The Basics of Paint: Painting Walls for Beginners

ECOS 03/18/2016

So, you're really excited to paint a room in your home, but not only have you never done it before, you really have no idea how to do it at all. You’ve heard people talk about painting, and it doesn’t sound that hard, but if you try it, will it be a disaster? We’re here to tell you – YOU CAN DO THIS! There's a first time for everything, so go ahead and make the leap. Today we have all of the basics for beginners: painting your walls yourself. Between these simple interior painting tips for beginners and helpful videos, you should learn all you need to know to paint your first room.

In this breakdown on basic wall painting for beginners, we'll cover:

  • How to prep a room
  • How to tape the baseboard
  • How to prep your paint without a mess
  • Basic wall painting techniques

How To Prep the Room

Getting a space ready to be painted is a very important part of the job. It’s not just for beginners either. A pro can spend nearly as much time prepping a space as actually painting. Sometimes it feels tedious, but it's absolutely necessary to doing the job right.

Remove all of the furniture from the room (or move it all to the center and cover it with a tarp). Anything that you could trip over or bump into could cause you to make mistakes or a mess or even cause an injury. Put down drop cloths or plastic to protect the floor, as well.

Here's how to tape the baseboards.

How To Prep for Painting

Holding a paintbrush the right way will help you have better control of the brush as you apply paint to the wall.

Here's how to hold a paint brush properly.

How To Paint Walls

Now that the room is all prepped and you have your paint poured, you're ready to apply your paint. The first step is painting the outside edges of each wall with a brush. This is called “cutting in.” It's a skill that will require some patience when you're first learning how to do it, so take your time and work slowly. The video below will show you how to cut in the line at the top of the wall next to the ceiling. Painting this line as straight as possible will make the room look like it was painted by a professional. Keep a wet rag or sponge with you to wipe off wet paint that might get on the ceiling.

Here's how to cut in.

After you've cut in one coat of paint around the entire room it's time to use a roller to apply paint to the walls.

Here's how to use a paint roller without making a mess, and keeping dripping paint to a minimum.


When the paint is dry after rolling out the walls, repeat cutting in and rolling out one more time. Painting two coats is the standard for achieving the best results.

One last piece of wall painting advice – The quality of the paint you use can make a big difference in how good the room looks when you're finished. Also, lower quality paint tends to drip more which is very frustrating and messy. Even professional painters have issues while working with runny paint. ECOS Paints is a premium product that has excellent coverage (1.5 times the competition), zero VOCs*, and is extremely durable. (Order free color cards to see our rich selection of colors!)

Still have questions? Let us know in the comments and we'll give you our expert advice! We're always happy to help.

*Conforms to CDPH 01350 (VOC emissions test taken at 11, 12, & 14 days for classroom and office use). Learn more about VOCs and our commitment to healthier paints here.

CATEGORIES how to paint aroom|painting tips|painting tips for beginners