Room Painting Tips: Getting Organized

Create a Clear Working Space

It's important to have a clear working space for any project.

  1. Remove all smaller items (e.g. pictures, mirrors, lamps, etc.) from your project area.
  2. Remove small rugs and unattached floor coverings.
  3. Remove furniture (e.g. couches, tables, dressers, etc.) when possible.
  4. Cover floor with a canvas drop cloth or plastic sheeting. Do not use sheets or newspaper, as they can allow paint to soak through.


In the event that some items cannot be moved from the room, they should be moved to the center of the room and covered with drop cloths or plastic sheeting. You should have a clear working area of at least three feet from each wall.

Remove the Following From Your Project Area:

  • Ceiling hooks
  • Doorknobs and drawer pulls
  • Door stops
  • Mounted light fixtures (if possible)
  • Pictures
  • Outlet covers and switch plates
  • Vents and cooling ducts
  • Blinds, shades and accessories


When removing items with screws, tape the screws to the back of the object - for example, tape screws to the back of a switch plate. For items such as doorknobs and switch plates, it will be helpful to place them in a storage container or zippered plastic bag. This helps keep the items together for when you need them later.

If you are painting the walls in the room, use painter's tape to keep paint off the trim and windows. This step will save you time in the long run and will leave clean, straight lines. Be sure to press the tape down well along the edge to be painted to prevent paint from bleeding under tape.

Remove tape before paint has a chance to dry completely. This will reduce the possibility of lifting the fresh paint film with the tape. If paint has dried, score lightly along the edge of the tape with a utility knife or razor blade before removing.

Be sure to maintain proper ventilation in the area during painting and while paint is drying by opening doors or windows as weather permits.