One thing to know about painting: surface preparation is everything. In Japan, wall paint is not common, and most wall surfaces are instead covered with vinyl wall covering. Before starting to paint, you must peel off this wall covering, and then use sandpaper and putty to prepare the surface.
But this is a lot easier said than done, as I learned after weeks of peeling, sandpaper-ing, and putty-ing. Thankfully, I have a friend who is a professional wallpaper installer. I ultimately gave in and asked him to come finish the prep work for me. What took me weeks to do partially, he completed to a high-level of quality in the course of two days.
Once the prep work is done, the painting itself is not so bad. Professionals tend to use oil-based paint, which is faster but much less forgiving to an amateur. I chose acrylic and completed the job easily enough.
First comes the bright white primer coat, and let it dry. Then apply at least 2 topcoats with your selected color over that to get a good finish.
With painting done, it was time to install the ceiling fan, and I soon learned the importance of checking your ceiling situation before deciding on a light fixture. American ceiling fans are relatively heavy, so they need to be supported with a joist. If there is no joist in the middle of the room, a special bracket needs to be purchased. That special bracket uses horizontal pressure between two joists to secure the fixture.