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How do you paint a room? There are many steps to preparing your home for sale but paint is one of the best investments you can make prior to selling because it is relatively inexpensive, makes a room look clean leaving a great impression on buyers. The best thing is anyone can paint a room with patients and understanding the process.

If you are one of those that say “no way, I cannot paint;” here is a guide to help you:


  • Paint roller
  • Paint roller tray
  • A putty knife and putty- for filling holes, sandpaper
  • Screwdriver
  • Painter tape
  • Dropcloth to cover the floor


This is the most important part of painting a room because if you take time here the results will be professional. If you try to get through this quickly your results may not turn out quite as you expect.

Begin by removing everything out of the room. I always suggest that this is a great time to evaluate what you have and consider removing and packing items that you know you really will not need it will make the moving process that much easier later on.

 After removing all objects, lay down the drop cloth and tape off the trim from the walls to protect them.

Take your putty and fill all holes, fix all wall imperfections so the walls are smooth. Sometimes this might take two or more coats but it is worth the extra effort. Sand down the walls so they are smooth.

Turn off electricity and remove switch plates.

Next, wipe down and clean the walls.

room paintingOrder of Painting a Room

  • Ceiling
  • Walls
  • Windows and doors
  • Trim

Painting- (actually this can be the fun part!)

First, paint the ceiling of a room.

Remove any light fixtures, if that is impossible for you, tape and cover so you do not get splatters on the fixture.

With a brush paint “cut in” the paint where the ceiling and wall come together. Also, edge around the light fixture if there is one, and then roll the paint in one direction- typically the length of the room.


Using a neutral color that will appeal to a board range of buyers when selling, working one wall at a time, edge the color of walls next to trim, corners, and the wall next to the ceiling.

Roll the paint to cover the wall, start with a wide W, and then fill in around it.

Painters tape is your friend to get a crisp straight line.  Make sure to press the tape onto the surface so it does not allow the paint to seep under. If you do not have a steady hand you can use painters tape on the ceiling also to get a straight edge. Do not wait though for the paint to dry completely because you might peel off the dry paint you just worked so hard to apply.

Windows and Doors

If you have painted woodwork give these a fresh coat of paint; although it can be time-consuming the results are worth it, especially if you are selling your property.

Using a brush, paint the edges around a raised panel if you have a Christian door, then with a small roller do the flat surfaces. If you have a flat door with no panels you can use a roller, your goal is to have the paint flow so they look smooth. Consider using oil or latex enamel on doors for excellent results.


Again if your trim is painted, giving it a fresh coat of paint will enhance the appearance of rooms. Have it match the same color as the windows and doors to complement.

Using a nylon brush with latex enamel or oil paint is the best way to accomplish a professional finish

Tape your freshly painted walls with painters tape if you do not have a steady hand to cut the paint in and edge, it will help create straight clean lines.

Clean Up

Latex paints are soap and water clean-up. Oil paints are mineral spirits clean up

If you cannot finish your painting in one day I find wrapping your tools- paint roller and brush in plastic keeps it moist so a skin does not form, and you can get right back to painting the next day.

When selling your property the time and the small investment in the paint will help you obtain a strong interest in your property from buyers.

 Other articles to review for getting your home ready for sale 

Karen GP

Author Karen GP

Karen GrayPlaisted is the principle owner of Design Solutions KGP. She is a graduate from Pace University and The Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. Her marketing background and design sense are a perfect combination for home sellers. In the first year she began her staging business, she won the ‘Rising Star’ accolade from RESA, selected from all North American stagers, USA and Canada. In 2016 she won top Occupied Stager in the USA. Karen’s ability to educate and empower clients using simple solutions allows homeowners to transform their spaces with desirable affordable decadence.

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