How Do I Achieve a Smooth Finish When Painting Walls?

How Do I Achieve a Smooth Finish When Painting Walls?
How Do I Achieve a Smooth Finish When Painting Walls?

Achieving a smooth finish when painting interior walls requires careful preparation and execution. Here are the steps that Master Painters of London Ontario undertakes to achieve a smooth, professional-looking paint finish:

The Materials You’ll Need:

  • High-quality paint
  • Paint sleeve and cage (10 to 13 mm)
  • Paint tray
  • Paintbrush (for cutting in edges and corners)
  • Painter’s tape (We recommend Frog tape)
  • Drop cloths (Preferred) or plastic sheeting
  • Pole Sander
  • Sandpaper (fine to medium-grit – 120-150)
  • Tack cloth or damp cloth
  • Primer (If needed for new or raw surfaces)

Painting Steps to Achieving a Smooth Finish:

Prepare the Room:

Clear the room of furniture or move it to the center and cover it with drop cloths or plastic sheeting to protect it from paint splatters.

Remove any wall decorations, nails, or hardware.

Clean and Repair the Walls:

Clean the walls to remove dust, dirt, and grease.

Inspect the walls for any imperfections like holes, cracks, or dents. Fill these imperfections with machine mud or patching compound. Allow it to dry, then sand the patched areas smooth.

Sand the Walls:

Gently sand the entire wall surface with fine-grit sandpaper (usually 120-150 grit) with an orbital pole sander. This step helps smooth out any rough areas and improves paint adhesion.

After sanding, wipe down the walls with a tack or damp cloth to remove sanding dust.

Apply Primer (If Necessary):

If you’re painting over new drywall or have made extensive repairs, applying a primer can help create a uniform surface and ensure proper adhesion for the paint. Allow the primer to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Alternatively, if you don’t have new drywall and the patchwork is minimal, and if you purchase high-quality paints, they are usually self-priming, so you can avoid buying a primer.

Cut In Edges and Corners:

Use a high-quality paintbrush to cut in along the edges, corners, and around trim. This procedure creates a precise boundary for the roller and ensures even coverage.

Use the Right Paint Roller:

Choose the appropriate sleeve for your wall surface. A short-nap roller cover (10mm) is ideal for smooth walls.

Load the Roller:

Pour paint into a paint tray and load the roller evenly by rolling it back and forth. Avoid overloading, which can lead to drips.

Roll the Paint:

Roll the paint onto the wall in a “W” or “M” pattern to distribute it evenly. Then, fill in the rest of the area with vertical or horizontal strokes, keeping a wet edge.

Apply the paint in thin, even coats rather than thick layers. Multiple thin coats are better for achieving a smooth finish.

Blend the Paint Sections:

When rolling, slightly overlap each new section with the previous one to blend the paint seamlessly.

Maintain a Wet Edge:

To avoid visible lap marks, keep a wet edge by working quickly and not allowing the paint to dry between sections.

Make sure to continuously backroll the entire wall section as you progress to the end of the wall.

Allow Drying Time:

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying times between coats. Typically, waiting at least 2-4 hours between coats is recommended.

Sand Between Coats (Optional):

If necessary, lightly pole sand the walls between coats with fine-grit sandpaper (120-grit) to remove imperfections and ensure a smooth finish. Wipe off any dust before applying the next coat.

Apply Additional Coats (If Needed):

Depending on the paint type and colour, you may need to apply two or more coats to achieve the desired finish and coverage.

Remove Painter’s Tape:

Carefully remove the painter’s tape before the final coat is completely dry to avoid peeling off any paint.

Inspect and Touch Up:

After the final coat has dried, inspect the walls for imperfections or missed spots and touch up as needed.

By following these steps and using the right tools and techniques, you can achieve a smooth and professional finish when painting your walls. Patience and attention to detail are key to achieving the best results.

Discover the expertise of Master Painters of London Ontario. We specialize in interiorexterior, and spray painting services. Visit us at to learn more.