Preparing a Room For Painting Part 1: Starting Out Correctly

If you are going to paint a room, it’s always best to do it correctly from the get-go.

Laying out your tools (in one location) is an important aspect of starting your paint project correctly.

Laying out your tools (in one location) is an important aspect of starting your paint project correctly.


Cutting corners can end up costing you a lot of frustration down the road, especially if your paint project ‘fails,’ and you have to do it all over again.

First, assess what you want to accomplish. 

  • Do you want to simply change the color of the walls?
  • Are you covering up a few years of nicks, dings, and dirt from active children or a pet?
  • Do you want to paint ceilings, walls and woodwork?

Once you determine what your goal is, you can set your game plan in motion.


You will likely need some assistance to move furniture and fixtures, and remove large pictures from walls. Enlist your help ahead of time!  Most kids, friends, and family don’t respond as well to ‘I need you right now,’ as they would if they have a few days notice. 


We all have personal and decorative items placed where we want them in different rooms and areas where we live and work. However, The transition from ‘a bedroom’ to ‘a workspace’ is important.  You will need to consider:  what needs to be moved; and where can I put it.

The first rule in this transition is:  If it can be broken or damaged, it probably will be.  

A good workspace will have nothing underfoot, on the walls, or attached to a ceiling that could be adversely affected by you or your help.  


If you like how the room looks presently, take photos! It will be much easier to put things back in their proper place when you are done, when you can refer back to a photograph instead of relying on a good memory. 

Labeling objects with tape and sharpie will also help you to replace cables, wires and anything else that needs to go back to an exact spot when you are all finished.

Find a safe place to store your stuff, remembering your transition rule:  If it can be broken or damaged, it probably will be.


When a room becomes a paint project, it is very easy to lose track of even the most basic tools that you want to use during the job. 

Looking for your putty knife, caulking gun, screwdriver or your car keys in unfamiliar territory is frustrating, and wastes more time than you even realize.  With floors and furniture covered up, you have added a whole new landscape to your once-familiar bedroom.

It’s easy to lose your bearings, and forget where you set something down.  Especially with a helper doing the same thing!

Solution:  Find an area close to your workspace, then lay down a clean drop cloth and set your tools out in an orderly layout.  When you pick up and use the tool you need, either keep it in your pocket or put it right back where it was on your layout dropcloth.  You will be amazed at how much more efficiently everything goes.

Next Time:  Preparing a Room for Painting Part 2: Switch Plates and Plug Plates

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