What Do I Paint First?

When you start a paint project, the first question that always comes up is, what do I paint first?

Depending on what you are painting of course, will change the answer to that question.

If you are painting the whole room.

Start with the ceiling. It is best to do the ceiling first for a many reasons.

  • If you splatter paint onto the walls, which you will, it will be easily covered by the wall paint.
  • We will generally use a flat paint on the ceiling, which is easy to work with and hide a lot of imperfections. Unless you are doing a kitchen or bath, then there is paint specifically for that, to help with moisture and grease.
  • When you cut in the corner between the ceiling and walls, bring the paint an inch or so onto the wall, this will ensure a clean line when you cut in with the wall color.


Next you will want to do the walls.

When paint your walls it is best to use a satin or eggshell finish. Flat paint will mark up really quickly and is not washable. While semi-gloss will should all the imperfections in the wall.

  • I always do the cutting in of my corners and trim before I do my rolling. Cutting in corners and along trim before you roll the walls or ceiling will give you a cleaner  job. When you roll over the edge of the cut in, it will blend it nicely.
  • Cutting in the ceiling is a fine art, you need a good brush and a steady hand to get a fine line. see the video on the Next Page for some great tips on cutting in the ceiling.
  • Next you will want to cut along the trim work. If you are going to paint the trim, I use the same method as the ceiling as far as making sure I get the whole corner and part way on to the trim.
  • If you don’t plant to paint the trim you will need to cut along the corner with a good brush or use painters tape to cove the trim.



Finish with painting the trim.

  • When painting trim work, it is best to use a semi-gloss trim paint. It has a sheen to allow the trim to stand out and is very durable and washable.
  • Cutting in the trim work is the toughest part of painting your room, you need a real good trim brush and the right technique or a lot of taping.
  • Start from the top and work your way down, this way you catch any drip along the way.


Check out the video on the Next Page for great tips on cutting in your paint job.


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