Take plenty of time choosing the right colors and finishes from the vast array of paints available these days: collect color cards, read the manufacturers’ blurbs, and ask advice from in-store experts.
Once the decision has been made, don your old clothes and clear the room in question or move all furniture into the center. Cover all flooring and remaining furniture with dustsheets.
Prepare all surfaces by filling gaps, lightly sandpapering lumps, bumps, and woodwork, and wiping away any dust.
Paint the ceiling first, working across in parallel bands, wiping away any wall splashes immediately. Two coats are normally required.
Next apply an undercoat to the woodwork if required; bare wood will need a primer before the undercoat.
Once this is dry, start on the walls. Use a small brush to “cut in” around the edges of the woodwork and ceiling. If desired, you can use specialist masking tape for a straight finish on all edges. Then paint the main areas with a larger brush or roller, working from top to bottom. Complete each wall before moving on to the next. Always allow each coat to fully dry before applying the next; at least two coats are usually required.
Finally, apply the top coat to the woodwork.
If you need to leave your paint tray or brushes for an hour or two, wrap them tightly in saran wrap so they don’t dry out. Be sure to thoroughly wash out brushes at the end of each job.