly recommend this Wooster Angled Brush.

This angled brush has made cutting in, so easy and the brush is so cheap. I love this brush so much, that I purchase at least 5 at a time so I always have them whenever I am ready for my next project.

The line comes up very clean with this technique.
See the very bottom of this post for a video of how I cut in along the ceiling.

Cutting in along the ceiling can be intimidating because this is the line that is the most noticeable. So, when I cut in, I make sure not to rush to finish the project. It is also, important to not use too much paint along any cuts. I first start by lightly dipping an angled brush into the paint and wiping off any excess paint in the can, or I drag the paint just beneath the area that I am working on.

I am right-handed, but I do have to occasionally switch to my left hand to get the best angle to paint certain areas. If I am painting in a tight space that doesn’t allow me to get into the most comfortable position, I will use my left hand and go very slow.

Here is a video of me cutting in along the ceiling with my Wooster Angled brush, so you can get a better idea of my technique.

How to Paint a Room with Baseboards

When I paint baseboards, I grab my Wooster Angled Brush and a 3 x 5 index card or a piece of junk mail. I use the angled brush and paint the center of the baseboard first to use excess paint then I work my way along the floor and top portion of the baseboard. I drag the index card or piece of junk mail, along the floor against the baseboard to make sure I do not get any paint on the floor.

painting baseboard
Use index cards or pieces of junk mail to cover the floor as you paint along the bottom of baseboards. Simply just drag the card along the floor as you move the brush.

Make sure not to use a paint brush soaked in paint against the index card. The index card is only used to catch any light brush strokes that might have brushed against the floor. So, make sure to either wipe off the excess paint in the paint container or first start painting the in the middle of that baseboard to use the excess paint.

painting baseboard
Here I am showing how I paint along the top portion of the base board. I am only dragging a few bristles along the top. This provides enough paint for a nice clean line.

To achieve a clean line along the top of the baseboard, I only drag a few bristles of the angled brush along the top of the baseboard. If you get a little paint on the wall while you are painting the trim, it will usually wipe off if you get it right away.

How to Paint a Room with Trim

painting trim

When I paint trim, I use the same Wooster angled brush and the same paint that I used for the baseboards. I dip the angled brush into the paint and start in the middle of the trim to use the excess paint. I then work my way to the inside and outside of the trim. To paint the sides of the trim, I dip the brush in the paint and wipe off some of the excess then I lightly drag the brush along the side of the trim.

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If you slightly drag too much paint, try to pull the brush back in against the side of the trim and finish painting the rest. Step back and see where you exaggerated the line and take the angled brush and go back against the line to try to blend it. If the line is just not blending, let the paint dry and go back in with the paint that you used for the wall to try to cover the area.

Final Product – Nice clean lines!

How to Correctly Use a Paint Roller

How to paint a room using a roller can be simple, but there are a few things that you may want to avoid. First purchase a good quality roller, I recommend this roller. Also, make sure that your roller is not too saturated in paint or you will splatter paint. Once you have a roller that is lightly dampened in the paint you can begin rolling in a “W” motion.

Painting in a “W” motion allows the paint to be evenly distributed on the wall without creating any paint lines. Painting up and down can cause lines and drip marks on the wall that are hard to smooth out.

Also, make sure to apply a light to medium pressure when using the roller. You do not want to push too hard or you will create lines with the paint. If you have to apply a heavier pressure then you probably do not have enough paint on the roller.

For areas that are tight and you cannot make a “W” shape, you can roll in an upward and downward motion or side to side. Just make sure that you do not have a lot of paint on the roller when painting these tighter areas.

I typically will dampen the roller than roll in a larger area where I can use the “W” motion to use up some of the paint. Then when the roller has a little paint left, I go into those tighter areas with the roller.

paint brush roller
Roll Paint in a “W” Motion to prevent any paint lines

Tips and Tricks on How to Paint a Room

To reuse brushes and rollers for the same project, place the brushes in a plastic zip lock bag or wrap rollers in a couple of plastic shopping bags. I do not rinse brushes or rollers before placing them into the bag. You can leave whatever paint is left on the angled brush or paint roller, and put them in the airtight bag. The brush or roller can last up to a week in the airtight bag.

paint brush roller
If the roller will not go on all the way then you may have dried up paint stuck at the end of the roller. To get this dried up paint off, lightly scrape the paint to get the paint to loose. Once the paint is loosened, you should be able to peel the rest of the dried up paint off.
angled paint brush
Save money and place used rollers and paint brushes in airtight plastic bags for up to a week!

Now that you’ve learned how to paint a room, check out one of our other posts on paint color ideas! I hope you found these post useful. Feel free to send us a message with any questions or tips yourself. We would love to help!

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