Painting the inside of our homes is something that a lot of us like to do ourselves. It’s one of those things homeowners can save money on.  But just because we think we know how applying paint onto a surface works doesn’t mean we’re capable of handling a full-fledged interior paint job. These interior painting tips will show you how to paint a room flawlessly.

The tools of the trade

Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to paint a room.

  1. Paint sprayers
  2. Paint roller cover
  3. Paint roller frames
  4. Paint roller extensions
  5. Paintbrushes of multiple sizes
  6. Paint trays
  7. Paint buckets
  8. Paints in the colors of your choice
  9. Painter’s tape
  10. Ceiling paint
  11. Primers
  12. Cleaning rags
  13. Sanding sponges
  14. Sponges
  15. Drop Cloths
  16. Step ladder
  17. Dust mops

Things to do before starting to paint

painting wall tools
  1. Pick samples of different colors of paint and see how they look in different lights and angles before deciding on the color you want to choose.
  2. Once you’re sure of the paint color, buy a quart first and check how it actually looks by painting a foam board. Once you’re convinced of the finish when it dries, go ahead and buy it in the quantities you need. 
  3. Measure your room before you go buy paint. We’d suggest you buy a gallon of paint for every 400 square feet that need to be covered.
  4. Empty the room you’re painting of all movable furniture, fixtures, and HVAC outlet covers.
  5. Inspect the surfaces in the room for imperfections. If you find any holes, use a putty knife and caulk to close them.
  6. Remove any extra caulk that may be on the surface using the putty knife, and wait for the surface to dry.
  7. Once the surface is completely dry, get to work using a sanding sponge to level the caulked areas with the rest of the surface.
  8. Use a damp towel or sponge to wipe clean the surfaces you intend to paint.
  9. Used painter’s tape to seal your doors, windows, light switches, and moldings. Make sure there’s no room for any bleed through while applying the tape. 
  10. Use drop cloths to cover your floor as well as any immovable furniture and fixtures that may still be in the room. This is to keep them safe from paint splatter and spillage. Drop cloths are commonly made either out of paper, which tears easily, plastic, which can get slippery and leave tracks and canvas, which is durable and reusable.
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How to paint

Ceilings first

paint ceiling
  1. Always start by priming and painting the ceiling first. Based on whether you plan to have a deep textured or light textured ceiling, apply either a high-build or drywall latex paint primer using rollers. Primers are an important part of the painting process because they help prevent mold and seal the surface.
  2. Paint the corners where the wall and ceiling meet using brushes before you use rollers to paint the ceiling. This will cover any brush marks as well as make sure any areas the rollers can’t reach get covered.
  3. To ensure you get even coverage and maintain wet edges, divide your ceiling into grids of around 5 square feet each. 
  4. Choose the right kind of roller based on the type of ceiling texture the room has. A deeply textured ceiling is best painted using a roller with a half or three-quarter-inch nap. A smooth ceiling will need a low nap roller.
  5. The best way to avoid lap marks is to slightly vary the direction of rolling. Always remember that it’s best to begin painting in a corner and in overlapping rows.
  6. Keep rolling out and blending with the cut-in edge and the previous section until the roof is completely painted. Avoid painting directly over your head.

Read more: Interior & exterior house painting financing

Walls next

  1. As with the ceiling, the first step is to prime your walls. Before you begin, fit roller covers onto your paint rollers.
  2. Pour the primer paint onto a paint tray.
  3. Work your walls from top to bottom in sections, and use W or V-shaped strokes until you finish that section. Try and finish as much as possible while the primer is still wet.
  4. You can get your primer tinted to match the color you’ve chosen at your local paint store. Tinted primers may reduce how much you need to paint.
  5. Once the primer is dry, use a sanding sponge to make the surface level.
  6. Now, it’s time to start painting. As with the primer, divide your walls into sections, and work on them from the top to bottom in V or W shaped strokes.
  7. Keep the texture of your paint consistent by mixing it with a mixing stick periodically.
  8. Overlap areas you’ve just finished to blend them seamlessly with the area you’re starting next.
  9. Finish one wall entirely before moving on to the next one.
  10. Let the paint dry for two to three hours after the first coat before applying the next coat of paint.

Post painting

  1. Remove the painter’s tape as soon as the paint dries up. Left too long, painter’s tape may leave behind residue.
  2. Use soap and water to clean the rollers and brushes before you store them for future use. Make sure you stow away any excess paint you may have left behind as well. You never know when you might need to do a touch-up.
  3. Remove the drop cloths and replace the furniture in the room.

Read more: How to remove paint from wood floor

Pro tips

painting tips
  1. Make sure you choose paints that do not have toxic VOCs to paint the interiors of your home.
  2. Water-based paints are less irritable to the skin and eyes than oil-based paints and last longer. However, oil-based paints have a better sheen.
  3. The higher the quality of your rollers, brushes, and paints, the better the finish is going to be. So don’t skimp while buying materials.
  4. A good way to find out if you’ve done a quality job on your interior painting project is to stick a piece of duct tape to a wall after it is completely dry and rip it off. If you’ve done a good job, you should have only microscopic amounts of paint on the tape.
  5. While applying paint to your walls, try to use a painting technique called working a wet edge to avoid overlapping lines. This involves making sure your last roll doesn’t dry up before you overlap it with your next one. 
  6. Use nitrile or latex gloves to protect your hands, protective glasses for your eyes, and dust masks to protect your nose and lungs while painting.

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You’re all set

Freshly painted walls and ceilings can make any room look new and vibrant. You now know how to go about painting the interior of your home. Sure, it will take you a little bit of practice to get it right. But considering you’ll be saving an average of $3.50 per square foot that you paint yourself, we’d say it’s a skill worth developing. 

Want to know how much painting your home could cost? Click here for an estimate.

Read more: 6 most effective steps on how to estimate a paint job

Interior Painting Tips: How to Paint a Room Flawlessly was last modified: June 27th, 2022 by Narayan Shrouthy
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