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Expert Tips to Ensure Quality Interior Painting

by Dusty Mills on Aug 13, 2021

When you’re ready to tackle some needed interior painting home or business, be sure you first prepare your project properly. A few extra minutes of prep work can go a long way toward ensuring you’re happy with your new paint job for years to come.

If you’ve never done any interior painting before, you might consider some expert tips for the prep work that needs to be done, as well as for purchasing everything you need for the project. Before you head down to the hardware or home improvement store, check out these experts tips to ensure quality interior painting.

Purchasing Paint for Interior Painting

Consider some vital tips for purchasing the right paint for your interior painting job, as these will save you money in the long run and ensure you come home with the best materials for the project!

  • Start with a quart of your selected paint color and try it on the surface to be painted, before investing in larger paint quantities. You can then see how the color looks in sunlight or along a darker space, against furniture and other items in the room, or on a textured surface, and ensure you’re happy with the shade before investing in more paint!
  • Remember that paint finishes look different in bright light versus areas without much light. A high-gloss finish can add a bit of sheen to a dark wall, but might look downright damp in harsh sunlight.
  • Know the square footage of a room or surface to be painted before buying your paint. Experts recommend about a gallon of paint for every 400 square feet of space, but textured surfaces might require even more paint! Paint will seep into grout lines between brick, into the pits and pores of brick and stone and along other such areas, so purchase even more paint if you’ll be covering textured surfaces.
  • Buying more paint than you think you need not only ensures you have enough to get the job done but also allows for touch ups in the future. For example, if you can’t clean smudges and smears or a child’s fingerprints on a wall, having a bit of extra paint on hand allows you to simply cover over those unsightly messes!
  • Never apply a latex paint over an oil-based paint and vice versa. If you’re not sure of the base of the paint currently covering a surface, or want to apply one over the other, sand down the current paint for a smooth and even finish.
  • Paint mixers in the store can create slight color and tone variations from one can to the next, which might be visible on large walls and other surfaces. To avoid this issue, purchase five-gallon or larger buckets of paint rather than individual gallons, or use one can of paint for one wall and a new can for another wall.

Supplies Needed for Interior Painting

The supplies you use for any interior painting in a home or commercial space will affect how that paint job looks, and how well it holds up over the years! Check out some quick tips for selecting the supplies needed for your paint project.

Choose small angled brushes for corners and edges. Use these brushes like a pencil and they’ll provide a clean, straight line with little to no mess or overpainting.

Use nylon-bristle brushes for water-based paint and natural bristles for oil-based paint. Don’t use natural bristles for water-based paint as the water can make the bristles limp so that they don’t hold paint or transfer it as they should.

Foam brushes are often used for surfaces with intricate details such as crown molding. Foam pushes an even amount of paint into those crevices, without creating brush marks and an unsightly finish.

Rollers have various nap materials and depth. Use low nap for standard surfaces such as drywall, and then thick nap for surfaces with cracks and crevices. Longer roller nap will seep paint into grout lines between brick and pitted stone surfaces.

Prepping Surfaces for Paint

Before painting, it’s vital that you clean interior surfaces properly and thoroughly, and leave plenty of time for drying. If you’ve sanded a surface, use a vacuum hose to remove any grit left behind and wash the area thoroughly; painting over loose grit will only allow the paint to peel away eventually.

Fill holes with spackle or joint compound and ensure you remove any excess material, and then sand the patch smooth. Removing outlet covers and switch plates is also recommended, as it’s easy to nick them with a bit of paint even if you cover them with tape. To ensure you don’t lose their screws, tape the screws to the plates before setting them aside.

Plastic drop cloths are slippery and can move out of position easily, while paint can dry to newspapers and then rip or tear them into shreds. To protect floors, use cloth sheets instead of plastic or newspaper.

If you can’t afford actual drop cloths, old bed sheets are usually sufficient for protecting floors. Cut some plastic sheeting to fit under paint cans and roller pans and put these down over the sheets, for added protection.

Use rollers with extended handles for painting ceilings or rent scaffolding, rather than using furniture or ladders as these are difficult for balancing and can risk falls and injuries. You also don’t want to paint directly overhead, in case of drips and splattering! Long-handled rollers allow you to paint a few feet away from you, so no paint drips into your eyes.

Homeowners also do well to remember how long painting and drying can take. Cleaning, taping off areas you don’t want painted, setting down protective cloths, and all these other steps are vital for a quality finish but can add hours to even the smallest painting project. It’s also recommended that you wait at least 24 hours before moving items into a painted room, to ensure proper drying.

If all these steps seem overwhelming, you might invest in professional services for interior painting. A professional painter knows how to get the job done right and ensures quality results, making their costs worth the investment!


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