What You Need To Paint A Room

If you want to make a huge impact at a small cost, freshen up your space with a good coat of paint. There are a few things that take painting a room from ok to GREAT, if you just give patience a chance and do things right the first time around.

After painting several rooms in our home, I've learned a few things that make our home look better than when we started. For some, painting isn't necessarily an enjoyable experience. I thought I would give several tips to ensure that you will be satisfied afterward and will have an easier time getting those walls looking fresh! If you need help figuring out what colors to choose for your home, I have a post for that as well.

I've done a lot of interior painting over the years and have figured out what kind of tools work great for me. I want to give you a head start and share with you everything I use. Having the wrong tools makes things not only tedious, things might not turn out how you would like. You also want to avoid all of the bells and whistles to help with the cost. This list will explain what you actually NEED.

Prep Supplies

what you need to paint a room
  1. Extra Light - since we don't have a ceiling light in many of our rooms, I use a flood light to help shed more light on the walls
  2. Joint Compound - the kind I use starts out pink + dries white so that I know when to sand
  3. Cleaning Cloth or Old T-Shirt - use this to clean up dust + dirt on the walls + woodwork
  4. Fine Grain Hand Sanders - smoothes joint compound after it dries
  5. Drop Cloth - I've used both plastic or an old bed sheet to cover surfaces
  6. Painter's Tape (optional) - I used to use this but found that it's hard to keep paint from seeping underneath, so I don't use it anymore
  7. Face Mask - I use this when I am doing a LOT of sanding, especially when I use the power sander
  8. Screwdriver - before you start painting it is good to remove all fixtures + outlet/light switch covers, you'll need a flathead and a Phillips for other random screws
  9. Joint Knives - I prefer to use a medium width knife because it is easier to handle and spread the compound
  10. Old Pants + Shirt [not pictured] - this is a given but for those who think things will start out as a small, clean job, be prepared

Painting Supplies

what you need to paint a room
  1. Extending Rod - the best one I have extends further by untwisting another section out but I've used a rod to a broom before (HA!)
  2. Paper Towels - I wet these + use them when I get paint on the ceiling or woodwork (even I mess up sometimes)
  3. Roller - I've used bad ones + survived, but it's good to find one that is sturdy + doesn't keep slipping the roller brush off
  4. Paint Stirring Stick - usually you get this in addition to your paint at the store + it is quite handy if the paint needs to be blended
  5. Handheld Painting Bucket - this is extremely helpful if you don't want to keep getting off the ladder or stool to put more paint on your brush
  6. Roller Brushes - I don't get picky with this, but something that isn't super thick keeps you from wasting too much paint
  7. Small Paint Brush - I use this in small areas like between two doors in a corner
  8. Paint Can Opener - I somehow acquired an opener strictly used for paint cans but have used a flat head screw drive millions of times to open a can
  9. Paint Brush - I use one with a slant at the end of the bristles for cutting in that way when you pull your brush along the edge it works with you, not against you
  10. Paint Tray - this is pretty necessary and just needs to be wide enough to fit your roller, nothing fancy here
  11. Paint Tray Liner [not pictured] - I don't always use this, but if I am painting with several different colors, want to save on time, or want to prolong the life of my tray, I use these
  12. Ladder/Stools [not pictured] - I have a 2 step ladder than I can move easily around a normal height room, but if you have vaulted ceilings a longer step ladder is good to have


what you need to paint a room
  1. Interior Wall Paint - lately I've been using Behr which is in different quality + fulfills different needs, I use an eggshell finish in most rooms

  2. Ceiling Paint - I use pink tinted paint here as well so that I know where I painted last since looking straight up can get tiring on the neck
  3. Primer - I only use this if the walls have never been painted + are just sheetrock, if you are painting over a dark color like red, you can use gray
  4. Sample Paint - it's always good to try out a few samples before buying a gallon bucket of paint, I do it all the time!
  5. Stain Covering Paint - since we had several wall stains, I used this before applying regular paint to ensure the stain wouldn't show through

There are three different types of Behr paint: Behr Premium Plus, Behr Premium Plus Ultra, and Behr Marquee. I just used their regular Premium Plus because it was the most cost-effective and still went on really well over dark walls. In the bathroom, I used the Ultra to give extra protection against mildew. 

Keep Your Painting & Prep Supplies Together

I have a special spot in the garage for all of my painting supplies. I completely get it that you might not be able to paint your whole house in a day. It's kind of impossible unless you hire or recruit some volunteers to help. So that I stay on track and encouraged to paint, I make sure that all of my supplies are kept in my cabinet. It's pretty messy, but it's all there! I just hate it when I go to paint a wall and then realize I don't have something to open the can or I completely forgot to get a cloth to put down on the floor.

I hope that this helps encourage you to freshen up the walls in your home if you've been wanting to do it for a while now. If you have any other questions or are still apprehensive about painting, leave me a comment. Because I do this so much, I am not sure if I left anything out or if I should create future posts detailing other areas. Let me know below!