How To Paint A Room

Top Home Tips


Whether you’ve just bought a new home or you’re simply fed up of the colour you currently have on the walls, painting a room might be the next job on your to-do list. Unfortunately, unless your home has experienced significant storm or fire damage, paint isn’t generally covered on your home insurance. Luckily, paint is relatively cheap to purchase and can transform a room in less than a day.

Before you start painting, there are some things you should know. Read on to find out the best way to paint a room.

How much paint do I need for a room?

There’s nothing worse than starting a task only to realise you don’t have enough supplies. You can avoid this by working out exactly how much paint you need to cover the desired area.

First, you need to measure the width and height of each wall in metres. Once you have these two figures, multiply them together to get the total metres squared of each wall. This means that, if you’re painting four walls, you should have four measurements in total.

For each wall measurement, multiply it by the number of coats you wish to use. In most cases, this will be two. However, if you’re painting a dark wall a light colour, you may even need a third coat.

For example, if you have one wall that is 2.7 metres high and 3.4 metres wide, you should multiply these figures together to get 9.18m2. Multiply this figure by how many coats of paint you wish to apply. If it’s two, your number will now be 18.36m2. Do this for every wall you wish to paint.

Now divide the metres squared for each wall by the metres squared per litre (m2/l) number on the tin of paint you wish to use. If you haven’t bought your paint yet, you can usually find this figure on the website of the supplier or manufacturer you plan to buy from. If, in our example, the m2/l is 14, we would divide 18.36m2 by 14 which gives us 1.3. This is how many tins of paint you need for one wall.

Do the same for each of the walls you wish to paint to find out how many tins you need in total. If the total number of tins is between two numbers, round it up to be on the safe side. For example, if it came to 2.4, you should buy three tins just in case.

What supplies do I need to paint a room?

Painting can be made so much easier if you have the right tools and prepare the area properly.

You’ll likely need:

  • Enough tins of your chosen paint (calculated using the method above)
  • A small angled paint brush
  • A roller with a paint tray
  • Dust sheets
  • Painter’s tape and/or masking tape (optional, but good for neat edges)
  • A stepladder.

The angled paint brush is excellent for getting into corners and for cutting in around the edges of the room. If you can’t get hold of an angled one, a small straight-edged brush will work too.

Dust sheets are essential if you want to prevent paint from splattering over your floor or furniture. No matter how careful you are, the odd paint splash will occur, so prepare for this. Masking tape can also be used over plug sockets, light switches and any other fixtures or fittings that you want to protect. Alternatively, you can use painter’s tape, but it’s better to use this for creating neat lines and edges. For example, the room may have a picture rail that you don’t want to paint. Use the painter’s tape to mark this section off and keep it clean.

We’d advise using a roller to do large sections of the wall, as this provides the best finish. Trying to paint a room with a small paint brush is only going to be frustrating and will probably take much longer. The finished result would likely have a lot of brushstrokes and maybe even brush hairs left in the paint. Nobody wants this, so read on to find out how to paint a room using a roller.

How to paint a room with a roller

Whether you want to create a relaxing bedroom or simply update the peeling paint in the bathroom, using a roller is the best, most effective way to do this. A roller provides a smooth finish that can be applied easily in a controlled manner.

Obviously it is almost impossible to get a neat edge using a roller. This is why you need to cut in first with a paint brush. Cutting in involves painting around the edge of the wall, getting neatly into the corners and around the coving or picture rails. Once you’ve painted the outer edges, it’s time to ‘colour in’ the middle. This is where you’ll need your roller.

Pour your chosen paint into a tray and cover the paint applicator by rolling it in the mixture. Do this until the surface of the roller is evenly coated. Then, starting in the corner of a room, roll the paint onto the wall, working from the bottom to the top. Always ensure that your roller has a thick layer of paint on it to avoid a patchy finish. Paint one wall at a time, doing the cutting in first and then rolling.

If the job is going to take longer than a day, we’d recommend covering the roller in cling film or a plastic bag to prevent it from drying out, meaning you can start where you left off the following day.

What’s the average cost of painting a room?

The cost of painting a room will depend on how much paint you need to buy and whether you already have a lot of the supplies we’ve listed above. A decent paint brush can cost between €3 and €8 and a tin of paint could cost around €20-50, depending on brand and size. In total, it could cost around €150 to €200 to paint a room yourself, based on a requirement of two tins of paint and the purchase of prep materials, such as paint brushes, rollers and dust sheets.

What colours should I consider?

There are many colours to choose from and it can seem a bit daunting with so many options. Firstly, check out the current colours in your home. Can you go with these again? It might be easier and more settling to opt for a colour that you are used to.

Another route to consider is to review paint colour websites. However, it is really important to get your hands on physical colour cards. The colour you see on screen may not be exactly what you see in the tin. With colour cards, you can see how the paint looks after dark and in artificial light.

Oyster Bed paint is an off-grey and it works nicely with Irish light. Pink sandstone is also highly recommended and looks lovely on walls. For ceilings, doors and windows, go for a soft white look. If you have a busy household, you might consider going for glossy paints which are making a comeback as they are perfect for handling knocks and spills.