The secrets of painting a wall evenly

press profile homify press profile homify
Holland Park: Notting Hill Roselind Wilson Design Modern nursery/kids room
Loading admin actions …

One of the greatest DIY conundrums that continues to vex people is how to how to paint a wall evenly. On the face of it, it seems like such a simple task and yet, painting a wall evenly is something that so few people get right that we have decided to let you in on our top tips. 

As with most things, a great paint finish is almost wholly dependent on adequate preparation and a patient application, with attention to detail and consistency being maintained throughout. To keep the process as simple as possible, we have numbered the steps in our guide, so as you approach your next painting task, you can refer back and check each stage off as you complete it. 

Let’s discover the right type of paint for uneven walls, how to paint high walls, and many more painting tips and tricks learned by some of our top-notch Painting professionals.   

1. Calculate how much paint you will need

Playroom/ Teenage Hangout JMdesign Modern living room

Playroom/ Teenage Hangout


A crucial step in the whole process of painting a wall evenly is sitting down and accurately calculating how much paint you are going to need. And whatever you do, don't forget to take the ceiling into account too!

Even if you are going to be painting the walls and ceiling a different colour and not opting for an all white scheme you will need to calculate the total area that will be painted, taking into account the colour you are covering and the quality of your chosen paint. If in doubt, always get more than you need, as there is nothing worse than running out with a section of wall still to paint.

2. Choose your colour

With your amounts all calculated and verified, you can really hone in on the colour that you want to use. You will have already had a rough idea, but now is the time to get super selective. 

Don't forget to think about choosing something that can offer high coverage, durability and easy cleaning, as the last thing you want is to complete your new colour scheme, only to have to wipe a section and leave an uneven smear. Even matt paints can now be extra durable, so make sure you select the right manufacturer for your needs, not just the colour you like best and you can be sure of painting evenly.

3. Use the right equipment

There is a tool for every job and painting evenly is no exception as you can't expect to simply buy a paintbrush and use that on every part of the wall. Well, not if you want an excellent finish.

Have you ever wondered how to paint a wall with a roller evenly? You start off by buying floor- and furniture covers, paintbrushes in various sizes, rollers of various texture finishes, a paint tray, masking tape and a telescopic handle to reach the tallest parts of a wall. In addition, any cleaning products needed to smooth the wall before application, such as sugar soap, will also need to be on hand. 

4. Assess the condition of the wall

Fabulous colour Diamond Wools of New Zealand Modern corridor, hallway & stairs
Wools of New Zealand

Fabulous colour Diamond

Wools of New Zealand

Before you start painting, you will need to make sure that the wall to be covered is smooth, without defects, grease and moisture free and perfectly masked off, to prevent overspills of colour. If this is not the case, be sure to attend to any problems.

Filling holes in the wall is essential and we always recommend that you give a wall a thorough wash with an abrasive detergent, such as sugar soap, as this will ensure a clean and even surface to paint on. It should also go without saying that a wall suffering with damp is not suitable for painting, as the chalky surface will simply disintegrate on contact and prevent you from painting evenly.

​5. Work at room temperature

Before you start your project, if you want to be painting evenly, you will need to turn off any heating or air conditioning in the room to be tackled, as these can both affect drying times and lead to streaks.

Room temperature is optimum for making sure that your paint will dry evenly and produce a streak-free, high-end finish that looks as though a professional has completed it, so make sure that there is absolutely nothing set to come on that could affect this. Even having a window open while you paint could be an error, so if you need protection from fumes, wear a mask!

6. Stir your paint

It seems so obvious now we are writing it down, but so many people forget to stir their paint adequately before starting a painting project. 

If you have had your shade mixed, don't forget that there could be pigment drops around the edge of the can or unmixed within the liquid itself, which will impact your attempt to be painting evenly. The last thing you want is to roller the wall and see a huge streak of yellow coming through your new colour! We recommend using a long, wooden stick to stir your paint, as that way you can really take your time and make sure everything is evenly combined, without fear of the material reacting with your paint.

7. Start with the edges

Minimalistic Interior spaces ---Living room interiors Preetham Interior Designer Minimalist living room
Preetham  Interior Designer

Minimalistic Interior spaces ---Living room interiors

Preetham Interior Designer

Now you are ready to start your task and with painting evenly firmly in your mind, we suggest that you start with all the edges, by using a flat brush and 'W' or 'M' motions. 

At the beginning, you need to ensure that you paint enough of a border for your roller to meet the edges, without risking contact with the skirting board, floor, coving or ceiling, so use long, fluid motions and a relaxed rhythm to gracefully create a thick edge. We always recommend using masking tape to ensure a crisp and perfect edge, but be sure that you use a low tack variety, or you could end up peeling more paint off than you put on!

8. Apply your paint

This is the nerve-wracking bit, especially if you have opted for a particularly vibrant shade, like this bedroom's fuchsia pink. As soon as you see your chosen colour going onto the wall in a greater volume, you will probably have a little wobble of uncertainty, but trust yourself and your taste and carry on!

Use long, calm motions and a well-laden roller to ensure a good, thick and even coverage that will dry perfectly and have visitors asking you how you are painting evenly so easily. Allow yourself plenty of time to switch to a telescopic handle if you need to and don't panic about small drips, as we will come to those in a second.

9. Finish up

Orange Living Room homify Modern living room

Orange Living Room


Once your paint is on and you are happy that you did a good job, it's time to finish the process so you can leave the room to dry. 

Painting evenly is a matter of confidence and preparation, but once the paint is on, all you can do is tidy away your equipment, wash out all your brushes and rollers, open the windows and leave everything to dry. Don't be tempted to keep sneaking in for a look, just open the windows to air the fumes and let nature take its course for a couple of hours. 

10. Tidy up any spills

If you had any minor spillages, wipe them up with a wet cloth as soon as possible and for any paint that managed to find its way to a carpet or rug, be sure to find out the best method for removing it and do so quickly. With most paints now being water based, you will usually find that cleaning up is easy and quick, but in your efforts to make sure you were painting evenly, it may be easy to miss a stain or two, so try to be vigilant.

Make sure that once your room is finished, you take the time to congratulate yourself on a job well done and if you have caught the decorating bug, learn from anything you did wrong and adapt your style for next time.

Painting pro tips for painting a wall: How to paint an uneven wall

Painting and decorating Royal Arsenal, London Paintforme Modern corridor, hallway & stairs Green

Painting and decorating Royal Arsenal, London


The right paint for uneven walls is a special type of thick paint that’s been designed to fill up surface holes and hairline cracks. This type of paint designed for uneven surfaces may be sold under various names (including high-build paint and crack-free paint) and as it’s much thicker than ordinary paints, it ensures much better coverage. 

Painting pro tips for painting a wall: Don’t let your paint dry out

The Bloomsbury WC1 Kitchen by deVOL deVOL Kitchens Classic style kitchen Grey
deVOL Kitchens

The Bloomsbury WC1 Kitchen by deVOL

deVOL Kitchens

Got any golf balls lying around? Drop some into a half-empty can of paint to fill up the air space to keep your paint from drying out (which it will if the can is only half full). Another trick is to place plastic wrap under the can’s lid, seal it properly, and store the can upside down. 

Next up to inspire you: 14 homes with brilliant bi-folding doors.

Where will you be showing off your newly learned painting skills?

Need help with your home project?
Get in touch!

Discover home inspiration!