Painting your interior for the first time can be intimidating; heck, it can feel a little overwhelming on your second, third, and fourth go-around too. Not to fear though. Whether you’re making a new space yours or just giving your current spot a seasonal color makeover, we’ve got some tips to help make the process of painting your interior a little less intimidating.
For the purpose of this post, we’re going to assume that you’ve already done a little research and have your paint colors all picked out. That means one thing - it’s time to get started.
Prepping Your Surface
Tip 1: Clean the walls with water, a little dish soap and a sponge to remove all the dirt. Start at the ceiling and work your way down to the floor.
Tip 2: Use the hose extension on your vacuum to remove dust from those hard to reach places (a Swiffer is another good option to try)
Tip 3: Fill any holes with spackle
Tip 4: Don’t forget to remove electrical covers before painting
Tip 5: Tape the room at the ceilings and around the trim, electrical sockets and any other permanent holes in the room.
Tip 6: Cover the floor and any furniture left in the room. No matter how careful you are, there’s will be at least some splatter. (Use a little painter's tape to hold down the plastic and make sure it accidentally slip off while you're working.)
Laying Down a Base Coat
Tip 1: Not all paint jobs require a separate primer, but if you’re painting drywall, stained/repaired areas, wood, high-gloss finishes or going from dark to light, primer is highly recommended.
Tip 2: Ask your local paint store about paint brands that make primer mixed in with the paint
Tip 3: While not required, priming does help the paint adhere to the wall, maximizes the coverage of the paint and prevents peeling
Tip 4: if you do go with a separate primer, mix in a small amount of your paint color. This helps completely hide the primed surface and could save you a bit of money on paint.
Preparing Trim & Moldings
Tip 1: Smaller cracks and gaps can be hard to spot right away. To find them shine a light right at the wall and inspecting the room.
Tip 2: An acrylic latex caulk is usually okay to use for most rooms, but if you’re painting a room with a lot of moisture (kitchen/bathroom) make sure you get a mold and mildew resistant caulk
Tip 3: Cut the tip of the caulk smaller than you think you need to to avoid unwanted mess
Tip 4: Puncture the foil lining with a small wire rather than a nail to keep the amount of caulk that comes out minimal
Tip 5: Invest in a caulking gun if you have a lot of surface to cover. These have automatic triggers that keep things from getting super messy.
Painting Your Interiors
A few things to consider before we get to the tips for this section:
- Do you have enough paint? Typically one gallon will cover about 400 square feet. Put your elementary math skills to use and multiply the length times height to get the square footage for each wall. Once you have all the walls add them together for the final number. Don’t forget to include your trim -- a good rule of thumb for calculating how much paint is needed for the trim is: multiply the length (in feet) by .5 for the width.
- Do you have the right equipment? Invent in a good roller and brushes. Be sure to mix your paint in a larger bucket before starting for consistent color if you’re using more than one gallon.
- Do you have enough time? Don’t underestimate how long it will take and don’t forget to check the weather so you know how much fresh air you’ll be able to get.
Tip 1: Cut in the room. That’s a fancy way of saying it’s best to start by outlining the room. That means the ceilings, trim, windows and anything else that you’ve put tape around.
Tip 2: Start from the top and work your way down
Tip 3: You don’t have to dip the whole brush in the paint, a couple inches is fine
Tip 3: Divide the room into 3 foot sections to make the task seem more manageable
Tip 4: Invest in a roller with an extension and avoid climbing up and down ladders
Tip 5: Use a damp cloth the wet the roller before use
Tip 6: Don’t submerge the roller in paint. Dip it in a little and roll it out on the grid or liner in the bucket to coat the entire surface
Tip 7: Roll the paint in a “W” pattern
Tip 8: If it’s going to take more than a day, don’t worry about cleaning your brushes each night. Just remove excess paint and wrap them in plastic before sticking them in the fridge.
Tip 9: Wait for the walls to try before painting the trim
Tip 10: Always go with the grain when painting the trim
If you want to avoid the time and mess usually associated with traditional painting, check out our shop page for a wide variety peel and stick paint colors. It's easy to apply and goes up in three easy steps. Simply measure, stick, and cut.
Have more tips? Share them with us here!